Edelman multicultural practice grows 68% in less than two years

The practice is on track to amass $8.2 million in revenue by the end of the fiscal year.

Jackeline Stewart-Hawkins, EVP and head of Edelman’s multicultural practice.

CHICAGO: Edelman’s multicultural practice has grown 68% since its launch in November 2020, executives at the firm said this week.

Following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery two years ago, Edelman felt the need to formalize and accelerate its involvement in multicultural communications. The agency began by establishing a racial justice comms taskforce, then expanded by building a U.S. multicultural practice that operates across its sectors. 

“So many clients and businesses wanted to figure out what actions they could take to respond to society’s call for racial justice,” said Jackeline Stewart-Hawkins, EVP and head of Edelman’s multicultural practice.

The practice also helps support Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino and LGBTQIA+ demographics. 

The multicultural team has grown from 16 to 25 staffers and has worked on client campaigns, including the creation of Taco Bell’s custom manga issue, Fry Force, which promoted the return of the company’s nacho fries. 

Edelman also collaborated with the Dallas Regional Chamber to decrease vaccine hesitancy in multicultural communities, helping more than 70% of north Texan adults get vaccinated. The project helped Edelman win PRWeek’s Healthcare and Pharma Comms Best in Public Affairs award.

“We will know that this work is successful when every single comms practitioner understands and has engaged multicultural communities,” Stewart-Hawkins said. “When that’s at the forefront of every comms strategy, because that's what the world expects and needs.”

The multicultural practice has far outpaced the growth of the agency as a whole, which recorded a 17% revenue increase last year to $984.9 million, including 16% growth in the U.S. to $613.2 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2022