If you’re an employer in comms and PR, either agency side or in-house, it’s likely that diversity is up there on your corporate agenda.
I’ve written before on different initiatives which can help you tackle diversity issues in your organisation and thought now might be a good time to highlight all the ways you could get involved specifically with the Taylor Bennett Foundation.
The Taylor Bennett Foundation was established in 2007 to improve access to the PR industry for young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME). We do this through an award-winning ten week traineeship programme, mentoring, and summer internship placements. Over 150 PR employers support these programmes by donating, hosting visits, offering mentors, and offering work placements.
Sponsoring a programme
Each year we run a number of 10 week PR traineeship programmes for BAME graduates. 97% of our alumni are employed and over 60% work in communications. These programmes are a large commitment for the sponsors which previously include Brunswick, Finsbury, FTI Consulting, Talk PR, Edelman, MHP, The Red Consultancy, Charlotte Street Partners, and Standard Life Aberdeen.
If you would like to discuss sponsoring one of these programmes email
There are also a number of other ways to get involved:
When our six BAME graduate trainees are on their 10 week traineeship programme we send them out to visit as many different in-house comms teams and PR consultancies as possible. This gives them the opportunity to experience lots of different comms environments and to learn about a range of sectors and disciplines. A visit is typically three hours long and involves someone quite senior giving an overview of the organisation and its work, someone very junior talking about what they do in their day-to-day job, and the best visits have included some kind of task. For example, one hosts often ask trainees to analyse their competitor’s social channels and give their views on what they could be doing better. Some agencies ask trainees for ideas on a live brief, some give them a brief from a previous client and ask them to come up with campaign ideas.
There is no financial cost to hosting a visit, it’s just a few hours of time, and it’s an opportunity for you to flag if you’re recruiting at entry-level to a diverse group of graduates.
Our PR mentoring programme is for 3- 6 months. We’ll select the BAME grad/student and send you their details and you’ll then decide internally who will mentor them.
Mentors commit to meeting their mentee face-to-face 3 times during that period as a minimum, and to stay in contact by phone and email.
Your commitment would be
– £500 per mentee to the Foundation
– The mentor to complete a short online survey at the start and end of the mentoring so we can measure the impact of the relationship
Our current mentors range in experience from SAE/press officer to CEO/head of comms so it’s a very inclusive programme.
Summer Stars Placement Programme
50 black, Asian and minority ethnic university students, graduates, and school leavers will be offered this opportunity, recruited from a range of schools and universities and screened by our team. They will receive one week of intensive PR training, 25th – 29th June 2018, followed by a four week placement at an in-house comms team or PR agency from 2nd July. There is the option to extend beyond four weeks if you would prefer a longer arrangement.
This is an opportunity for PR employers to give access to the industry to students and graduates who may not otherwise be able to get the vital experience they need to start a career in communications.
If you would like to offer a work placement to one of these interns your commitment as an employer will be:
– £500 donation to the Foundation to cover administration and training costs
– A least minimum wage for 5 weeks paid directly to the intern
– Completion of a very brief online feedback form at the end of the four weeks
In addition, we are offering you the opportunity to send your team members along to PR lectures in June 2018 (they do not have to be BAME!). These sessions will be delivered by leading practitioners and academics and are very competitively priced at £65 per lecture (or all 17 lectures for £500!)
All profits will go to the Foundation to support and expand our work improving ethnic diversity in the PR industry. Details here, and full brochure here.
The CIPR and PRCA have both accredited these lectures with CPD points.
We send weekly job alerts to our alumni. Over 200 graduates have been through our traineeships, 50+ have been through our mentoring programme and a further 15 – 30 will go through our summer placement scheme. They range from 1 month to 7 years of experience and work from junior account executive to director level across a range of sectors and disciplines, both in-house and agency side. If you have a vacancy you’d like to flag to them we ask for a £50 donation and we’ll include the details in our weekly e-mailout to them.
In addition, we are on the lookout for office space for 8 people from Sept 2018 until end of November. If you come across anyone who has space to spare (for free, or very cheaply) please do let me know. It need not be five days a week, we could take a meeting room for one day each week, for example.
It’s also worth mentioning that we’re looking at growing our work in two ways:
Geographically: We’re launching in Scotland in June and are looking at other ways to expand our work outside of London. If you’re a regional employer, get in touch.
In other creative industries:
We think the models we use can work across a range of creative industries and the Foundation was named as a best practice case study in the McGregor Smith Review
. In particular, we’ve our sights set on advertising. If you work in the advertising industry and would like to explore how we can help you, please get in touch.To get involved with the Foundation, drop me a note: