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Seven Things to Know When Creating a Successful Employee Resource Group

November 30, 2023
By Christine Lydon

Being brutally frank, disability inclusion wasn’t necessarily on my horizon up until a few years ago. I’d been in my role at FleishmanHillard for just a year when I was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that necessitated four months of chemo, surgery, radiotherapy and physiotherapy. I took a couple of months off after the diagnosis but otherwise continued working, albeit from home and just a couple of days a week. This was a godsend for me personally as it meant when I recovered, I wasn’t having to navigate “the big return.”

But of course, anyone who’s had a serious illness knows recovery doesn’t end once the treatment is over. I had a new perspective on navigating the workplace with physical challenges like post-cancer aches and pains and fatigue. These unexpected difficulties inspired me to get involved with DEI, with a specific focus on disability, firstly leading on Hidden Disabilities here in London, co-chairing Omnicom’s Open Disability ERG and then, in the past 18 months, leading FleishmanHillard’s Global Disability ERG.

FleishmanHillard’s ambition is to be the most inclusive agency, and DEI is very rigorously integrated into the heart of what we do. Within the Hidden Disabilities steering group here in London, we’ve done a range of things in the disability space, including training on neurodiversity and communicating with diverse audiences. Digital accessibility is another focus for us. We’ve refreshed things in 2023 with the establishment of FHAT – FleishmanHillard Accessibility Taskforce – which sees digital accessibility led by our creative studio. It’s very much about embedding accessibility principles into our work and ensuring that clients are aware of it too.

FleishmanHillard’s Global Disability ERG was set up two years ago and is just one of the Global ERGs within the agency. I took on the role of global lead when it was set up – initially just as a caretaker but I knew, and I think all those around me knew, that I’d be in it for the long-haul. It’s a unique space with a casual relaxed remit, no expectation of deliverables and no fixed agenda when we meet once a month. It has been created as a safe space for anyone living with a disability, along with allies, to come together, share experiences, learnings, tips or just take the opportunity to vent, if that’s needed. And, while we don’t have any specific asks of us from senior leadership, we did co-create a neurodiversity guide that was shared with our offices across the globe. The seeds for the guide were sown during one of our meetings when it became apparent that there was limited awareness or understanding of neurodiversity and how conditions in this category can impact the work experience. The guide is used in new joiner inductions and is a part of line manager training.

What does success look like for an ERG? Simply having the group in existence, with people showing up monthly and being there for each other counts as success. Along with the monthly calls, we do check-ins with members to elicit their needs and their feedback to ensure that the group continues to add value and stays relevant. Relevance is vital. It’s about constantly asking the questions: Are we still serving a purpose? Are members still getting what they need from us? And if not, why not? What can we do to refresh our approach?

Lessons from leading an ERG

Recognize that every ERG is different and offers a unique experience.

Some act as informal, safe spaces with a flexible structure and others are firmly focused on encouraging change within an organization. Still more may be a mix of both. And what one ERG looks like in one company may vary drastically to another. The focus should be on what the community needs. Is it to initiate far-reaching change in your workplace led by senior management? Or is what’s actually needed a ‘softer’ group that offers peer support and that sense of togetherness?

Be open to change.

None of us can stand still. What worked last year may no longer be relevant today. The most significant gap that you’ve identified today may not be an issue in the new year. It’s vital to keep informed and be ready to pivot. 

Listen closely.

You’ll only know if things need to evolve if you listen to your ERG members. Pulse surveys carried out quarterly can shine light on member perspectives and needs.

Realize that your impact within the ERG can be more far-reaching than you think. Applying your learnings from the ERG to client counsel and client work can be powerful and instigate meaningful change. We’ve seen this first-hand within FleishmanHillard where understanding what it takes to make digital content truly accessible to all has filtered through to our client work. It’s been so encouraging seeing our clients embrace what we’re doing in this space and commit to applying these principles.

Secure leadership buy-in.

Without it, an ERG will not flourish. In fact, it’s unlikely to last more than a couple of meetings. I’m grateful to be part of FleishmanHillard where DE&I is embedded in all we do with a tangible commitment from the very top of the business. Keep in mind it works both ways – as an ERG leader, it’s important that you keep senior leaders informed of what’s going on and how the ERG is progressing. This can range from informal check-ins to detailed write-ups, depending on requirements and your own style.

Keep the broader team informed.

