Opinion: PR needs to be more inclusive

Cicero Group exec: PR needs to be more inclusive

Iain Anderson, Cicero Group‘s executive chairman and committee member at LGBT+ PR networking group InterComms, discusses whether PR is inclusive enough and how communicators can help support the LGBT+ community. 


What inspired you to go into PR?

I was a journalist and a political adviser, so PR was just an obvious step. I love being in the heart of the news debate and PR is just about that for me.

How welcoming is the PR industry to the LGBT+ community?

I think the PR sector looks superficially welcoming – like other creative industries – but I think it needs to do much more to support LGBT+ people on an ongoing basis with mentoring and opportunities.

How would you rate diversity in the industry?

I think the sector needs to do more. There is a straitjacket of conformity sometimes – whether it be the black t-shirt or the suit – which can be off-putting for some. More visible action from industry leaders and talent teams is vital now. We are at a good point, but more needs to happen. I’m interested in people’s ideas first and foremost.

As a communicator, how effectively do you feel brands and other organisations communicate with the LGBT+ community? Can some brands be cynical with their attempts to appeal to the community?

Like most LGBT+ people, I hate ‘rainbow-wash’ brands jumping on the bandwagon with ZERO commitment to supporting LGBT+ employees or customers. But I really want to encourage firms that want to do the right thing and are a little afraid about how to do it. Let’s not call them out for using the wrong words sometimes. Let’s help them get it right as professional communicators.

What does Pride Month and the Pride celebration mean to you?

It’s a visible and tangible celebration of acceptance – no exceptions. Over my life seeing Pride grow has been fantastic.

Related Posts
PR News in Brief
PR news round-up (5-16 November)
Here’s a bumper round-up of the last two weeks’ PR news, featuring our CommsCon content, the PRCA National Awards and wins for Smarts Communicate and Citypress. [...]
Cision Innovation Lab will provide the science to complement communicators’ art
Cision Innovation Lab will provide the science to complement communicators’ art
The Cision Innovation Lab is developing technology to fuel the future of PR and comms, Cision’s, David Barker, president of data solutions and innovation, and Kaila Garrison, [...]
CommsCon What journalists want
Daily Mirror’s Nada Farhoud: The relationship is the most important thing
Taking the time to build and maintain relationships is the key ingredient to successful PR-journalist relations. That was one of the key takeaways from the What journalists [...]
KFC’s Jenny Packwood: Fill the crisis communications vacuum with positive news
KFC’s Jenny Packwood: Fill the vacuum with positive news
No one seeks a crisis, but being ready for one is imperative when disaster strikes, a packed audience was informed during the Crisis killers: a reputation management [...]