From prweek.com/uk: Feedback - Racial diversity in PR sparks industry debate

- Recruit on talent, not on background

Correct me if I'm wrong but is this suggesting that black/ethnic people have different skills because of their race and agencies should hire people from these backgrounds for diversity ('Industry fails to value diversity of background, research finds', prweek.com/uk, 10 June)?

If so I've never heard such rubbish. Hire based on talent - any other reason is damaging to the agency. And while it might not be a popular view, the routes into PR favour demographics occupied by white middle classes. Should these demos then be penalised? No, of course not.

Paul Rayment

- The PR industry is structured to be biased

Hiring on talent is great in theory - the problem is that talent is judged differently, depending on who you are. Practitioners had experiences of having to work harder than their peers and having to wait longer for promotion.

This is not to say that the whole of PR is racist - far from it. But there is no doubt the structures that shape the industry make it easier for practitioners from the more stereotypical background to enter and progress in PR.

Dr Lee Edwards

- We need to draw from the widest talent pool

To optimise our creativity, innovation and ability to anticipate change, we need agencies and in-house departments that draw on the widest talent pool possible.

In specific reference to ethnic diversity, it is estimated black and minority ethnic groups will make up 15 per cent of the UK's population by next year. How can we engage with this audience if they are under-represented in the industry?

Bieneosa Ebite.

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