Payne: Embrace diversity and emerging technology

We must take the lead in helping companies, clients, and organizations embrace even greater diversity just as we adapt to this world of technological change.

Richelle Payne
Richelle Payne

As PR practitioners, we know that image is everything. Your brand and your message can change in an instant. The sharing of a tweet, the snap of an Instagram photo, or the audio or video recording of an awkward moment could be shared with tens of thousands of people.

What exciting public relations times we live in. As PR practitioners, we are forced to understand and use the technology to communicate – to share our clients’ stories. We have to build relationships with traditional reporters, editors, and producers and embrace the world of bloggers and citizen journalists who are free to operate outside the confines and accountability of the PR profession’s code of ethics, with no filters, no editors, and no backlash.

We are bearing witness to it all, so it’s our duty to embrace the evolution of it all. In fact, we need to lead the charge into the brave new world. We must work even harder to make sure the story is being told correctly. We’ve got to dig in deeper to ensure that diverse images are accurately and fairly portrayed. We’ve got to understand that traditional and social media must become integral components of our storytelling toolbox. 

That is what is happening this week as we kick off our National Black Public Relations Society Conference and Career Fair, November 6-9, in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Some of the nations’ best PR practitioners are sharing ideas and strategies and forging relationships with each other, and our industry partners, to create opportunities for success in our evolving industry. Our theme is aptly entitled "PowerPR: Equip! Adapt! Conquer!"

That is our message to our members. We must continually evolve to succeed and lead in the new age of PR at a time when minorities are becoming the emerging majority. We must take the lead in helping companies, clients, and organizations embrace even greater diversity just as we adapt to this world of technological change.

Richelle Payne is president of the National Black Public Relations Society, based in Los Angeles, and managing partner and consultant at Hurst & Leigh Communications Group, a Philadelphia-baseed boutique PR consulting practice. Contact her at @rickroxpr or @nbprs.

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