The comms profession has a problem.
OK – before you get out your own laundry list, the particular problem I want to talk about today is diversity. Diversity amongst comms professionals and amongst comms leaders. And I really should say ‘problems’, because thinking about diversity as a single issue is not at all helpful. And I really should say ‘lack of diversity’ because that’s the real challenge here.
The PRCA and CIPR, to name just two organisations, have done some brilliant work over the years to understand and expose inequality of representation in the PR and comms profession as a whole. Take a look at the PRCA ‘PR and Communications Census’ or CIPR’s ‘State of the Profession’ reports.
What I want to know is, does our world of local public sector communications, have the same problems as the wider PR profession?
To create that inclusive future, we need to understand the situation in the present.
We can look at the research done across the PR industry as a whole and we can look around our own professional networks and draw our own conclusions about how diverse our profession is. But, in order to develop and invest in effective actions to encourage equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in our profession, we need specific the evidence to guide our plans.
So, LGcomms is launching the first ever EDI survey of local public sector communications professionals.
This new survey is the latest step in our commitment to prioritise Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in our organisation and our industry. In 2020, we introduced a diversity and inclusion mission statement along with actions we’re taking to tackle inequality. This survey has been developed as part of this ongoing work and the results will be used to support our aim of creating an inclusive future for public sector communications.
We want to understand the numbers – the demographic breakdown by protected characteristics, asking, how well does our profession reflect the communities we serve?
We also want to understand your experience. Particularly if you identify with specific characteristics, and if this has affected your career and working experience. Are there glass ceilings? Where are they? Who do they affect?
By its nature, in this survey we’re asking for some sensitive and personal information. You can be assured that your responses will be confidential and will only be used to build an anonymised dataset.
Armed with that comprehensive and representative dataset, we can ensure that we’re doing the right things to increase inclusion, reduce injustice and celebrate our differences.
So, please respond to our survey and share it. The more responses we get, the richer and more reliable the information we can take out, and better information will mean a more effective and informed plan to redress the imbalances we discover.
Michael Moore is Head of Communications at Cheshire East Council