Diversity and Inclusion in PR and Communications

By Samiah Anderson

As a part of our Black History Month celebrations, on 29th October, FleishmanHillard Fishburn held a very crucial diversity and inclusion (D&I) panel event: ‘Seen, Represented & Heard: Building Inclusive Cultures in PR & Communications’.

We were joined by a stellar panel of speakers, from Parliament, the world of recruitment and the PR & Communications industry. The audience heard from:

With our expert panel, we explored learnings from the CIPR report, ‘Race in PR: BAME lived experience in the UK PR industry.’ Discussions on the report pointed to an industry characterised by ‘talking the talk’ and not ‘walking the walk’ on D&I. To challenge this, our panellists shared practical advice on how the UK PR industry can effectively tackle issues in recruitment, retention and inclusivity.

From ‘recruitment’ to ‘retention and inclusivity.’

  • To quote Melissa Lawrence who suggested the industry deeply needs to move the conversation on to retention and inclusivity in recruitment: “The ‘I’ in D&I. D&I go hand in hand, but they are different and without inclusivity, an organisation cannot be truly diverse.”

Being proactive

  • Suki Sandhu’s recommendation to senior leaders was that they should be proactive in how they can support diverse talent get into the industry. This involves working directly with external partners like the Taylor Bennett Foundation to help drive a career path.

Properly resource D&I

  • Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP suggested that PRs and corporates need to “put their money where their mouth is” and properly resource D&I initiatives. She feels that where a firm puts its money as a company shows what its priorities and values are.

Achieving true ‘inclusivity’ requires buy-in from the top down.

  • Emily Graham suggested that in order to make real progress in the PR & Communications industry, senior leaders need to be a true champion to the cause which requires paying close attention to the role of inclusive cultures in making change last.
  • On Thursday 29th November FleishmanHillard launched the True Mosaic offering, putting these suggestions into practice by helping many clients on a range of diversity, equity and inclusion matters.


With support from FHF, The PRCA’s Race and Ethnicity Equity Board (REEB) has published new guidance to help public relations agencies and in-house teams identify and address their ethnicity pay gaps.


Find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at FleishmanHillard Fishburn