In this week’s episode of PR Talk, Amy speaks with Neil Foote, President and CEO of Foote Communications and president of the National Black Public Relations Society. The two dive into his insights on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and reigniting the George Floyd Moment, the return on investment (ROI) of DEI and ways everyone can take part.
The precursor to this conversation was what Neil wrote in a 2023 PR predictions blog post for Muck Rack:
“In 2023, we must reignite the George Floyd Moment. Many companies issued statements and hired or promoted people to lead their diversity efforts. Over the past two years, the flurry of activity has begun to wane. The well-intentioned comments and initiatives have led to only minimal gains.
The new year will require an intense, renewed effort of PR executives and all organizations advocating for DEI to push for not only greater accountability, but real, measurable and impactful actions: hiring, retaining and promoting diverse professionals,” Neil wrote.
Addressing the Elephant in the Room
Just a couple of years after many companies made statements about increasing DEI efforts, the data reveals a noticeable shortfall. Much of these well-intentioned efforts are getting lost in new workplace trends, budget cuts and many other global issues. The problem is that DEI is not a fleeting trend, but rather an indispensable strategic tool that businesses must embrace to ensure long-term sustainability.
Integrating DEI Efforts for ROI
Despite the growing recognition of DEI as a critical priority for businesses, many companies are still implementing one-off initiatives. However, as Neil points out, for DEI to create a meaningful impact, it must be integrated throughout every facet of a business — from HR and marketing to PR and leadership — just like any other strategic business plan. By committing to DEI efforts, companies can generate a return on investment that is truly significant.
Accountability is on Everyone
Collaborating with everyone involved in DEI efforts is a crucial step towards progress. Company leaders are making the decisions, but it is the collective responsibility of everyone to continuously urge their companies towards action. It is also important that companies who have made commitments follow through and deliver tangible results.
Tune in to hear more actionable steps for individuals to incorporate and examples discussed during the interview!
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About the Guest: Neil Foote
Neil Foote is an entrepreneurial media executive, author and educator with experience in journalism, public relations, marketing, branding, education, publishing, radio and the internet. He is a principal lecturer at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas and the president and CEO of Foote Communications, a full service integrated public relations marketing and communications-consulting firm based in Dallas.
Neil is the president of the National Black Public Relations Society, Inc., the former board chair of the National Kidney Foundation serving North Texas, board secretary for Forefront Living, and a Life Trustee for The Lamplighter School.
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This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon
Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.