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How Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Impacts Journalism and Public Relations

Welcome to a new era where diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are no longer just buzzwords, but fundamental pillars shaping the success of organizations in every sector. In fact, a recent McKinsey & Co. study shows that companies in the top quartile for being ethnically and culturally diverse are 36% more profitable than competitors in the lower quartiles.

Media professionals, including editorial journalists, public relations and marketing executives, and social media managers, have the distinct responsibility and opportunity to embrace DEI principles in their practice. This allows organizations to create more inclusive, impactful, and authentic storytelling and communication strategies.

In this blog, we will delve into the ways DEI can shape journalism and public relations, and how DEI revolutionizes storytelling, expands reach, and further promotes social change.

A Different Perspective
DEI in journalism allows a range of viewpoints to be told and reduces the chance of bias. This begins on the backend, with diverse newsrooms and PR teams, and extends to the companies and people whose stories we tell.

Diverse teams bring a variety of insights, experiences and knowledge to the table, resulting in thoughtful and comprehensive strategies and campaigns and more informed decision making. Actively promoting inclusivity in storytelling leads to more comprehensive and accurate coverage, and helps to reduce perpetuation of stereotypes and misinformation.

A Bigger, More Trusting Audience
It’s no secret that the public is becoming more apprehensive about mainstream news outlets. Terms like “media scare tactics” and “fake news” have quickly entered the English lexicon in recent years, and to be sure, we’re all guilty of telling friends we “read something somewhere” that we actually just saw on TikTok. In fact, Pew Research recently found that “adults under 30 are now almost as likely to trust information from social media sites as they are to trust information from national news outlets.”

Diverse and inclusive media coverage allows us to cater to more cultures, backgrounds and identities, and reach a wider audience. As society grows more diverse each day, audiences expect to see themselves represented, and marginalized groups often feel underrepresented or misrepresented. Actively seeking out diverse sources and voices in coverage allows media professionals to better understand and accurately communicate these stories, expanding readership and fostering more trust with the audience.

A Greater Impact on Social Change
At their core, all DEI initiatives share the common goal of bringing awareness and advocating against injustices and systemic barriers in our societies and workplaces.

Media has the power to change the world, and DEI initiatives expand that power to create positive social change. The news can shed light on social injustices and amplify underrepresented voices, which, when told with sensitivity and accuracy, will start meaningful conversations that lead to action and change.

Historically, public perception and societal attitudes are heavily influenced by what people read in the media. When media embrace DEI and share diverse stories with empathy and respect, we can bridge gaps between different communities, break down stereotypes and create a greater sense of understanding and community for readers. 

DEI in journalism and public relations is not only a strategic advantage, but also morally essential. By embracing DEI principles and engaging with DEI holidays and events, communicators have the power to revolutionize storytelling, expand reach and amplify audiences. Diverse perspectives bring new dimensions to narratives, challenging biases and providing a more comprehensive understanding of the world.

Most importantly, DEI in journalism and PR drives social change by shedding light on injustices, giving voice to marginalized communities, and inspiring collective action. Through the lens of DEI, journalism and public relations can truly fulfill their transformative potential, reshaping narratives and promoting a more equitable and inclusive society.

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