Digging Into Diversity: Your Input Needed!

It feels great when people agree with me.

I enjoy that moment when I introduce an idea in a meeting and I can see the excitement in my colleagues’ eyes. They love it. Their only question is: “When can we start implementing this?” Harmony reigns on our team, and the room feels warm and fuzzy.

But when I survey the room, I realize that these colleagues are all remarkably similar to me. Same demographic, generation, educational background, social class. Many of us even consume the same morning news email. Then I have to wonder: are there potentially more effective ideas out there we don’t have the perspective to identify? What am I missing that I’m not even aware of?

Why Focus on Diversity?

The PRSA Hoosier Chapter is embarking on a mission to make our chapter more diverse and our environment more welcoming. Why?

  1. It’s the right thing to do. We value diversity. We inherently value every member of our profession, the insights they have and the contributions they make. We want every PR professional to feel at home and respected in our organization.
  2. It’s the smart thing to do. Our profession and each of our members are strengthened by the inclusion of varying perspectives. We can solve problems more effectively, learn from each other, build our skills, and enhance our individual and collective knowledge. When we collaborate with professionals from a variety of backgrounds, demographics and skill sets, we are more capable of discovering how to reach audiences who are different from us.

Share Your Perspective!

As a first step toward becoming more inclusive, the Hoosier Chapter has created a survey to gather feedback. We need your input! We will use survey results as a starting point to guide us in developing our chapter in a more inclusive way.

Please complete the survey and encourage your peers to do the same.

What Will This Mean for the Future?

Through these efforts, we hope to create a more welcoming culture for a broader base of PR professionals and a richer and more dimensional PRSA experience for all members.

This change might feel uncomfortable at times. As you encounter or hear from members or speakers from different demographics and backgrounds, whose experiences and perspectives may vary from yours, that “pat-on-the-back” moment when you share an idea might not happen quite the same way. Instead of receiving solely affirmation, your ideas or perspectives might be challenged. They might be enhanced and built upon. Mindsets that are familiar and comfortable might be stretched. Perhaps your idea will be pursued or an even better one will surface after examining and viewing the issue through various lenses. And everyone is certain to develop a more precise understanding of the ideas at hand.

This process will make our members and our organization stronger as we learn from each other and grow together as professionals and as people.

Please help strengthen the Hoosier Chapter by completing the survey. Have questions or want to be involved in the diversity process? Feel free to contact me at andreadmelcher@gmail.com.

headshot cropped copyAndrea Melcher is a marketing writer/editor at the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels and the PRSA Hoosier Chapter diversity chair. Follow her on Twitter @andreamelcher and connect on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/andreadmelcher.