Tanya Joseph and Robert Phillips to head up PRCA's newly-launched Diversity Network

London, 30 January 2013 – Two PR heavyweights are calling on the industry to join them in opening up access to the communications profession, by launching the PRCA Diversity Network.

The Network’s Chairman is Tanya Joseph MPRCA, Director of Business Partnerships at Sport England, and its Vice-chairman is Robert Phillips MPRCA, former President and CEO of Edelman EMEA.

Tanya said: “I believe that the question of diversity will be integral to the success or failure of the PR industry in the next five years. Only with a workforce that is truly representative of the nation will we be taken seriously. This is a call to arms and we challenge PRCA members who want to see this happen to join our Network and get involved in enabling the next generation of PR talent. I look forward to working with Robert, the PRCA, and other groups working towards a more representative industry.”

Tanya was formerly a press officer to Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister, and has been Managing Director of Public Affairs at Grayling and The Communication Group. Tanya is a current trustee of the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading campaign for equality between women and men.

Robert is the co-author of Citizen Renaissance and an Honorary Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, London. Robert was previously UK CEO of Edelman and was the co-founder of Jackie Cooper Public Relations.

Robert commented: “Diversity and access to opportunity are two of the most important structural issues facing our industry. I am proud to be associated with this project. This is not just a question of racial diversity, but also one of age, gender equality and disability. We cannot serve properly clients, companies and brands if our own teams do not fully reflect communities and society today.”

The Network has been launched following the closure of Ignite PR, the networking group that worked to create diversity in communications.

In 2011, the PRCA established an independent Access Commission that last year provided a number of recommendations for the PRCA to enact. These included the publication of Intern Guidelines which the PRCA published earlier this month, calling for all interns to be paid the national minimum wage.

The new Diversity Network will continue to fulfil the Access Commission recommendations while also agreeing other proactive plans for removing barriers into PR, and working alongside other groups such as the CIPR’s Diversity Working Group.

Ketchum CEO and CIPR Diversity Working Group member Avril Lee said: “I warmly welcome the creation of the PRCA’s Diversity Network and look forward to working with them. The news that the CIPR and PRCA will be seeking to work together on this future critical issue is inspirational and demonstrates how important it is that we bring about positive change in PR diversity.”

Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General, said: “It is fantastic to have such prestigious names tackle what we currently see as the salient issue in public relations. Since establishing the Access Commission we have launched a campaign against unpaid internships and set up the first ever PR Apprenticeship Scheme, and this new Network gives us a great platform to build on these achievements.” 

PRCA members who want to get involved should contact PRCA Communications Director Matt Cartmell at matt.cartmell@prca.org.uk.


Notes to editors

For more information on the PRCA Diversity Network, please contact matt.cartmell@prca.org.uk on 020 7233 6026.

About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 300 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 150 UK consultancies. We also represent over 100 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.




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