Join PRSA New Pros at PRSA ICON

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The PRSA New Professionals Section is very excited to announce our networking session during the upcoming PRSA International Conference in Indianapolis from Oct. 23-25!

PRSA New Pros will host a networking luncheon on Oct. 23 featuring:

  • Updates from the New Pros Section leaders
  • Information on how you can get more involved
  • A guest speaker from the PRSA Board
  • 30-minute networking and Q&A session to meet new pros from around the country

We would love our members’ input on what you would like included during the networking time.

Please comment below with any ideas around what would be most beneficial to you during the networking session. Feel free to also pre-submit questions you would like to ask during the Q&A portion, which will include discussion with other New Pros to help solve challenges you’ve faced professionally. You may also submit ideas and questions via email to Jess Noonan, Heather Harder and/or Ruthann Campbell or tweet us @PRSANewPros.

We look forward to seeing you at #PRSAICON!

 —The New Pros Committee Chairs

Embracing Diversity In and Out of the Office

Diversity is one of the biggest employer buzzwords out there right now, but the truth is that PR has a big diversity problem. One of the main problems with workplace diversity is that it’s sometimes viewed as a top-down initiative meant to make the company look good, not to improve the workplace or services offered. New Pros, with their differing outlooks and definitions of what “diversity” is, can help solve PR’s lingering issue.

Original plans for diversity included hiring people of different races, backgrounds, genders, etc., and to have those groups equally represented within the workplace to create a diverse employee pool. But is that actually the thing to do to help better understand and provide for your clients and audiences or is that just checking off boxes and creating a fun illusion of inclusion and diversity? I’d say it’s the latter.

Today’s new pros are a great example of the cultural shift happening in America, and the world over. More and more of us come from blended backgrounds and we’re described as “an ethnically diverse generation who are team players, optimistic, confident, trusting of authority, rule-followers, achievers in school and generally achievement-oriented in everything they undertake.” Seeing, interacting with and working with people from diverse backgrounds is commonplace because that’s the world we’ve come of age in. We care more about diversity in ideas, philosophies and perspectives than how people look, where they’re from and whether there’s equal representation.

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The biggest benefit of a diverse team is that it inspires creativity and productivity. Thoughtfully listening to and talking with those who see things and think about things in ways that you may not helps us to see new perspectives and think outside of our normal boxes. It almost goes without saying that there’s no such thing as being too creative in PR. The open flow of communication between employees of all backgrounds is important to effective brainstorming and problem solving and should be used by all teams, even if that means taking the brainstorming sessions into your own hands and on your own time.

In addition to being more productive and better problem solvers, a diverse team tends to adapt more easily. Whether that’s to new obstacles, changes within the team or changes to the project, adaptability is important to success, especially in PR, where things constantly change. Talking through problems and strategizing the best plan for what’s ahead is a key advantage that comes from bringing together people with varied perspectives and backgrounds to tackle a project.

Since diversity often be a bigger initiative put in place by executives or managers, it may seem like there’s nothing that a new pro can do to influence how diverse a team they are work on. There are plenty of things that today’s new pros can do to make diversity a common part of their their career development. When you have the opportunity, speak up about any coworkers whom you think would add a good, new perspective to a project you’re working on if there’s an opportunity for adding a new team member or seeking out their thoughts.When you’re in a position, maybe a little further along in your career, to make decisions on team structure, bring in members who think differently than you do and offer a different perspective.

New pros should also look outside the workplace to embrace diversity. Look for opportunities to embrace another culture, through festivals, celebrations, studying or simply interacting with those of another culture near you. Travel and experience new areas and traditions. Seek out friends of different backgrounds and ideas. Make diversity less about having equal representation or “checking the boxes” to make sure everything’s covered and more about being a well-rounded, open-minded professional.

Robyn Rudish-Laning (1)Robyn Rudish-Laning is a member of South Carolina’s PRSA chapter and is communications coordinator for the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. Robyn is also a member of the New Professionals executive committee and is a two-time graduate of Duquesne University who currently lives in Columbia, SC. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter or read her blog here.