Any one of us could face illness or disability at any point. Any of us can be an ally to those who are already living with a disability. Twice-yearly newsletters from our Disability ERG have helped ensure we stay visible, relevant and accountable. It’s an opportunity to capture what we’ve done and report on what we’ve said we’ll do.

Know that DE&I belongs to everyone, and not just a select few.

There can be a temptation to take it all on yourself but each of us has a responsibility to ensure that people from all backgrounds, thinking, abilities and experiences feel included, protected and involved. Meaningful change can only happen when we all play our part.


FleishmanHillard’s Kathryn Chappell to Share Culture Best Practices at Ragan’s Future of Communications Conference

November 7, 2023

What: “Engaging Every Employee: Building Better Multigenerational Comms” discussion

When: Wednesday, Nov. 8, 10:15 a.m.

Where: Ragan’s Future of Communications Conference in Austin, Texas

Join FleishmanHillard’s Kathryn Chappell, senior vice president and partner, and IMF’s Karla Chaman, deputy division chief of internal communications, for the “Engaging Every Employee: Building Better Multigenerational Comms” session at Ragan’s Future of Communications Conference in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 10:15 a.m. The session will share comms techniques and strategies to bridge the generational gap, regardless of preferred communications styles. Discover how to encourage younger employees with purposeful mentorship programs, how to prevent ageism in your comms and much more.

For more information and to register for the conference, click here.


The Power of Authenticity & Belonging: Insights from ColorComm 2023

October 10, 2023
By Aisha Hudson, Dasia Jones and Faith Golden

ColorComm’s origin story is of a luncheon bringing together Black and brown women in media and communications that became a community, spawning annual conferences, a global network of chapters and a business. It has a way of seeping into your soul – an incredibly energizing experience in the moment, but also something that sticks with you and leaves a lasting impact on how you move through your day. Reflecting back on this year’s conference, here’s a recap of some of those “sticky” moments from the C2 ColorComm Conference in Miami.

“You can fake ‘till you make it – but eventually the ‘fake’ will fade.”

One of the most compelling sessions was that by renowned body language expert Linda Clemons who has dedicated her career to helping people unlock their full potential and reclaim their power through nonverbal communication. Not only did she offer insights into the nuances of posture, facial expression and even eye movement for conveying a message, but also a valuable lesson on authenticity – that even if you stand in a certain way and say all the right things, in the end, your true self will always show through.

To me, this spoke to the power and necessity of authenticity on a personal level – being true to myself, my beliefs and my values and bringing them forward in my own body language, voice and actions. Authenticity can’t be faked when it is rooted in honesty and genuine emotion.

But what, exactly, do you do to show up more authentically? What is it that shows people that you are true to your own personality, spirit or character? Where’s the proof for that?

At FleishmanHillard, these are the same questions we challenge our clients to answer in order to understand how they show up for employees, customers and other stakeholders, and the impact of authenticity on their reputations.

Being authentic is not based on a single action. To be perceived as authentic, we need to be courageous and take consistent action driven from our innermost and most authentic selves. That we are showing our unfiltered behaviors and that we are speaking or writing with honesty.

Faking it is easy but doing the hard work it takes to live authentically is far more rewarding.  

– Aisha L. Hudson, vice president, New York

“The difference between resilience and struggle are perspective.”

ColorComm was an empowering experience especially as a first-time attendee. In corporate rooms often it is common to be one of few Black faces in the room and there I was surrounded by 400 fierce, dynamic and compelling women (in chic, fabulous attire no less)! It was inspirational to heed advice from the likes Kim Goodwin, president of ABC News and Rashida Jones, president of MSNBC (to name a couple) and the various women who have created impactful work in the world we see today.

Through the dozens of panels, each had a takeaway that resonated and has shaped my my career intentions since, but there was a through line in each story that sits with me the most: resilience.

Without resilience and risk, we wouldn’t have beautiful work such as Colors of the World skin tone crayons. I was enlightened by the background story and journey that led to a product that ultimately fosters a greater sense of belonging and acceptance. Because of Mimi Dixon, senior director, Brand Activation and Content at Crayola, the brand was directed to revisit their approach and partner with experts. Now, my children can make art that reflects what they see in the mirror and be recognized – a far cry from the orange color I used during my youth. It took courage for her to speak up and guide them on the right path.

As client counselors, we are not the final decision makers and sometimes it can feel like a struggle especially when impassioned about a topic that resonates with our life experiences. Ultimately, it falls on each person to make sure we persevere as the work we do is equitable and necessary. We must all lead with courage.

