New PR study to investigate Black and Minority Ethnic Practitioner Work Experiences

New PR study to investigate Black and Minority Ethnic Practitioner Work Experiences

Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University are asking PR professionals from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups to work with them on a major nationwide research project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). BME practitioners take centre stage in the study amd the results will improve understanding of diversity in the public relations profession.

The research will help develop the profession’s understanding of diversity and offer insights into how the experiences of practitioners from minority groups are shaping, and in some cases limiting, their careers. The study, based on pilot research carried out in 2007, will explore a wide range of issues that were found to be important to Black, Asian and other minority ethnic practitioners but have not been fully explored.

The research is due to begin in January 2009 and will conclude at the end of the year. Dr Lee Edwards, Senior Lecturer in PR at Leeds Metropolitan University, will lead the project and is working in conjunction with practitioners and other academics to carry out the study. She will be asking Black, Asian and other minority ethnic PR practitioners to participate, confidentially and anonymously, in interviews, focus groups and diary-keeping in order to share their views of and experiences in the profession.

Dr Edwards will compare the findings with representations of diversity and difference by the PR profession as a whole, and explore the implications of commonalities and differences between the two for increasing diversity and improving the career options for PR practitioners from minority ethnic groups.

“This study will enable a better understanding of diversity in the PR profession by giving voice to practitioners from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds for the first time,” explained Dr Edwards. “Given that PR shapes the way we see the world, the role that diverse individuals play in the profession, and the degree to which their views are included in PR strategies, is very important. As well as delivering a clearer picture of how widely diverse individuals are employed in PR roles, the research could also help the profession to understand how to communicate more effectively with audiences from a wide range of social and cultural groups, which is essential as we move into the 21st century.”

Practitioners who would like to participate in the study can contact Dr Edwards at Leeds Metropolitan University on 0113 812 5396 or email l.edwards@leedsmet.ac.uk.

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Name: Lee Edwards
Phone: 01138125396