Talento A Través De La Diversidad

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This post is part of our Diversity Month series! Enjoy a translated version of this article below.

¿Qué significa hablar de diversidad laboral en Latinoamérica?

Cuando los latinos nos hacemos esta pregunta, no pensamos necesariamente en diferencias por razas o por  el color de piel al momento de una contratación laboral. Es más, nuestra cultura latina ya es diversa y es un keypoint de análisis para si misma. Sin embargo, existe otro enfoque a la diversidad latina, como lo es la edad laboral, los estratos sociales, las carreras profesionales, el género y demás grupos minoritarios que deben convivir con una historia y un contexto muy encarnado en su gente.

UN POCO DE CONTEXTO…

Latinoamérica es una región donde el machismo es celebrado en las mesas de los almuerzos de manera directa o indirecta y donde el estereotipo de macho latino se vuelve un ideal. Poner adelante el rol de la mujer en Latinoamérica, una región de ingreso medio, se vuelve complicado, ante  altos niveles de desigualdad y exclusión social. De acuerdo con el Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano para América Latina 2010, en esta región se encuentran 10 de los 15 países con mayores niveles de desigualdad del mundo. La seguridad pública es una preocupación creciente; surgen nuevas formas de violencia contra las mujeres y el femicidio es cada vez más habitual.

“La brecha de género en las remuneraciones de América Latina y el Caribe es del 19%, comparado con el 24% a escala mundial”.

El Progreso de las mujeres en el mundo 2015- 2016, ONU.

Latinoamérica también es bien conocida por sus grandes brechas de estratos sociales y su mera convivencia en un mismo espacio geográfico, tal es el caso de las favelas en Brasil, o de los asentamientos humanos en Perú. Estos estratos no hay que verlos solamente por el nivel de adquisición económica, sino también por el entorno cultural que muchas veces representan en el desarrollo de competencias sociales y preocupaciones de los gobiernos latinoamericanos.

“La desigualdad se puede disminuir mediante la inversión en educación, el rol de la mujer y programas sociales, ya que estos son responsables de la reducción de la desigualdad en un 15% en América Latina”.

Jim Yong Kim, presidente del Banco Mundial.

Sin duda alguna, ante estas cifras y contexto descrito se vuelve complicado aún tener empresas o instituciones meramente latinoamericanas que conversen como prioridad mecanismos de diversidad laboral. Sin embargo, si hay buenas luces en este tema, el liderazgo viene de tendencias o empresas transnacionales  y multilatinas quienes ya son sponsors de grupos minoritarios o adoptan políticas de diversidad con el fin de lograr una cultura que permita una escala de tolerancia en donde se aprecie la diferencia y agregue valor en el logro de los resultados de cada industria.

Para este sector, atraer talento de diferentes entornos produce equipos de trabajo más creativos y flexibles, apalancando la innovación y el aprovechamiento del mejor potencial de los colaboradores para el logro de los resultados.

Esto significa poder ver la selección de la fuerza de trabajo basado en la valoración del talento a través de competencias, sin distinción de género, orientación sexual, edad, estado civil, apariencia física, nacionalidad, religión, discapacidad, pensamientos, creencias e ideologías; entre otros.  Además de involucrar un lenguaje incluyente en las comunicaciones con sus grupos de interés y preocuparse por cerrar esa brecha social, producto del contexto ya descrito, es también importante la formación de sus líderes, impulsándolos a formar capacidades en la gestión de la diversidad y la inclusión.

Si esta visión recién se está formando en las sedes latinas de empresas transnacionales y aquellas multilatinas que buscan liderar la industria, el despliegue natural en el resto de organizaciones debería ser progresivo y esperar con el tiempo una cultura de trabajo que aprecia la diversidad de generaciones, el multiculturalismo y la equidad de género.

