Editorial: PR needs to learn racial diplomacy

Thanks in part to a national press which has seized on the potential of the Lawrence case to sell newspapers, Sir Paul Condon has been forced to revise his definition of institutionalised racism and draw up a plan to restore public confidence in the fairness of his force.

Thanks in part to a national press which has seized on the

potential of the Lawrence case to sell newspapers, Sir Paul Condon has

been forced to revise his definition of institutionalised racism and

draw up a plan to restore public confidence in the fairness of his

force.



Condon’s task presents an unenviable internal and external PR

challenge.



He must attempt to overhaul the culture of his force, while restoring

morale. And he must convince a deeply sceptical black and Asian public

to trust the Met.



It is a challenge that requires the ability to address audiences as

disparate as London’s police force and its ethnic minorities, something

that the PR industry’s best advisers would have trouble accomplishing.

Very little PR work has been done in the UK to target the pounds 10

billion African, Afro-Caribbean and Asian market, and most of this has

been carried out by ethnic PR experts.



Meanwhile, a 1998 PR Week survey showed 95 per cent of the PR industry

is white. If the country’s leading agencies are to successfully target

all audiences - a quarter of London’s population is black or Asian -

they need to hire people with the expertise to do it.



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