For seven years, the Diversity Distinction in PR Awards, presented by the PR Council in partnership with PRWeek, have honored entities who have truly moved the needle in terms of facilitating the recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse PR practitioners, while championing inclusion throughout the communications sector.
At the PR Council’s annual dinner earlier this evening, emceed by thirteen-time Emmy winner Al Roker, winners and honorable mentions were awarded in seven categories, including a pair that debuted this year.
Burson-Marsteller’s Together Being More effort was named Best PR Firm Diversity Initiative – $100 million or more in annual revenue. Weber Shandwick earned an honorable mention for its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group.
For Best PR Firm Diversity Initiative – less than $100 million or more in annual revenue, Carmichael Lynch Relate took the top prize for its Diversity Inclusion Action League (DIAL) Committee. Mitchell’s Big Break took home an honorable mention.
Lisa Osbourne Ross, APCO Worldwide’s MD in Washington, DC, and HP’s global chief marcomms officer Antonio Lucio were named Diversity Champions in the PR Agency and In-House categories, respectively. Honorable mentions went to OCG PR CEO Tonya Veasey and Catherine Hernandez-Blades, SVP of corporate communications at Aflac, respectively.
NASCAR’s Drive For Diversity was named Best In-House Diversity Initiative, while Exelon garnered the honorable mention.
The two debuting categories this year were Best Campaign by a Diverse and Inclusive Team, meant to highlight how diverse teams positively impact actual work and bottom-line results, and Outstanding Young Professional, meant to spotlight the industry’s future leaders.
In the former, APC Collective won top recognition for its Jarritos – The Journey initiative. Airbnb earned an honorable mention for #WeAccept. In the latter, FleishmanHillard account supervisor Ashley Simms took home the top prize. The honorable mention went to Cohn & Wolfe account executive Lina Martinez.