My new CommPRO.biz article, Black History Month: A Time to Walk the Black Lives Matter Talk, starts with a question: Did your company/agency issue a statement or post support for Black Lives Matter?
It asks whether or not communicators, agencies and professionals plan to walk the talk by attending or organizing Black History Month events to discuss the contributions of black PR professionals to the industry.
Many leaders and professionals recognize that their expressions of solidarity as well as commitments to equality and ending anti-black racism, need to go beyond words to actions.
Every year I have been surprised at the modest number of PR professionals who were not African American attending Black History Month events I have joined. On the sidelines of one event, I asked a senior African American media relations professional why more white colleagues had not joined. She told me that a common refrain was that it wasn’t an event “for them.”
In the CommPRO article I write: “With the Black Lives Matter protests still fresh and raw, the majority white PR community’s engagement around Black History Month will be a litmus test of whether or not those who claim to be “woke” are truly awake. Those who say they are allies cannot claim this moral high ground unless they are prepared to walk the talk toward it.”
The article encourages communicators to take the time this month to attend a virtual Black History Month event, to learn about the African American professionals who have done so much to shape the industry, and to “join the ranks of professionals in the industry who, through their actions, will leave the industry stronger than they found it”.
Attending the Museum of Public Relations’ free 2021 Black History Event on Tuesday, February 9 is just one of a number of ways corporate communications departments, agencies, and professionals can step up and support greater diversity in the PR industry.
Simon Erskine Locke is CEO of communications agency and professional search and services platform, CommunicationsMatch™. He is a regular contributor to CommPRO.biz and vice president of the Foreign Press Association. Search for Agencies, Professionals & Service providers. Create a profile on CommunicationsMatch.