BUENOS EJEMPLOS EN LATINOAMÉRICA:

Nestlé (México):

Para Nestlé México hablar de diversidad es iniciar por temas de inclusión entre el 2010 y 2011 implementaron el “Programa de Sensibilización e Inclusión Laboral”, diseñado para fomentar mayor diversidad y espíritu de equipo en el lugar de trabajo.

Esto permitió a Nestlé convertirse en el mayor empleador de personas con discapacidad en México durante más de un año. Logrando que una quinta parte de los colaboradores de uno de sus call centers de la compañía sean personas con discapacidad.

Además, el call center, que atiende más de 230,000 preguntas de sus consumidores al año, ha mejorado significativamente su desempeño desde el inicio del programa. Obteniendo niveles de satisfacción por parte del cliente en un 94%, mientras que la tasa de rotación de personal se ha reducido a la mitad.

Alicorp (Perú):

Para Alicorp Perú, diversidad es también fomentar el empleo e incluir a poblaciones en situaciones de vulnerabilidad a su fuerza laboral y con ello aportar a la situación de desempleo juvenil del Perú. En línea con ello, Alicorp implementó el primer programa de capacitación en el sector de industrias alimentarias, Capacitación Laboral Juvenil (CLJ). Este programa además de fomentar el empleo, permite que los jóvenes reclutados reciban educación técnica en industrias alimentarias y reciban un certificado ocupacional que contiene las competencias laborares desempeñadas en el puesto de trabajo.

Esta iniciativa está  dirigido a jóvenes entre 18 a 22  años de edad, quienes provienen de familias con escasos recursos económicos, que no cuentan con experiencia laboral y no han culminado sus estudios técnicos o universitarios.

Nutresa (Colombia): 

Cuando una empresa logra incorporar en su ADN la promoción de la diversidad se logran grandes resultados. Tal es el caso de Nutresa en Colombia, quien a través de  su política de diversidad e inclusión vino trabajando desde el 2014 el concepto de “igualdad de oportunidades para todos”.

De esta manera trabajaron la norma de equidad de género, que ha permitido identificar oportunidades en la generación de prácticas laborales que satisfagan las necesidades de hombres y mujeres sin distinción de género.

También se actualizaron la política de selección, que dejó expresa la posibilidad de participación en igualdad de oportunidades, de hombres y mujeres, en los procesos de selección. Asimismo, en su política y sistema de valoración salarial no consideran el género como variable para la asignación de puntos. Tampoco utilizan las cuotas como mecanismo de aseguramiento de la equidad de género para evitar discriminaciones negativas. Por el contrario, se usa activamente la política de inclusión y diversidad, la de selección y la de formación, con el fin de asegurar una actitud auténtica de oportunidades para todos.

UNA GRAN RECOMENDACIÓN… SEAMOS PATROCINADORES DE LA DIVERSIDAD.

Muchos de nosotros trabajamos de la mano de comunidades y elevamos su voz para que sean escuchadas, es entonces cuando debe partir de nosotros el dejar de lado ciertos estereotipos y prejuicios que no sean coherentes con lo que promueve nuestra profesión y por ende que no permita lograr un mayor entendimiento y trabajo con nuestros públicos.

El siguiente salto es ser promotores a partir del cambio de contexto y problemáticas sociales. Muchas veces hablar de diversidad solamente no es el principal vehículo si no hay un contexto claro y definido  en nuestro entorno, pues el mensaje se vuelve denso e ilusorio. Por ello, debemos atacar aquellos conflictos o sesgos desde su concepción, nosotros como gestores de relaciones y comunicación, podemos perfilar y pensar en una comunicación inclusiva y de mayor valor para la sociedad.

Desde ahí nos volvemos principales sponsors de la diversidad en nuestro entorno.

