‘PR industry can’t fulfil its potential until the talent pool is broadened’: PRCA launches school outreach programme

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) announced a school outreach programme at its 50th anniversary celebrations in November 2019.

Developed by the PRCA’s Diversity Network, led by co-chairs Pema Seely and Rax Lakhani, the school outreach programme will provide practitioners with the assets and resources they need to visit schools, introduce students to PR, and drive awareness of PR as a career option.

The initiative also comes with a rallying cry from the PRCA to its corporate members, with an announcement that the association will name and praise all those who pledge to take part.

Pema Seely said: “Our key purpose here is to educate young minds from all backgrounds about PR and communications as a career path, so it’s considered early on. The school outreach programme is focused on educating children and their parents or guardians in order to future-proof the talent pipeline, and ensure that the industry is more accessible than ever.”

Speaking at the 50th party, Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA, said: “The latest diversity figures in our census reveal that only one in ten practitioners are from ethnic minority backgrounds, or from families that received income support when they were children. And that only 4% of those surveyed considered themselves to have a disability. The status quo is inexcusable. Our industry will not reach its potential until we broaden our talent pool.”

“The school outreach programme will include an educational toolkit, designed to encourage schoolchildren to think about a career in PR, as well as a video featuring interviews with a diverse range of PR professionals talking about what PR can offer.”

“We won’t stop there though. We want to encourage as many of our members as possible to go in and speak to school students about public relations, so we’ll be asking each corporate member to commit to going to one school a year, and naming and praising those that do.”

“We’ll be sending the toolkit to members to ensure that they have everything they need to inspire the next generation of PR professionals.”

Do you have a school in mind you feel might benefit from one of these visits? Email koray.camgoz@prca.org.uk to suggest it, and we will take it from there!

For information about PRCA’s PR apprenticeship programme:

Web: www.prca.org.uk/careers/pr-apprenticeship

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Email: prapprentice@prca.org.uk

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