Coffee Break: Hold the PRess’ Sade Ayodele is calling out PR firms for virtue signaling on diversity

“Thirty days after you posted a black square, what have you done?”

In an effort to institute diversity in the industry and change it for the better, Taylor account director Sade Ayodele teamed up with three other young Black PR pros to create Hold the PRess. 

Ayodele, Taylor account executive Nysah Warren, The PR Girl Manifesto founder Fatou Barry and Connective Agency account executive Enoma Owens want firms to live out the missions they presented on social media in solidarity with Black Lives Matter following George Floyd’s death in police custody.

“Thirty days after you posted a black square, what have you done?” asked Ayodele.

Hold the PRess approached 60 agencies, a mix of global, mid-size and small, and asked them to release diversity numbers on who in their C-suite is black, who on the executive level is a person of color and which, if any, of their clients are black-owned businesses.

“This is our way to hold agencies accountable for their actions so that, a year from now, we can ensure they reflect the demographics of our country,” said Ayodele.

While some agencies have responded positively to the call, others have maintained, “radio silence.”

“We’ll be releasing the names of all the agencies that have participated, as well as those we didn’t hear back from,” said Ayodele. “This isn’t a threat, it’s just us trying to encourage transparency and trying to encourage agencies to be the change they talk about.”

Learn more about Hold the PRess at Hold the PRess.com.

Coffee Break is a weekly 15-minute intermission in your working day to discover more about PR pros occupying interesting roles across the industry, live each Wednesday morning by 11:00am ET.

To suggest a guest for Coffee Break, pitch steve.barrett@prweek.com.

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