Diversity in the U.S. PR industry is a poor reflection of fast-changing societal demographics. Inclusion is an equally important concern. Research on leadership in general emphasizes the crucial role of leadership for successful diversity and inclusion (D&I) results. However, there is a lack of substantial research on the relationship between public relations leadership and D&I. Drs. Nilanjana Bardhan, Craig Engstrom and Karla Gower address this gap through a narrative analysis of accounts from leaders and practitioners in non-leadership positions regarding their perceptions of D&I and the role of leadership.
Findings show that first, and supporting previous evidence, leaders see themselves as performing much better on D&I than those not in leadership positions. Second, the D&I story is stuck in time. It is, in fact, a tired, repetitive and struggling narrative in danger of turning into a negative one. Thus, we recommend some strategies to leaders for re-storying D&I in public relations for better outcomes.
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