Black PR Pros Make Progress, But Still Hit Glass Ceiling

Black PR Pros Make Progress, But Still Hit Glass Ceiling

Originally Posted on 11/8/2016 Written by Editorial Staff

A white paper released by the National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. shows that while black PR practitioners are making progress in mid- and senior-level positions in the PR industry, they are still unable to break into the executive suite.

NBPRS – State of the PR Industry white paper“There’s no speaking about jobs and contracts without addressing the lack of blacks at the senior level in agencies and corporations, and systematic programs in place to correct the situation,” Deborah Hyman, Immediate past president, National Black Public Relations Society, Inc., said.

Of the 20.6 percent of respondents working in the corporate sector, none were executive level professionals, senior vice presidents or chief communication officers.

At PR agencies, 14 percent had entry level positions and 18 percent were at the mid-level in positions such as account executive (7 percent), account coordinator (7 percent), director (11 percent) and manager (11 percent).

Of those surveyed, 23.8 percent were on the agency side and 20.6 percent were on the corporate side. 22 percent reported as self-employed.

Only 1.1 percent replied that they were unemployed.

The 199 respondents to the online survey included those self-identifying as African-American, bi-racial – white/black, black, black British, black/African Brazilian, Hispanic/black/Native American, black Puerto Rican, Caribbean, Latina, mixed, multicultural and Nubian.

They came from a wide variety of public relations and communications specializations including PR, media relations, corporate communications, social media, public affairs and educators.

About 75 percent had graduate degrees, 60 percent began their career in public relations, about 13 percent spoke a foreign language and the ages ranged from 18 to 74, with about 35 percent in the 35 to 44 years-old age range. 71 percent were female, 29% male.

Sizes of the companies worked for ranged from no other employees to more than 50,000.

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