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Angel Rodríguez is an Analyst of Public Affairs and Suistainable Development at Alicorp in Peru. He is a graduate of Universidad de San Martín de Porres where he served as Chapter President of PRSSA in 2014 . Angel supports different volunteer and diversity initiatives in vulnerable settlements in Lima, Peru. Connect with Angel on Twitter, through his LinkedIn or by emailing him.

 

 


Talent Through Diversity

What does it mean to speak about labor diversity in Latin America?

When Latinos ask us this question, we don’t necessarily think of differences by race or skin color at the time of labor recruitment. Moreover, Latin culture is already diverse and is a keypoint of analysis for itself. However, there is another approach to the Latino diversity, such as the working age, social strata, careers, gender and other minority groups who must live with a history and a context very embodied in its people.

A little background …

Latin America is a region where machismo is celebrated at lunch tables directly or indirectly and where the Latin macho stereotype becomes an ideal way. Highlight the role of women in Latin America, a region of median income, and it becomes complicated against high levels of inequality and social exclusion. According to the 2010 Human Development Report for Latin America, this region contains 10 of the 15 countries with the highest levels of inequality in the world. Public safety is a growing concern and new forms of violence against women and femicide have already increased.

“The gender gap in salaries in Latin America and the Caribbean is 19%, compared to 24% worldwide.”

Progressive women worldwide 2015- 2016, UN.

Latin America is also well known for its large gaps in social strata and their mere coexistence in the same geographical space, as in the case of the favelas in Brazil, or human settlements in Peru. These strata should not be seen only by the level of economic acquisition, but also by the cultural environment that often represented in the development of social skills and concerns of Latin American governments.

“Inequality can be reduced by investing in education, the role of women and social programs, since these are responsible for reducing inequality by 15% in Latin America.

Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank.

Undoubtedly, against these figures and described context, it becomes complicated to have companies, or merely Latin American institutions, prioritize mechanisms for labor diversity. However, there is hope in this issue, leadership comes from trends of transnational corporations and multinationals companies who are already sponsors of minority groups or adopt diversity policies in order to achieve a culture that allows a tolerance scale where the difference is appreciated and add value in achieving the results of each industry.

For this sector, attracting talent from different backgrounds develops more creative and flexible teams, by leveraging innovation and harnessing the best potential partners for achieving results.

This means to see the selection of the workforce based on the valuation of talent through competitions, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, physical appearance, nationality, religion, disability, thoughts, beliefs and ideologies; among others. Besides involving inclusive language in communications with its stakeholders and worrying about closing the social gap, resulting from the context described above, it is also important to train its leaders, urging them to build capacity in managing diversity and inclusion.

If this vision is just being formed in Latino headquarters of transnational companies and those multinationals who seek to lead the industry, the natural unfolding in other organizations should be progressive and eventually produce a workplace culture that values diversity of generations, multiculturalism and gender equity.

GOOD EXAMPLES IN LATIN AMERICA:

Nestlé (México):

For Nestle Mexico, in order to talk about diversity issues, they  decided to start labor inclusion. Between 2010 and 2011 they implemented the “Program for Awareness and Inclusion Labor,” designed to encourage greater diversity and team spirit in the workplace.

This allowed Nestlé to become the largest employer of people with disabilities in Mexico for over a year, reaching a fifth of the employees of one of its call centers to include people with disabilities.

In addition, the call center, which serves more than 230,000 questions from consumers annually, has significantly improved its performance since the program’s inception. Getting satisfaction levels by the customer by 94%, while the turnover rate has been halved. 

Alicorp (Perú):

For Alicorp Peru, diversity is also promoting employment and include populations in vulnerable situations across their workforce and therefore contribute to the situation of youth unemployment in Peru. In line with this, Alicorp implemented the first training program in the field of food industries, Capacitación Laboral Juvenil (CLJ). This program will also promote employment. It allows young recruits to receive technical education in food industries and receive an occupational certificate containing the labor skills performed in the workplace.

This initiative is aimed at 18- to 22-year-old, who come from families with low income, who do not have work experience and have not completed their technical studies or university.