Faith Golden, account supervisor, Chicago  

“To tell courageous stories, you must be courageous yourself.”

It takes bold communicators to tell bold stories. During a session about authentic storytelling, one panelist shared this statistic about the influence of a company’s values and brand identity on Gen Z’s purchasing behavior:

Another panelist shared an insight on how to respond to this stat – “To tell courageous stories, you must be courageous yourself. Speak up in the room and challenge things. Encourage disagreement with your teams.”

While this advice can seem tough, it’s key to position us as strategic voices on our teams and uplift diverse and equitable perspectives. It’s equally important for our teams to foster environments where disagreements are welcomed and bold ideas are encouraged to develop authentic communications.

Embracing courageous storytelling and personal courage is not just about keeping up with Gen Z – it’s about shaping our direction to where they’re evolving and ensuring we’re developing our teams with a value for breaking the norm.

– Dasia Jones, senior account executive, Atlanta

“Pressure produces two things; you want more diamonds than farts.”

While the quote I chose is comical, the pressure business leaders are facing is real and increasing. And as counselors who pride ourselves on being able and willing to get into the trenches with our clients and leaders, we’re facing the same challenges, translated for the realities of our industry.

Among the nearly 400 other leaders in attendance at ColorComm, I was reminded that the collective wisdom we have is meant to be shared. Throughout the conference, you could see the bent heads of women coming together, collaborating and commiserating, one-on-one and in small groups. And during sessions, these same faces were openly expressing agreement as panelists and keynote speakers spoke about resilience, ingenuity and steadfastness in the face of difficulty. We needed this event to create a release for that pressure and to strategize on how to make diamonds.

After the conference, I sat in the hotel lobby, decompressing and reading my notes before heading to the airport. The same women who dazzled on stage were accessible in that lobby, taking pictures and exchanging contact information with attendees. The intimacy of ColorComm and the reminder that we create diamonds made the experience all the more powerful for me. I’m grateful.

– Veleisa Patton Burrell, senior vice president, Dallas


DE&I Communications and the Anti-Woke Wave

October 5, 2023

The US regional banking crisis unearthed deep-rooted sentiment about DE&I practices in the financial services industry. However, the industry has consistently said that DE&I is important to business, clients/customers, partners, and society in general. FleishmanHillard leaders discuss this trend from their financial services, DE&I and employee communications perspectives – and what communications opportunities and challenges exist for firms as they engage their external and internal audiences.

In this discussion:

  • Kirsten Plonner, global managing director, Financial and Professional Services
  • Thomas Bennett, senior vice president, True MOSAIC
  • Elizabeth Bushelow, senior vice president, Employee Communications
  • Chelsie Kumar, vice president, Corporate Communications

Festival of Workplace Inclusion 2023

October 2, 2023

When: Oct. 25 & 26, 2023

What: Festival of Workplace Inclusion 2023

Where: Virtual

Christine Lydon, director, FleishmanHillard UK, will lend her expertise at Texthelp’s annual Festival of Workplace Inclusion 2023. The two-day virtual event explores inclusion across the full employee journey for neurodivergent, disabled and multilingual employees.

The festival will offer live sessions, panel discussions, access to free resources and the ability to take part in a scavenger hunt to win daily prizes and network with peers.

Additional speakers include:

  • Caroline Casey, founder, The Valuable 500
  • Hamza Yassin, wildlife cameraman, presenter and author
  • Hiren Shukla, global neurodiversity leader, EY
  • Natalia Lyckowski, global neurodiversity advancement leader, IBM
  • Bhushan Sethi, partner strategy PwC
  • Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum
  • Jill Houghton, president & CEO, Disability:IN

Sessions will uncover new and trending strategies that’ll help professionals make big strides towards a more inclusive future for today’s working population and the next generation to come. 

Register to join live or catch on demand: https://text.help/dRN7dP 


FleishmanHillard Texas Writes Cards, Donates Goods and Volunteers to Support the LGBTQIA+ Community in North Texas

September 25, 2023
By Krystal Morris

FleishmanHillard’s pro bono and volunteer initiative, FH4Inclusion, supports nonprofit organizations that are creating an inclusive society — one where all people feel valued, their differences are respected and their basic needs are met, so they can live in dignity.

Like many parts of the United States, Texas has seen an increase in threats of violence toward the LGBTQIA+ community this year, as well as legislation targeting this group specifically. According to the Human Rights Campaign, legislators in Texas have introduced more than 100 anti-LGTBQIA+ bills this year – more than 20% of all the anti-LGTBQIA+ bills introduced in the U.S.

