The event was hosted by the CIPR Diversity Working Group; its main purpose was to give communicators an overview of a recent report carried out by the CIPR on the progression of Equality in PR & the challenges for the future.
As a diversity specialist, 50 per cent of the information, statistics & feedback from the report was not surprising to me as each day I grapple with communicators/PR professionals; trying to convince them about the importance of diversity & why its matters.
The biggest issue is that brands and communicators are failing to represent Britain in the 21st century in terms of diversity & inclusion. We must stop brushing 'diversity' under the carpet hoping that it will go away or fix itself. Diversity needs to be looked at from different angles and not just for CSR purposes. You may ask "Why should I be bothered?
Here are two key reasons
The demographics of the UK's population is changing rapidly. Communities classed as minorities will soon be a majority, we can clearly see this already in some major cities across the UK.
Doing the same old ‘marketing or PR' thing of just targeting what you know will eventually end up with poor results.
Communicators are missing out on major opportunities to increase market share by overlooking the financial clout of diverse communities.
With figures indicating that ethnic groups represent nearly 10 per cent of the UK’s population and have a combined disposable income of £300 billion and a spending power of £46 billion, British businesses, multi-nationals & brands can no longer afford to neglect this audience.
The purchasing power of the LGBT community who represent 6 per cent of the UK's population spending power is around £6bn a year.
Again, one needs to see the value of the LGBT market & develop specific campaigns to appeal to this market.
It is a good time to make that come out of our comfort zones.
Here are some tips
1) For Engagement - Research the different audiences around the UK and look at various case studies/campaigns that brands or communicators have targeted effectively & successfully, a fine example is the main 4 supermarket chains who specifically target diverse audiences
2) For Recruitment - If you wish to recruit/employ a diverse workforce, create a small diversity committee that looks at the needs & wants of the organisation and then call in a diversity expert to help you put your diversity communications strategy together.
3) For Campaigns – Target communities in their own environment via faith (churches, mosques, etc) ,community organisations and their media
4) For Fun – Explore by attending (local or national) diversity specific events and take part for ‘fun’, attending the Notting Hill Carnival, Eid or Diwali in Trafalgar Square or attending Pride London is a start.
Mavis Amankwah is the founder of Rich Visions