Nutresa (Colombia): 

When a company manages to incorporate into their DNA promoting diversity, great results are achieved. Such is the case of Nutresa in Colombia, who through its policy of diversity and inclusion started implementing since 2014 the concept of “equal opportunities for all.”

In this way, they developed the norm of gender equality, which has identified opportunities in the creation of labor practices that meet the needs of men and women regardless of gender. The recruitment policy, which expresses the possibility of participation in equal opportunities for men and women in the selection process, was also updated.

Its salary policy and valuation system do not consider gender as a variable for assigning points. Neither utilize quotas as a means of ensuring gender equity to avoid negative discrimination. By contrast, its policy of inclusion, diversity, selection and training in order to ensure a true attitude of opportunities for all, is widely accepted.

A great recommendation … LET US BE SPONSORS OF DIVERSITY.

Many of us work hand in hand with communities and raise their voice to be heard, and it must come from us to leave aside certain stereotypes and prejudices that are inconsistent with what promotes our profession and therefore prevents greater understanding and working with our stakeholders.

The next hop is to be promoters from the change of context and social issues. Often only talking about diversity is not the main vehicle for change if there is no clear context and framework to our area because the message becomes dense and illusory. Therefore, we must attack those conflicts or biases at its inception.

As managers of communication and relationships, we can think and manage an inclusive and more valuable communication for our society. From there we become main sponsors of diversity in our community.

Become a Diversity Superhero: Use Your #PRDiversity Superpowers

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO BECOME A (2)

Happy Diversity Month, new professionals!

I am passionate about diversity and human rights, but I don’t consider myself an activist. Rather, I am a storyteller, I am a superhero with a superpower. I believe that public relations professionals have the superpower to influence people’s behaviors not by communicating empty words but by using real stories to become agents of change.

Back in mid 2014, I decided to become a superhero with PRSA so I joined the Diversity Committee (now called Diversity and Inclusion Committee). As a committee member, I have seen super heroes from various backgrounds and different career stages work together in a variety of initiatives. In the committee, we use our superpowers to educate our membership on current issues related to diversity and inclusion throughout partnerships with the PRSA Foundation and other affiliate organizations, contributing blog posts to PRSay, hosting webinars and the #PRDiversity Twitter chats.

Although progress has been made, the work done by the D&I committee in cooperation with industry leaders and companies is far from complete. As our industry continues to evolve and to adapt to the new technologies we are presented with almost every day, the need to diversify the demographics of our practitioners and to work towards a more inclusive work environment is still as relevant today as it was more than 20 years ago when PRSA launched its first diversity initiative.

A launching statement for Diversity Month this year: “Lack of #PRDiversity makes Diversity Month more relevant” by Ana Toro, APR, Fellow PRSA stated, “many studies indicate that the industry still struggles to attract young Black, Asians, and Hispanic to pursue public relations as their career choice, while there is a lack of diversity in management positions industry-wide.”

The New Professionals Section leadership understands the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion among young practitioners. This year, I was selected as a diversity superhero (formally known as diversity liaison) for our section. In this role, I started two main initiatives that will be relaunched over Diversity Month:

* #DiversityTuesday: the posting of digital content over Twitter and Facebook that aims to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion topics of importance to new pros.

* What does diversity mean to you? Blog Series: A blog series that invites young practitioners to share their thoughts on diversity and inclusion through blog posting. On that note, if you would like to contribute to the series, contact me at henryc@uvu.edu.

In the second half of the year, an updated version of the Diversity Tool Kit® will be distributed to the local New Professional Leadership to contribute to and promote their diversity efforts.

Become a Diversity Superhero: Celebrate Diversity Month!

* Join and learn from Hugo Balta, Senior Director of Multicultural Content at ESPN, at PRSA’s webinar: “Diversity & Inclusion: The Competitive Edge” on August 16th from 3-4 PM EDT.

* Follow @PRSADiversity and use the #PRDiversity to promote an online conversation in diversity and inclusion topics.

