Performance, advice and inspiration at PR Council's Critical Issues Forum

A few highlights...

NEW YORK: Eschewing traditional panel discussions, the PR Council’s 2019 Critical Issues of the Modern Workplace Forum featured a mix of poetry, song and the reading of a children’s book.

The idea: illustrate the event’s theme, "Other People’s Shoes, a Guided Walking Tour" and address what the council calls "our industry’s biggest issue, [that] the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion remain evident across corporate America."

Here are a few highlights that the crowd of nearly 100 PR and communications pros were treated to during the event at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Friday morning.

Song. After speaking about what it takes to hire and attract millennials, generational speaker and consultant Amelie Karam treated the audience to a ditty about generational differences to the tune of Billy Joel’s "Piano Man."

Storytime. Ona Louise, the global programming director and founding queen of the New York Chapter of Drag Queen Story Hour, read the story about Red, the red crayon, that despite its label couldn’t color anything red, only blue. "‘You can’t always judge a crayon by its label’ is, I guess, the moral of the story," Louise said.

Poetry. Writer, organizer and educator Mahogany Browne led the audience through a moment of meditation and recited a poem advising them that "tomorrow is far away, slow down." 

Advice. Craig Buchholz, chief communications officer for Procter & Gamble, described dealing with dissenters when a company chooses to take a strong social stand, in this case, its groundbreaking commercial The Talk.

Buchholz described the internal rollout of the campaign and how it was "largely well received."

"We have very specific choices we’re making under this platform of corporate citizen and it does not always align with everyone’s individual point of view though it did align with the values we have as a company," he said. "I think the bedrock here is recognizing if what you’re doing relates to the values you have as a company, then the choice is up to the employee, because this is what we stand for."

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