PRCA accepts recommendations for opening up PR industry

The PRCA has broadly accepted the 30 recommendations made by its access commission, aimed at broadening access to the PR industry.

Increasing diversity in PR: interns from the Taylor Bennett Foundation
Increasing diversity in PR: interns from the Taylor Bennett Foundation
Led by John Lehal, MD of Insight Public Affairs, the access commission brought together practitioners, academics, commentators and others from across the industry to examine obstacles to access to employment in PR.

It focused on internships, apprenticeships, diversity and opportunities for the disabled. The commission was set up in response to growing concerns about social mobility, internships, diversity and flexible working.

Recommendations that have been accepted include launching an industry award for a company or individual that excels in promoting diversity; and the development of an online hub dedicated to internship opportunities in member companies.

However, the PRCA declined to offer to pay travel expenses for candidates attending internship interviews, one of the suggestions developed by the access commission.

Matt Neale, chairman of the best practice committee and GolinHarris president, said: ‘The best practice committee and the PRCA’s board of management are both satisfied that the access commission’s recommendations are of a high standard, and that it has presented the PRCA with clear, achievable aims over the next couple of years.’
Lehal, access commission chair, said: ‘The PRCA set up the independent commission as a commitment to effect lasting change, which I was happy to chair. We reported back with hard-hitting recommendations that will move the industry in the right direction.
‘I am therefore pleased that our recommendations have been generally accepted and I am glad to see some of our proposals on internships and apprenticeships are already being enacted.

‘The onus for increasing diversity in PR is not just with the PRCA improving best practice, but with us PR consultants, who must effect lasting change by becoming best practice employers. When we look back it will be the changes consultancies have made that will reveal the true success of the commission.’

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