Institute for Public Relations launches DE&I research arm

It will be led by FleishmanHillard’s Emily Graham.

FleishmanHillard’s Emily Graham is leading the research arm.
FleishmanHillard’s Emily Graham is leading the research arm.

GAINESVILLE, FL: The Institute for Public Relations has created a new research arm dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion issues in the comms industry.

The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion launched Tuesday and will be led by Emily Graham, FleishmanHillard’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer, and Natalie Tindall, a professor of public relations and strategic communications at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

The research will focus on six areas: BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women, intersectionality, disabilities and mental health. The decision to dedicate specific resources to DE&I research was made in June, said the institute’s president and CEO Tina McCorkindale.

“We had dabbled in some areas of diversity and inclusion prior to the George Floyd incident,” McCorkindale said. “But after the George Floyd protests, it was clear there needed to be a better effort and we decided to really put the resources behind it.”

The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is launching with almost 100 research articles in its library. It includes several “signature” pieces of research, such as a study on women’s leadership in PR conducted with KPMG, and one on millennials and their perspective on D&I.

In addition, the center offers webinars and best practice guides on dealing with DE&I issues in the PR or comms workplace. Anyone can access the research for free, McCorkindale said, and a membership with the institute is not required.

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