Elections, Voter Suppression, Megyn Kelly, Intel, CFO Magazine, Diversity in PR plus more

We are less than a week away from the midterm elections and I hope the turnout reflects the energy I have seen online. Having said that, watch this interview with Chiqui Cartagena, on how both parties and many candidates do not understand Latino voters. Or this from NPR  about how candidates like Beto O’Rourke, who is running for the Senate in Texas, need to mobilize Latino voters to win. There is also this from Meet The Press in which Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez says, “you don’t win in #Texas unless you’re talking to brown and black voters.”

I like to keep an informal inventory of who is advertising on Univision while I watch its programming. For example, this week during the 10 pm telenovela, I was surprised to see mostly negative ads against the Democrats, note I live in Miami. In other words – there were was only one ad for a Democratic candidate. It will be interesting to see if any party or candidate understands the opportunities, and challenges, of engaging with this important segment which is very diverse. Another important story to follow next week will be voter suppression efforts which predominantly impact racial minorities, here is a good Washington Post piece on this specific issue. I’m proud to say that I’ve already voted – it was easy and seamless. 

Last week NBC canceled Megyn Kelly Today because of Kelly’s comments regarding “blackface,” so here is this from Nicholas Pearce, another recommended read, titled “Megyn Kelly’s ‘blackface’ comment shows workplace diversity isn’t enough.”

Here are additional stories that I am following this week including this from Forbes titled “Seven Ways To Close The Diversity And Inclusion Gap That Are Easier Than You Think,” “How To Improve Gender Diversity In Entertainment Through Social Networking,” “Making progress on tech’s diversity problem: A female founder’s take on the current situation” and “Intel Hits an Internal Goal for Workforce Diversity.” Bernard Coleman III wrote this on four diversity and inclusion disruptors in the workplace (one of my favorite topics) and here is this from CFO Magazine titled “The Economic Case for Diversity.”

I want to end this post with this video shared by a friend, Jeff Weintraub, “in memory of the victims and in honor of the wounded of Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh PA.”

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

PRWeek 40 Under 40, Board Diversity, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Beth Ford, LeBron James & More

Every industry has “power” or “leadership” lists, conferences and events that are important validators, provide access and awareness and can be important both for companies and for individuals. Yes these are competitive. Yes they are time consuming. Yes many require an investment in time and many times funding.  Why are they important? You see those that are being recognized are getting access and potentially more opportunities. Representation matters. That is why every time we see a list, a panel or industry awards that lacks diversity we speak up. I’ve seen several lists recently that make me wonder what the barriers for having more diversity are – i.e. Adweek Power List. The most recent one PRWeek 40 Under 40. Now if you look at this year’s list, it is diverse, and according to editorial director Steve Barrett, it is the most diverse. However, I do wonder why there seems to be only one Hispanic and one Asian American on the list, especially if you look at the demographics. Steve says he sees this as an anomaly if you look at previous years. I believe him as I’ve seen first-hand PRWeek’s commitment to diversity, in fact they produced one of the best videos on the topic for the PR industry, so my questions in this instance are more to those that nominate professionals in our industry. Also, don’t get me wrong – yes every individual on that list deserves to be there. I am also not advocating for quotas, that would be a mistake, but I go back to the numbers and demographics. If this generation is more diverse, and if as I’ve been told, we are seeing more entry level diverse individuals in PR, why is this not reflected in this list? Are there barriers we are not thinking of? Could this impact the pipeline of Hispanic or Asian American talent in leadership roles in PR? Food for thought.

Board diversity continues to be another issue, and something getting coverage today because of CBS, this from the New York Times: “Mr. Moonves, 68, has been the chairman of the CBS board since 2016, and the majority of its 14 members started their tenures after he was appointed chief executive in 2006. Three of the 14 are women, and the board’s average age is 73.” Here is this 2017 report from Deloitte on board diversity, a recommended read. Also some good organizations to follow and work with on board diversity include Women Corporate Directors, The Executive Leadership Council, The Latino Corporate Directors Association and Ascend.