Our Texas team members felt compelled to find a way to support this community through our FH4Inclusion initiative and, over the summer, partnered with the Resource Center, which operates one of the largest LGBTQIA+ community centers in the U.S. and is a primary HIV/AIDS service organization in North Texas. With a staff of nearly 100 people supported by over 1,200 volunteers, the Resource Center serves more than 62,000 people each year through programs that address the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community and services that provide critical assistance to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS – including a food pantry and hot meal program that serves 800 people each week. They have grown into a trusted provider of LGBTQIA+ services in a safe, affirming environment with the goal of achieving recognition and equal rights for all LGBTQIA+ people. (To learn more about the Resource Center and the multitude of ways they support the LGBTQIA+ community, visit myresourcecenter.org.)

To ensure that all our Texas team members could participate, we worked with the Resource Center to find multiple ways for folks to contribute –including on-site, in-office and remote options. Our support kicked off in June for Pride Month with a letter-writing initiative and food/supply drive where colleagues wrote letters or shared cards with words of encouragement and/or donated much-needed food/supplies to support the LGBTQIA+ community. In July, eight FleishmanHillard team members delivered the donations of cards and goods to the Resource Center and spent the morning assisting clients in the food pantry and serving hot meals.

In all, our colleagues donated 166 pounds of food and goods and spent 44 hours planning, writing cards and volunteering to support the Resource Center.

The efforts by our Texas office helped bring our cumulative contributions through FH4Inclusion to more than 37,000 hours of service to more than 130 nonprofit organizations globally.


FleishmanHillard Partners with Cannes Can: Diversity Collective to Bring Positive Impact to the Industry with New Voices

September 14, 2023

FleishmanHillard and Cannes Can: Diversity Collective (CC:DC) joined forces this summer to bring fresh perspectives to key creative gatherings, leveraging the power of FH4Inclusion, FleishmanHillard’s pro-bono and volunteer initiative that has provided more than 37,000 hours of service to more than 130 global nonprofit organizations advancing inclusion.

It all started when Adrianne C. Smith, FleishmanHillard Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and CC:DC founder, attended her first Cannes Lions Festival and witnessed a significant lack of representation. She created CC:DC in 2017 to continue the conversation about the lack of diversity in the communications industry and to bring previously underrepresented groups to the table. In 2018, the organization brought its first group of ambassadors to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where storytellers, creatives and other industry professionals gather annually. From there it took off, bringing more ambassadors each year and creating bespoke programming.

Fast-forward to 2023, we locked arms with CC:DC and supported social media management, media relations, thought leadership, activation planning and on the ground logistics at CC:DC’s two annual activations: the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and Inkwell Beach at Martha’s Vineyard. At the events, our colleagues helped connect Grammy award-winning producers, well-known activists, artists and Fortune 500 sponsors to facilitate thoughtful and impactful conversations surrounding the intersection of inclusion, creativity and the need for continued investment into both within our industry.

Our global creative team also got in on the action, working with CC:DC to reinvent its AYA Inclusion Awards program hosted in Cannes. This included developing the graphic design and overall aesthetic of the awards, along with creating the award categories and judging standards, and having a hand evaluating the entries. In the spirit of inclusion, the AYA awards are free to enter.

“The goals of FleishmanHillard and CC:DC align in many ways to create a more inclusive communications and marketing industry. We were able to uplevel the already impactful work that CC:DC has been doing by enhancing the AYA Inclusion Awards with our world-bending creative leaders, managing the flow of events flawlessly, and increasing social and traditional media awareness, which garnered great feedback and engagement online while landing over 20 pieces of coverage in publications such as PRWeek, PRovoke, the Lions Daily News, Campaign, Fast Company, Human Resources Director Magazine and more,” said Francesca Weems, Director of DEI, FleishmanHillard.

The reinvigorated awards were also a hit.

“It was inspiring to see so many amazing pieces of work that center various aspects of diversity – be it race and ethnicity, accessibility or gender equality. With work entered from China, Brazil, France and the U.S., the AYA Inclusion Award is a great showcase that across the world diverse agency teams are using creativity to make an impact for marginalized communities,” said Anne Beutel, FleishmanHillard vice president.