* Post a diversity related question or share your knowledge with other professionals on the Online Forum hosted by the D&I Committee.

When we transitioned from PRSSA to PRSA, we all came with a different set of skills and aspirations. Not all of us came from the same demographic and socio economic background. Our job experiences along with our opinions and beliefs were, are, and will never be the same. All these components blended together make us unique and diverse.

To become a diversity superhero, working towards inclusion, and more specifically, acceptance, is a must. To excel in our profession and move on to management roles successfully, accepting all members of our team is an imperative. Being or learning to be in the mindset that all team members are valuable and have something to contribute will make of our industry more diverse and welcoming.

How are you going to become a superhero for Diversity Month?

Untitled design (10)Henry Cervera Nique serves as the diversity liaison for the New Professionals Section and is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Follow him on Twitter @SoyHenryCervera

 

Turning Your Internship Into A Full-Time Job

Turning your Internship into a full-time job

On the first day of my internship, I was handed a laptop, emailed a contract, and shown to my desk. That’s all. No new-hire orientation, no manual; the rest was up to me.

That was nearly three years ago. The trajectory of my internship relied entirely on my own ambition, and quite frankly, my desire to land a job. From my 8-month “audition” I found that there are three basic practices that interns should adopt in order to land a full-time offer.

Follow the Leader

It won’t be difficult to identify the individuals that you admire at your internship. Do some calendar stalking and you will find the leaders—their calendars will be packed with meetings since colleagues crave their input. Ask to join those meetings, as many as they will allow you to attend, and then, stop, sit, and listen. Really listen to the dialogue taking place inside the room, absorb what’s working, and make note of what isn’t.

As an intern, this practice almost felt like cheating. I had regular exposure to the most brilliant minds of the business.

Be a Duck

On the heels of one of our largest, most stressful, customer events of the year, my boss at the time, pulled me aside to share some advice that will stick with me for the rest of my professional career. “Today is going to be hectic,” she said. “Something will go wrong and it will be overwhelming, but all the while, you need to be a duck. Paddle furiously beneath the water and work through the chaos, but maintain cool composure up top where people can see you.”

Every day of your internship is a test of your ability to handle stress and problem-solve. Don’t let them see you sweat. Be a duck, and paddle like crazy. This is an indicator of how you will handle added responsibility as a full-time employee.

elizabethBe Better than Coffee, but Don’t be Above Coffee

Without question, your attitude will be one of the deciding factors of your future employment. In the investment banking world, it’s called the “punch test.” You’re working long hours, you’re stuck alongside the person in the other cubicle—is that person someone you want to be in the trenches with? Or will you fantasize about punching him after 2 months?   

In the tech world, there are common tasks that test your willingness to get your hands dirty. It’s  a “coffee run” or a seemingly never ending source of data that needs to be inputted into a spreadsheet. It’s something that every intern will and should have to experience. Don’t groan, don’t eyeroll, and for godsake, don’t mess up.

Be willing to do any job, but elevate yourself to the point where you’re trusted to do any job. What’s been stereotyped as a demeaning “intern task” is an exercise in teamwork and, depending on the complexity of the order, attention to detail. Be the person who gets coffee AND thrives in your role.       

In that same vein, I would be remiss to not call out to the employers who are reading this: there is a wealth of opportunity for you to learn from your intern and for your intern to learn from you. I was incredibly fortunate to intern with a company that recognized the value of giving interns an opportunity to earn their stripes and take on meaty projects. Interns don’t have to just be coffee runners and spreadsheet fillers, if you nurture their hunger and talent, you’re able to get a great sense of the type of full-time employee that will be. Hiring and onboarding an intern who has a deep knowledge of the company and a proven willingness to learn, saves you both time and money. And that’s just good business.

SamanthaSubarSamantha Subar is a Global PR Manager at Spredfast. She appreciates good sushi and data stories. Preferably combined, if possible. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.