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July 15, 2013

PRSA Foundation Issues Call for Research to Advance Understanding of Under-represented Groups Within Public Relations

New York (July 15, 2013) – The PRSA Foundation has issued a call for proposals to conduct research studies that advance the understanding of under-represented groups in the public relations profession, with a particular emphasis on the experiences of African Americans and U.S. Hispanics/Latinos.
“Despite years of commitment to diversifying the public relations workforce, we really haven’t moved the needle,” said Lou Capozzi, PRSA Foundation president. “We need benchmark studies to provide data that enables our industry to improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of under-represented groups and enhance its contribution to society.”
Research proposals on a variety of diversity topics are welcome, although the PRSA Foundation is particularly interested in funding quantitative and qualitative studies focused on tracking the placement and retention of bachelor’s degree graduates from public relations programs and other related areas (e.g. journalism and mass communication) among ethnic, racial minorities and men over the past five years.  Studies assessing the work experiences, challenges and opportunities of US Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans working in the industry since 2004 are also of interest.
“We not only want to attract talented individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life to this profession, but also to ensure that they have the tools and support necessary for long-term success,” Capozzi added.  
The research grants funding levels vary, although the maximum amount awarded will be $25,000.
The research proposals must have a strong theoretical background and sound methodological approach to understanding the experiences, challenges and opportunities among under-represented groups in public relations.  Research projects must be completed by September 30, 2014.   The proposals should include a plan for distribution of the study’s findings and recommendations to reach professional and academic audiences.
Proposals must be submitted via email to by August 30, 2013 at 5 PM EST.  Questions may be directed to Wendy Gallo at (212) 460-1412 or  Awards will be announced at the end of October.
About the PRSA Foundation
The PRSA Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises funds to support diversity programs, scholarships and research projects that support the practice of public relations in serving the public good. For more information regarding the PRSA Foundation, its activities and its full board of trustees, visit
Contact: Wendy Gallo
PRSA Foundation Manager
(212) 460-1412
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