Five Steps Business Leaders Should Take Now While Exploring AI Adoption Within Their Organization

June 13, 2023
By Josh Rogers

Business leaders who follow recent AI developments likely have experienced a dizzying array of reactions, ranging from marveling at the technology’s potential to knee-buckling anxiety as they consider its risks and the efforts that lie ahead. Our new report, “Generative AI Game-Changing Technology, Warranting Effective Change Management” outlines the potential — and inherent risks — of AI.

Here are five steps leaders can consider to move past the handwringing and begin preparing the organization for the future AI will bring.


Generative AI is still young, but so much has occurred since its advent. And more is rapidly changing every day. As a leader in your organization — especially if communications, HR and people management are within your remit —

start following the topic now.

  • To familiarize yourself with trends and current thinking, seek out and follow technology and business management thought leaders covering the topic. Many, if not most, major news outlets already feature “experts” who generate almost daily content on the topic.
  • Seek out other knowledgeable voices to help you think through the implications for your organization. Fair warning: This will be a constant pursuit. But take heart: There certainly are more mundane topics that require your attention — but maybe none so important.
  • Engage your organization’s legal counsel to manage risks and mitigate litigation. And remember not to enter any generative outputs into public domain without their guidance.

With this technology’s disruptive potential — both positive and negative — and its remarkable momentum, now is the time to understand AI and its implications for your business.


It’s likely — especially if you work in a large enterprise — that several members of your organization already are knowledgeable about and using AI. Assemble a team with representation from communications, marketing, HR, IT, information security, legal, compliance/policy, procurement and ethics (or the equivalent teams within your business) to help guide your organization through its AI journey. Given the potential impact and continuing evolution of this technology, consider appointing a full-time project management organization (PMO) to drive this effort. Also bring in experts from such corporate efforts as DE&I and ESG to help figure out the potential impact on them. Make sure your team is diverse, providing a range of experiences and thinking. And if you are aware of early AI adopters who don’t necessarily have formal leadership roles, consider including them on the team or as a touchstone. They can add valuable perspective — and their participation can serve as a professional development opportunity.

This effort ultimately will require an executive sponsor — the No. 1 key to successful change — to signal its importance to the entire organization and to set the tone and vision going forward.


Business leaders should work to understand AI considerations specific to their business. The AI leadership team (referenced above) can help determine: Who in the organization currently is using AI to do their jobs? How are they using it? How could we be using it in ways we are not already to work better, faster and more efficiently? What will it take for us to use AI in this manner? What can we achieve with the resources and structure currently in place? What are we missing? What do we need? What are the specific risks to our organization? What guardrails, restrictions or policies do we need to ensure appropriate use of this technology for our business? And they can identify other AI-related issues that could impact your organization.


Although the process of charting the AI path forward for your organization will be a long-term endeavor requiring a significant level of analysis and decision-making, it’s important for business leaders to begin immediately. The reputation and business risks of inappropriate or misuse are significant. The rapid growth of AI and its many applications requires immediate and constant attention — with always more to learn. If they haven’t already, leaders should immediately begin working with the multidisciplinary AI team and the information and perspectives they surface to start understanding which approaches are and are not acceptable within the organization. They will need to quickly develop and communicate guidelines, guardrails and policies.

Consider how open the organization should be to the use of generative AI. Determine where the enterprise is willing to experiment. You will want to think about what “experimenting” looks like for your organization (e.g., will you establish a protected testing environment, such as a “sandbox” with security measures and perimeter, etc.). Evaluate the aspects of your business that must be protected and your risk tolerance. And contemplate how this technology can better equip and empower employees to advance the company’s purpose, mission, vision and values.


If the organization has in-house change management capabilities, include them on the multidisciplinary team. Absent in-house capabilities, enlist the help of third-party change-management experts. They can help your key AI decision-makers stay abreast of the latest developments and think through the potential implications — and steps needed — for your organization.

Do not underestimate the importance of people-first change communications. Those who are trained to understand and have experience with this essential facet of change management can help align and reinforce the behavior changes needed to adopt the technology and measure their effectiveness.