Other stories I am following this week, this Annenberg study that highlights the ongoing diversity issues in Hollywood, Latino leaders asking for Paramount boycott, “Venture Capitals Diversity Disaster,”and this from Forbes, “‘I Want To Hire Someone Who Is Nothing Like Me’: An Entrepreneur’s Approach To Diversity.”

Congratulations to Beth Ford, named Land O’Lakes president and CEO and breaking new barriers. I love this, “Two Kenyan Entrepreneurs Create and Afrocentric Stock Photo Marketplace,”  and of course the new LeBron James school. Watch his CNN interview here. Also congratulations to Jorge Plasencia and Ilia Calderon being honored by HPRA this year!

ICYMI “Your Career, Your Terms” is a resource for women. Created by Perry Yeatman she has great interviews that, as the site describes “provides insights and inspiration to help ambitious women have the careers and lives of their dreams.” Don’t miss the second season of “Your Career, Your Terms: Pivot Points.”

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Black History Month, Super Bowl, #3percentSB, Being Black in PR & more

This month we celebrate Black History Month and if you want to learn more about this celebration visit the History Channel’s site. Many companies focus this month in celebrating the contributions of African Americans both with internal and external audiences but looking at the demographics you would think it should be more than a month.  I do agree that this is a great opportunity to engage and celebrate but be sure you engage with your resource/affinity groups and with leaders who understand the community in building programs that are not just a month-long celebration.

This is also an opportunity to look at the present and future, as well as the impact of the community. From black purchasing power, to the small business impact, to the importance of the black vote as seen in the Alabama election and to the entertainment impact, with the most recent example being  Black Panther. If you missed the red carpet premiere, as this article states, it was a glorious celebration.

Yet when it comes to celebrating diversity, many companies still get it wrong both internally and externally. Look at the RAM Trucks Super Bowl commercial, and yes the estate approved the use of Dr. Martin Luther King’s voice, but it goes back to the question of representation. Did the brand or advertising team have any diversity on the team? Did they have colleagues who felt empowered to flag that there may be an issue? This is why it’s important. Your intent may be good, and I am sure it was, but if you do not understand the audience or the sensitivities, you are not being authentic and will have bigger issues to manage. The negative response on social was swift and reflected overall in the coverage in outlets including the New York Times, ABC and CBS to name a few. This is from AdAge on the brand defending the ad.

Staying on the Super Bowl topic, if you did not follow the 3 Percent Conference Super Bowl Tweetup, you should have. In fact all marketers should do a search using the #3percentSB hashtag, you will find great insights. Participants applied the three percent test to the commercials, which is:
1. Is there a woman?
2. Is she defying stereotypes?
3. Is she the hero?

I did watch each commercial differently this year as I followed the Tweetup. 

This past week PRWeek released this fantastic video on “Being Black in PR.” Watch it. Share it. Use it internally. I could relate to so many of the points made and congratulate Perry Simpson and everyone who worked on it and contributed their voice to a very important resource.

It seems there is a weekly report issued on why diversity matters, here is this one from Harvard Business Review titled “How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance.” It includes some great data and, as it says, hopefully motivation for increasing diversity. It found that “the most-diverse enterprises were also the most innovative, as measured by the freshness of their revenue mix.”  And then there is also what seems like a weekly report regarding the lack of diversity in an industry or sector, here is this one titled “Academic Medicine Needs More Women Leaders.”

This week’s ICYMI story is one that hopefully inspires you. Titled “Code Breakers: Computer science has a girl problem and Reshma Saujani MPP 1999 is fixing it,” the piece profiles Reshma Saujani and Girls Who Code, which has taught coding to more than 40,000 girls.

Finally, last week I shared this list of upcoming conferences which will be updated periodically. If there are other events to include or to highlight, please do not hesitate to send my way.  

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash