PR & Communications News South Africa

Survey released to understand diversity and inclusion in PR and communications

A new survey has been sent out by BHM Research and Intelligence (BHM R&I) to understand equity, diversity and inclusion (DEI) in the field of Public Relations.

A global problem

DEI remains a significant global challenge, with the representation and proper recognition of women in the workplace as one of the main issues. It will take sub-Saharan Africa 95 years and 140 years for the Middle East and North Africa compared with Western Europe at 54 years, to achieve parity based on a study of 153 countries as reported by the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap report.

Although there has been significant progress in gender equality and diversity, there is a massive opportunity to include marginalised and diverse individuals, differently-abled persons, neurodivergent persons, and persons from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds in the PR and communications industry.

In addition to the critical questions about inclusion and diversity, the Africa PR and Communications Report survey includes six groups of 31 questions developed based on insights from focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews with industry professionals conducted in four African countries. It has been designed to identify and address some of the most critical global and continental issues affecting the practice of PR and communications on the continent.

Weighing in

Professionals across multiple fields will be encouraged to weigh in on these issues and propose solutions that can help build structures for the rapidly growing industry.

The survey will gather responses from 54 countries, enabling the report to foster a more comprehensive understanding of the wider industry and the African PR and communications landscape. The APCR will also highlight opportunities and challenges in the market, assess the impact of social media and digital channels, and predict the industry's future. Also considered in crafting the survey instrument will be insights into the African market for businesses looking to expand or enter the African market.

APCR Chair Ayeni Adekunle says, “The PR and communications industry will benefit from including more women, persons with disability and persons with cultural differences. We have seen over time that companies with ethnic and gender-diverse workforces outperform other companies in terms of profitability and talent retention.

We are hopeful that the APCR survey will provide crucial insights that will allow us to see how we are integrating DEI in the industry. Also help business owners and critical decision-makers see at a glance, loopholes that need addressing in terms of diversity and inclusion.”

Helping Africa

“In business generally, and particularly in the practice of public relations and communications in Africa, it is important that we address critical issues like diversity, equity and inclusion. We live on a continent with a female population of roughly 50%, yet we are not yet fully represented across senior management and boards. Now more than ever, we should be aware and appreciate the different biases that exist and the critical role that communications will play in bridging the existing gaps,” Moliehi Molekoa, managing director, Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants and APCR Adviser, advised.

The APCR committee includes Stephen Waddington, managing partner, Wadds Inc.; Eniola Harrison, co-founder, Africa Communications Week; and Femi Falodun, CEO, ID Africa.

APCR is in partnership with 21 associations, schools and companies across ten countries.

With this report, BHM R&I seeks to foster an in-depth understanding of the world’s business, tech, commercial and communications landscape from Africa’s unique perspective. APCR will assist industry practitioners in making decisions that are not just data-driven but also objective-focused.

With sufficient data and insight and enough documentation of processes in the industry continent-wide, PR and communications experts will provide the strategic advisory required to improve that narrative around Africa.

Let's do Biz