Diversity and Inclusion

Racial and Gender-Based Differences in the Collegiate Development of Public Relations Majors: Implications for Minority Recruitment and Retention

Because of the importance of recruitment and retention of future practitioners at the college level, this project was designed to examine the collegiate development of public relations students, from an educational and social perspective, to uncover any differences based on race and gender. The study helped identify areas of need, concern and opportunity that could help improve the development of underrepresented groups, which will lead to them potentially entering the profession and advancing to management positions. Based on the findings from this study, the research team will draw conclusions and provide academic and professional recommendations that will assist in the recruitment, mentoring and retention of potential underrepresented students, which will in turn hopefully lead to an increase in diversity among practitioners entering the field.

Download Racial and Gender-Based Differences in the Collegiate Development of PR Majors (PDF)

Diversity & Inclusion Trends and Research Highlights

Why is the PR industry so far behind where it needs to be with D&I? Dr. Nilanjana Bardhan’s research showcases D&I trends throughout the 1990s and 2000s. How has the conversation shifted? The research highlights emerging themes and offers suggestions. The common denominator is leadership and leaders need to step up.

“Knowing where to look and knowing how to recruit and retain a diverse workforce are among the most critical steps in improving diversity. Diversity training, mentoring and organizational changes are also essential elements. And perhaps most important, those in leadership positions must become advocates for diversity.” (PR Coalition, 2005, p. 1)

Download Diversity & Inclusion Trends and Research Highlights (PDF)

Diversity & Inclusion: A Summary of the Current Status and Practices of Arthur W. Page Society Members

To help the public relations industry embrace a diverse and inclusive culture for recruitment and retention of talent, this study aims to understand the Arthur W. Page Society members definition of diversity and inclusion, their best diversity and inclusion management practices, in particular, the practices related to recruitment and retention of talent from under-represented groups, how they evaluate their D&I initiatives, and what makes those best practices work. This study is based on a quantitative survey of 82 members. Follow-up qualitative in-depth interviews were also conducted with selected Page members who have been effectively implementing their “best practices” activities/actions for D&I.

Download Summary of the Current Status and Practices of Arthur W. Page Society Members (PDF)

Take a look at the complete news release.

Download infographic (JPG)


Leaders exert significant influence on the success, future and image of their profession. Yet, only a few PR studies have explored this important topic.

One goal of the Plank Center is to build a research-based foundation of knowledge regarding the values, qualities and dimensions of excellent leadership, mentorship and diversity and inclusion in PR.