Black society aims for visibility, dollars

DETROIT: Hoping to garner more recognition - not to mention job opportunities - for black PR pros, the National Black Public Relations Society (BPRS) will hold its first annual conference starting this Thursday in Detroit.

DETROIT: Hoping to garner more recognition - not to mention job opportunities - for black PR pros, the National Black Public Relations Society (BPRS) will hold its first annual conference starting this Thursday in Detroit.

DETROIT: Hoping to garner more recognition - not to mention job

opportunities - for black PR pros, the National Black Public Relations

Society (BPRS) will hold its first annual conference starting this

Thursday in Detroit.



The society, a loose confederation of black PR organizations in cities

such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Washington, DC, has been in

existence since the mid-1980s. As many as 500 African-American PR pros

are expected to attend.



Randye Bullock, senior PR manager at Don Coleman Advertising and BPRS VP

of membership and corporate outreach, said the meeting will serve as a

springboard for increased communication and networking. ’What we’re

trying to do is bring people together,’ she said. ’It’s time to show the

profession that there is no shortage of skilled black PR pros

available.’



Only four firms have agreed to take part in a job fair at the event -

Golin/Harris is one, and the names of the others were unavailable - but

Bullock hopes the meeting will grow into a major recruiting

showcase.



She added that the society has picked sites for annual meetings through

2004.



’We’re going to make a difference,’ said Pat Tobin, BPRS president and

Tobin & Associates chief. ’When it comes to making the money, the

serious dollars, there are not enough African-American agencies in the

mix.’



Tobin contended that while many firms have started diversity practices,

blacks still run into glass ceilings when it comes to advancement in the

profession. ’We’re not making the millions and millions of dollars you

read about. We’re getting crumbs off the table.’



Bullock said that African-American PR pros are often pigeonholed into

doing work that relates only to minority concerns, rather than being

given the chance to take on more across-the-board responsibility.

’African-American PR people only get to work within the African-American

PR market,’ she said.



The conference will cover basic PR topics and specialty areas, and will

feature sessions on black-related topics.



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