Over the past year alone, people of every global social construct have become advocates and activists. We have come such a long way in understanding and applying the importance of individualism and equality in our social atmosphere. We’ve marched in solidarity. We’ve expressed our concerns and need for change over every outlet possible. We, as young individuals, and young professionals, are the change. We are the future.
Now, the question is, how can we keep going? How can we incorporate diversity and inclusion in every aspect from race to gender to disabilities and more in our everyday lives? The PRSSA executive board attended ICON 2020 this past week to learn all about diversity and inclusion in the industry, but more so in ourselves.
Here are some tips on representing inclusivity in your voice and writing skills that can seriously make a difference in your life, brand, and outreach.
It starts with yourself. In this day in age, it’s important to check yourself. Are you biased on any topics? Are you being intentional and authentic through every word you speak or write? It’s important to see other viewpoints and hear other voices, because words matter! Get a friend or mentor to review your work and have a feedback option for people who interact with your message to improve your inclusive communication.
Use appropriate titles and language. It’s important to refer to your subjects in a way that makes them comfortable. Knowing the gender pronouns that the people you’re referencing prefer, or even if a person wants to be defined by their disability or even race is important. Take the time to consider if a proper title for someone is Hispanic, vs. Latino, vs. Latinx. Capitalize “Black”. Do your best to avoid stereotypes by asking yourself “How would I want someone to describe me in a vulnerable situation?”
Accommodate to your audience. An inclusive platform should be accessible to all. Captions on videos can help someone with a hearing deficiency. Imagery and translations can help your message platform broaden to people who speak different languages. The more access for all people to your platform or message, the better. Do research when designing a web page or social media post to make sure all people can connect with your message.
The public is not limited to a certain type of people. Educating yourself on inclusion and discrimination in every piece of work you do is so important for your outreach so your message or brand can thrive. In everything you do, remember to have empathy, and have a sense of community for the sake of your image and that of the platform you represent.
By: Jessica Grzesiak
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.