By Gwen Earle, OCPRSA – Co-Chair Programs
As we celebrate Black History Month, I want to share three keys of success for Black PR professionals:
Be willing to learn from others with more experience than you and identify a mentor or role model. We can all learn a great deal from PR pros who can share the good, the bad and the ugly. Learn about Black PR Pioneers with content from The Museum of Public Relations, and tune into their free event “Celebrating Black PR History” on February 9 at 3 p.m. PT (register here). Also, consider ways to broaden your PR knowledge through degree programs and continuing education. If you’ve been working in communications for at least five years, consider deepening your industry knowledge by pursuing your Accreditation in Public Relations.
Stay current on industry trends
Ensure that your PR skills remain relevant and help to elevate your career. Read local and national newspapers, PR trade publications, and key social media sites. Consider joining PR LinkedIn groups.
Expand your connections
Join and engage with professional organizations such as the Public Relations of Society of America, which has local chapters nationwide. Attend educational programs such as online seminars and panel discussions. I had a mentor who recommended that I join OCPRSA to connect with other PR pros within my community. It has proven to be a very beneficial learning experience where I have met some terrific PR pros who have been extremely supportive. As a result, I now serve on the Board of Directors as the Co-Chair of Programs.
In addition, there is the National Black Public Relations Society which provides mentorship, networking, job opportunities, internships and career strategies for professionals in private, government and non-profit industries. There are also affiliate chapters to connect with local PR pros.
As the Director of Community Engagement for the Better Business Bureau serving the Pacific Southwest, I’m a firm believer in staying connected with your local community. Find ways to use your PR skills in support of the Black Community, which includes engaging with Black-owned businesses. It was Coretta Scott King who said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate action of its members.” Want to learn more about PRSA’s diversity and inclusion efforts? Click here to see the D&I Toolkit.