FleishmanHillard Helps Spark Creativity and Inclusion in the Marketing and Communications Industry With Support for the Cannes Can: Diversity Collective

June 5, 2023

There is strength in working together to achieve a common goal. FleishmanHillard is lending its expertise to the Cannes Can: Diversity Collective (CC:DC) through FH4Inclusion, the agency’s global pro bono and volunteer initiative, at the 2023 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

CC:DC was founded by Adrianne C. Smith, now FleishmanHillard’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, in 2018 with a vision for moving the needle on inclusion and diversity in the industry. As such, FleishmanHillard will provide in-kind support to sponsor and drive forth the two organizations’ shared vision to directly pour back into the next generation of industry leaders and work to make the communications, marketing, advertising and creative industry more inclusive. The agency’s support for CC:DC includes media relations, social strategy, event management, ambassador logistics and branding to help with its continued success. Additionally, the agency has partnered with CC:DC to rebrand its signature Inclusion Awards to the AYA Inclusion Awards. The AYA is an adinkra symbol for endurance, independence, defiance against difficulties, hardiness, perseverance and resourcefulness; this award illustrates why inclusion is good for the world and good for business, underscoring the idea that you must include the world to have world-bending ideas. FleishmanHillard is the presenting sponsor of the AYA Inclusion Awards, which celebrate culture-shifting creativity across race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability, neurodiversity, age and body diversity.

The activation focuses on the intersections of DE&I, innovation and creativity. This year’s Inkwell Beach theme is “Expect the Unexpected: Moving DE&I from WOE is me to WOW is me.” Programming includes:

  • Juneteenth Celebration – Bridging the Gap of Information Dissemination. 
  • Opening night party (featuring a special musical guest) and the annual AYA Inclusion Awards. 
  • “Day of Disruption” (featuring bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur Luvvie Ajayi Jones; and stand-up comedian, bestselling author producer, actress and publisher Phoebe Robinson), where we explore forward-focused ways to implement revolutionary change in the creative industry. 
  • “Daily Cultural Updates” featuring the 2023 cohort of CC:DC ambassadors.

Also onsite with CC:DC will be FleishmanHillard’s Cheyenne Cameron-Pruitt, senior manager of DE&I programs, and Kira Nielsen, senior account executive, who were both selected as members of the 2023 CC:DC cohort.


Mumbai Magic: FleishmanHillard Diversity Fellows Forge New Partnerships with the Land of ‘Festivals and Light’

March 14, 2023

Over 8 thousand miles, or 13 thousand kilometers, separate the U.S. and India, but the FleishmanHillard Diversity Fellows proved once again that forming connections with global colleagues is achievable despite the geographic distance. The Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellowship, a program for up-and-coming PR leaders in the United States, was founded in 2012 and continues to be a beacon for those passionate about the intersection of diversity, inclusion, brand and reputation. Fellows explore these topics on a global scale with our virtual expatriate experience, the Cross-Cultural Connections Program, launched in 2021. For the 2022 program, the Fellows were asked what office they had interest in learning more about, and were eager to partner with  FleishmanHillard in India, supported by colleagues in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.   

This year’s program participants included:  

We asked this year’s participants to share their “Top Five’s” about the experience. Here’s what they loved the most:  

  1.  Learning about another country’s culture.  
  2.  Networking with new colleagues and coordinating schedules across time zones. 
  3.  Applying a global lens to topics they are passionate about and exploring solutions to global issues. 
  4.  Learning about different markets, clients and campaigns.  
  5.  Presenting to key leaders and developing their project management and presentation skills.  

Unexpected Discoveries  

Fellows and their Mumbai partners bonded over shared hobbies, PR practice areas and the value they place on incorporating DE&I into their work. It didn’t take long for each pair to finalize their project’s focus, where they examined important topics including, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, best practices for partnering with influencers and the importance of bringing the principles of design justice to the virtual world. With topics as varied as these, it is no wonder that there were a few surprises along the way.   

Aaisha and Himani, learned that much of the metaverse has yet to be researched.   

“The metaverse is new enough that it gives the perfect opportunity to right the wrongs of web 2.0 and create a safe and inclusive space for individuals to come together…that is, if companies can create it properly.” Aaisha Shafique  

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Grace and Crystal learned that researching regional practices can yield a multitude of results. Grace shared:

“I did not fully realize how much the business of influencer marketing can differ from country to country.”  

Ron and Arushi used their research to highlight the challenges that face the LGBTQIA+ community, providing examples of why we must become better allies to our team members. Ron stated:

“Although the U.S. is quite progressive in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, there are still many challenges that exist for that community, especially because protections can vary depending on the state you live in.”  

Coming Soon: Cross-Cultural Connections v.3  

We look forward to our next global partnership and the inevitable opportunities it will bring later this year. While the topics and participants may change, the one thing that will not is our firm’s commitment to inclusion and connection. As always, our Diversity Fellows will be ready – to explore new topics and learn new lessons as we all work toward a more inclusive future for the PR industry.   

You can learn more about openings in our Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellowship program by visiting our careers page here.