Goal is to Help Clients and Agencies Get it Right from the Beginning

NEW YORK (October 4, 2023) — As data confirms that diverse and inclusive agencies will outperform the marketplace, a new PR Council (PRC) publication identifies specific actions and commitments for clients and agencies to build and nurture inclusive teams.

As part of its long-term efforts to help agencies become more equitable and inclusive, the PRC and FleishmanHillard convened a cross-agency group of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) leaders. The goal: work together to find solutions to the biggest obstacles to DEI progress. After identifying the critical issue of aligning agency and client commitment to inclusive teams, the group outlined comprehensive guidance that includes best practices on the Request for Proposal (RFP)/pitch process, staffing plans, recruiting and onboarding. There is also a model accord for agencies and clients to commit to developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive team. 

Led by Natasha O’Dell Archer, Global EVP of DEI, Golin, and Carol Watson, Global Chief Inclusion Officer, BCW, this working group included Maxine Enciso, EVP, Head of DEI, Ketchum; Daria Hall, EVP, DEI and Justice Group Lead, Fenton; Laura Miller, Partner, Greentarget; Carolyn Regan, Chief People Officer, Racepoint Global; Julie Veloz, EVP, Head of Talent, Employee Experience, DEI NA, Ketchum, and Francesca Weems, SVP, FleishmanHillard. 

“Tapping DEI leaders across the industry allowed us to identify proven best practices for both agencies and clients and thoughtfully map shared commitments so we all can be truly better together,” said Archer.

The guidance focuses on the early days of partnership, where the stage is set for joint accountability between clients and agencies. According to Watson, “Our collective experience confirms that making inclusive teams a priority in the partnership from day one leads to an environment and, more importantly, work that truly moves the needle.”

Throughout the PR Council’s 25-year existence, the organization has consistently tapped experts to cull best practices and support talent.

“Our Members count on the PRC to focus on issues critical to the future of the industry, including attracting and retaining high performing and diverse talent,” said Kim Sample, PRC President. “We’re pleased to bring this guidance to agencies and clients and hope they serve as a roadmap to help our industry — and many others — accelerate progress.”

This document is the product of one of three workstreams. The other two, which are currently underway, focus on managerial competency to lead inclusive teams and best practices to measure the ROI (return on investment) of a company’s DEI efforts.

The client/agency partnership work is available here beginning Wednesday, October 4, 2023. The PR Council will host a webinar to announce the initiative with Kim Sample, Carol Watson and Natasha O’Dell Archer on Thursday, October 5th at 12:00 p.m. (ET). Registration information can be found here.


 About the PR Council
The PR Council is the only association dedicated to supporting agencies with a core competency in earned media. Through a combination of convening and advising, the PR Council aims to help Members — the leaders of 140 of the country’s premier global, mid-size, regional and specialty firms — work smarter to build more valuable agencies. To mark its 25th Anniversary in 2023, the organization is future focused on the most critical issues affecting PR agency leaders’ ability to attract and retain talent and grow client relationships and their firms.

For more information, contact:
Andi Hughes