CIPR argues business case for greater diversity

The CIPR’s diversity group has pledged to promote the commercial value of diversity in the industry at its first meeting with new chair Chris Genasi.

Genasi, CEO of Eloqui Public Relations and last year's CIPR president, said:  'PR companies should not employ a diverse workforce because it is politically correct, but because it is good for business.' He argued that a lack of diversity left the
industry insufficiently prepared when trying to identify, and communicate with, certain minority groups.

'Unlike advertising, PR is extremely good at micro-targeting, so there is huge opportunity for growth in this area,' he added.

Genasi said he planned to commission research that would demonstrate how much the industry could benefit in commercial terms.

At the end of last year, a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research showed that 6.5 per cent of PROs had an ethnic minority background (10.9 per cent in-house and 5.5 per cent agency) compared with eight per cent of the UK population.

However, almost half of all PROs work in London and the South-East, where the population is almost 30 per cent ethnic minority (PRWeek, 10 Nov 2005).

The CIPR launched the diversity group last summer (PRWeek, 22 July 2005). Last year's chair was Anne Gregory, director of PR Studies at Leeds Met University.

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