“Diverse Voices: Profiles in Leadership” – Just Released by PRSA Foundation and Museum of Public Relations

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Book Proceeds Will Support PRSA Foundation Efforts to Jump-Start Careers of Students from Diverse Backgrounds

The PRSA Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion within the communications profession, announced today that it has teamed with the Museum of Public Relations to develop “Diverse Voices: Profiles in Leadership”. The book, a collaborative effort that is supported by the leading entities in the communications profession, is designed to help communications leaders and professionals better understand the challenges faced by minorities in the field.

“Diverse Voices” features interviews with more than 40 corporate and PR agency leaders and educators of diverse backgrounds. These executives, many of whom have risen to the highest level of the communications profession, share candid anecdotes detailing successes and challenges that they have faced during their career as well as insights to not only help those entering the field, but also to serve as a resource for organizations to create inclusive workplaces that foster retention and career growth.

“‘Diverse Voices’ is a powerful read that provides raw, candid firsthand accounts from diverse professionals who have built careers within the communications field,” said PRSA Foundation President Judith Harrison. “Their paths to success, which are equally diverse, have at times been mired by unconscious bias and, in some instances, conscious racism. These stories not only provide great insight into the challenges that multicultural professionals face within PR, but also offer real advice on how the industry can work together to create a more inclusive profession.”

Individuals profiled within “Diverse Voices” include Michael Sneed, executive vice president of global corporate affairs and chief communications officer at Johnson & Johnson; Torod Neptune, chief communications officer at Lenovo; Catherine Hernandez-Blades, chief brand and communications officer at Aflac; and Jon Iwata, former SVP and chief brand officer at IBM; among many others. The book’s preface is written by industry icon Harold Burson, co-founder of Burson-Marsteller (now Burson Cohn & Wolfe).

In 2019, the PRSA Foundation will facilitate “Diverse Voices” talks at colleges and universities, using the book’s participants as speakers when possible. The intention is to provide diverse students with guidance to get a head start upon graduation and begin successful career trajectories in the communications field.

“‘Diverse Voices’ will be a valuable resource not only for students and educators, but also for managers of all levels in agencies, corporate communications departments and other communications organizations,” said Shelley Spector, founder of the Museum of Public Relations. “The book will also help provide inspiration and guidance to students and early- to mid-career professionals and encourage more diverse talent to join and stay in the field.”

The book ($39.00) can be ordered here. Proceeds from “Diverse Voices” will support the PRSA Foundation’s charitable efforts to jump-start the careers of promising students from diverse backgrounds, while supporting mentoring and professional development for mid-level professionals.

“The need to improve diversity and inclusion is not just a moral one. Diversity enriches perspectives and strengthens the ability of communications teams to effectively engage with their publics in an increasingly connected global business and media environment,” said Joe Cohen, APR, president-elect of PRSA Foundation. “For many years, there has been a struggle to improve diversity within communications. ‘Diverse Voices’ marks an important step forward, as it is the first project that brings together the leading entities in communications, all working in concert to help create a more diverse and inclusive profession.”

The book is supported by: The Public Relations Society of America, The Public Relations Student Society of America, Page, PR Council, Institute for Public Relations, The LAGRANT Foundation, The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communications, the National Black Public Relations Society, Hispanic Public Relations Association, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, The International Communications Consultancy Organization and The Society for New Communications Research of The Conference Board, among others.


About the PRSA Foundation

The PRSA Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) charity, supports outreach to diverse students to attract them to PR and make them better prepared to contribute to the profession and to society when they enter the workforce, through partnerships with leading universities and professional organizations. For more information regarding the PRSA Foundation, its activities and its full board of trustees, visit www.prsafoundation.org.

About the Museum of Public Relations

The Museum of Public Relations is a 501(c)(3) educational institution chartered by the New York State Department of Education. As the world’s only museum dedicated to the PR profession, it exhibits artifacts from pioneers such as Ivy Lee, Edward Bernays, Ofield Dukes, Muriel Fox and Arthur Page. Its website houses a digital archive of oral histories, videos of Museum events and biographies of African-American PR pioneers as well as PR teaching materials.

The Museum conducts a free summer school and produces special events including celebrations of Black PR History, Latino PR History and PR Women Who Changed History. For information, please visit www.prmuseum.org.

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