This month, we had the incredible opportunity to hear from Kara Kia, associate editor at POPSUGAR UK, and learn more about her journey as an editor with a diverse background and how PR practitioners can be more sensitive and proactive in the DE&I space.
Here are three key learnings for publicists and brands:
- Be proactive in thinking about DE&I – From planning to media outreach, it is important to keep DE&I top of mind to ensure that our campaigns, pitches and programmes are sensitive and inclusive of all groups. For example, when looking campaign imagery – are we showing the true range of consumers that we are targeting? Are we spotlighting a breadth of backgrounds, genders, ages and abilities? When pitching media, it’s important to ensure that all communications are tailored and personalised, which means investing time to research who we are approaching. For example, in the past, Kara has been pitched on hair or skin products that wouldn’t work for her, and by not taking the time to check if the pitch would be relevant, it can impact a PR / editor relationship. To remedy these issues, bringing in a diverse outside source or a DE&I review board to look at materials before anything goes public is immensely helpful – especially as we can get quite siloed in our work.
- Be open and receptive to feedback – As we all continue to learn to be more aware on all things DE&I, it’s incredibly important to be open and receptive to feedback, and never assume the worst. If someone has feedback around elements of a campaign and its approach to diversity – whether it’s a teammate or editor – assume we are on the same team and all trying to do better. We need to be open to learning to make a change, and becoming defensive is a roadblock in that progress.
- No one is on the outside of change – In the era of cancel culture and heightened sensitivity around DE&I topics and language (understandably so), many stray away from “tough” or “difficult” conversations because they are nervous to offend. It is important we give ourselves and others grace, and the space to make mistakes and learn. No one is on the outside of change, meaning it is all our responsibility to think about DE&I and push for a better and more inclusive future.