Setting the Standards: Pay Equity and Zero Tolerance on Harassment

“Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future” – Steve Jobs

Was there ever a more exciting time to be in the public relations industry? I think not. We, the agency community, are influencing the future of our field, as the marketplace continues to transform. And, with activity in the United States evolving every day from the #metoo movement to government events on the national and international stage to citizen activists taking action – no one can complain about a slow news cycle. All of this and Pay Equity Day around the corner!

I shared at the end of 2017, the PR Council’s (PRC) updated mission which features ‘cementing our relevance and leading the industry evolution’ and our three strategic focal points: 1) set the standards; 2) grow the market for PR services & beyond; and 3) lead the evolution. I’d like to give you an update on how we are tracking and take this opportunity to share the PRC’s point of view on Pay Equity and Harassment in the Workplace, as they tie into our strategic focal points.

Set the Standards – Pay Equity & ZERO Tolerance for Workplace Harassment

I’m pleased to report that the PRC Board has created a statement on the importance of gender Pay Equity located here and a set of 10 Principles to Guide the Conversation here for agencies to use with their own workforce. As an industry, it is important that we take this issue seriously as nothing is more valuable than our talent. Additionally, there will be a workshop on Pay Equity, on April 18 in NYC, at Seyfarth Shaw, and available to Members outside of NY via webinar. As an industry that is 70% female, it is imperative that we take a stand on this issue.

Another standard that must be considered is our position on creating and maintaining a healthy workplace environment. Again, our PRC Board has written a Zero Tolerance statement for our Member Agencies to align to and share proudly with their workforces. Additionally, working with Frankfurt Kurnit & Selz we have created a sample ‘model policy’ for agencies to adopt if they do not have one. However, for those Member Agencies that already have something in place, we are asking that it be consistent with the intent of this model policy.

We are the counsellors to the many clients of our nation and around the world. We need to do the right thing and walk the walk on both of these issues.

Grow the Market for PR Services & Beyond – PR Training for CMOs & CMO Club Research

As we all know, the skills and capabilities of our agency industry have served the Chief Communications Officers, Public Affairs Officers and PR Managers for decades. The PR practitioner is critical for reputation, issue and crisis management. However, we can do more, and new types of clients within the business enterprise are in need of our brand building abilities as well as reputation management. They are the clients within the marketing function eg, Chief Marketing Officers, Marketing Directors and Brand Managers. Working with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), we will offer a special workshop on “Conquering PR’s New Role in the Modern Day Marketing Mix” for their members. This is a great opportunity for other functions within the enterprise to better understand what an agency with earned/PR at the core can do, and where to find our agencies.

Additionally, we are in the process of fielding a research study with the CMO Club, an international organization of senior marketing leaders, called “What is earned media’s role in the integrated marketing mix – in the “era of unthinkables”? The purpose of this study is to shine a light on how the marketing mix has changed and what new types of services are needed. This research report will include six, in-depth, different CMO’s views on public relations and the future. Stay tuned…..

Lead the Evolution – Data & Analytics Workshops & Webinars

We are the agency community of the industry. We have a role to play for our clients and that is to serve and lead them. No one can deny that mastering the use of data and analytics is critical for strategic counsel. Most agencies say that they are doing this, and if that is the case, great. However for some reason we are not coming across that way as a whole. Therefore, working with our Data & Analytics Community, we are discussing ways to help us lead the evolution in our industry. One immediate way is our Data E-learning Series offered online, as well as our Driving Decisions with Analytics Workshop in April. All information on these programs can be found online. Again, we must walk the walk here. Stay tuned for information on our first PRC Hackathon, which also will help spotlight how we as an industry can tackle problem solving.

The above is just a snapshot of how we are bringing our new mission and strategic focal points to life at the end of Q1. There is much more happening at the PRC and we want to hear from you! If you have thoughts as to how to help our industry cement our relevance and lead the evolution, drop me a line. We are all influencing the future, and our actions have never been more important.


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