BWPR interviewed women working in PR about their experiences as practitioners and were asked to share their thoughts on how young black women could be encouraged to choose PR as a career. Here’s what they said:
“Creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. For anybody to succeed in the industry going forward, those are the three critical skills that they need to come in with. I’m not sure if studying PR as this standalone thing will be very useful.” — Nelisa Ngqulana, PR Trends ZA
“I think it’s about being aware of PR as a role, job, career, what it means, what’s achievable and that’s part of the challenge. PR isn’t just the absolutely fabulous type, darling swigging champagne. It’s not necessarily the spin doctors of Alastair Campbell or the celebrity publicist. There are some stereotypes that do still exist and people need to know that you can actually build and craft a credible career in PR. It’s about finding out more about it, not being afraid to ask questions too. So those of us who are in PR, we need to make sure that we are actually going out to people to let them know about PR as a career option and then helping them to see the different things that are out there. Helping them to know there are black women working in PR and at the same time, if people are interested in it, just because they might not necessarily see many black women within the industry they shouldn’t that be put off. If somebody is interested in working in PR, asking questions, speaking to relevant people, that’s where again, we come in, in terms of being happy to answer those questions.” — Claire Quansah
“I think overall there is a lot of women of colour who do go into PR and it is a very viable career. There are also lots of [black women] in the sector, but we haven’t all come together. Because of the nature of PR and media, social media today with easily accessible negativity around black people, black culture, black women, black families, the next generation of young black PR women could counteract this negativity through digital media and by also being the single voice is the workplace, in meetings that influences change.’“ — Nana Anto-Awuakye
Answers were edited for brevity and clarity.