The Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA) and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Philadelphia) are pledging their commitment to diversity and inclusion formally, publicly and together. The organizations believe cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment is a long-term commitment to the future of the public relations profession.
Diversity is a broad concept that includes race, ethnicity, gender, religion/beliefs, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, marital status, veteran status, parental status, socioeconomic status, professional background and other unique attributes.
"As a leading professional organization, PRSA Philadelphia has the responsibility to make sure that we reflect our diverse membership and create opportunities for all to be involved," said Martha A. Gaston, APR, PRSA Philadelphia President. "We are pleased to partner with PPRA on this important Diversity and Inclusion Commitment to the public relations and communications community in the Philadelphia region."
"Being more inclusive is something that is important to the Philadelphia Public Relations Association and our members," said Nina Scimenes, PPRA President. “We are proud to have worked hand-in-hand with PRSA to solidify this commitment and put it into action through the programs and services we offer.”
Inclusion is the harnessing of diversity so everyone is valued and has the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in the profession.
The board members of both PRSA Philadelphia and PPRA will pursue diverse and inclusive environments for programs and special events.
As of June 1, each organization commits to the following goals when planning programs and special events, executing membership recruitment and retention campaigns, creating communications materials and beyond:
- Venues - Securing space that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, accessible via public transportation and is welcoming to all people.
- Speakers - When securing speakers for programs or special events - especially for roundtable or panel discussions featuring multiple people - be sure to keep in mind a healthy balance of diversity.
- Menus - Will take dietary restrictions into consideration when planning event menus and will provide attendees an opportunity to make a special request when registering for an event or program.
- Communications - When creating messaging on behalf of the organization - from social media posts to newsletters to news releases - be mindful of using language and images that are culturally sensitive and appropriate.
Moving forward, each association will continuously strive to be as inclusive as possible by weaving diversity into the fabric of its day-to-day operations.
About the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA):
Founded in 1945, PPRA is the premier association for public relations professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. With nearly 345 active members representing a diverse cross section of businesses and non-profit organizations—including arts and culture, film and television, education, government, healthcare, law, sports, science and technology, philanthropy, tourism and hospitality, and much more—PPRA is one of the region’s pre-eminent professional development organizations. To learn more about PPRA, visit www.ppra.net.
About the Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Philadelphia):
The Philadelphia Chapter is the fifth largest chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. We provide opportunities for professional development, mentoring, networking and continuous learning in all strategic communication disciplines to 430 members across Greater Philadelphia.
PRSA Philadelphia supports PR and communications professionals in all stages of their career and offers a myriad of resources, including the region’s preeminent PR job bank, the exclusive opportunity to earn the APR professional accreditation, professional development and networking events, and volunteer opportunities. To learn more about PRSA Philadelphia, visit www.philly.org.
Meredith Z. Avakian
Past President Appointment, PPRA
Diversity & Inclusion Initiative
Chair, PRSA Philadelphia
Diversity & Inclusion Committee