A Guest Post by Julien Perocheau, The Museum of Public Relations and Spector & Associates
On Thursday, February 9, at 6 p.m. the first-ever Black PR History Month will kick-off at Baruch College, 55 Lexington Avenue, in New York City. This event, sponsored in partnership with National Black Public Relations Society, will bring together professionals, students, and professors to celebrate the lives of prominent black public relations pioneers.
Ivy Lee. Edward Bernays. Arthur Page. Do these names sound familiar? You may have heard about these public relations trailblazers in school or from working in the industry.
But what about Inez Kaiser, Ofield Dukes, and Barbara Harris? Have you heard of them?
If your answer is no, then Black PR History Month is for you. And if your answer is yes, then Black PR History Month is for you too!
On Thursday, February 9, the public relations community will come together to celebrate history’s most prominent black public relations pioneers. Following the kick-off event, the Museum of Public Relations will exhibit rare artifacts and writings recounting black public relations history. It is a unique opportunity to learn how their contributions helped develop the industry.
The public relations industry has a rich history, but one that often excludes the contributions of notable black public relations professionals. All students need professional role models, but African-American students have not had them. As a result, they can feel excluded from the rest of the PR community. This event and exhibit intend to inspire the industry’s growing diverse generation of young professionals.
Among those honored at Black PR History Month are Inez Kaiser, who founded the first African American female-owned public relations firm in 1957; Ofield Dukes, who represented civil rights figures and entertainers; and Moss Kendrix, who helped Coca-Cola connect with African-American customers.
Black PR History Month event will feature a panel with Rochelle Ford, chair, public relations department, Newhouse School of Public Communication, Syracuse University; Denise Hill, professor, Elon University; Judith Harrison, senior vice president, Diversity and Inclusion at Weber Shandwick and president of PRSA Foundation; and Don Singletary, adjunct professor, Baruch College. Patrick Ford, vice chairman and chief client officer, Burson-Marsteller will emcee the panel. In addition to the panel, representatives from the Page Society, IPR, PRSA and more will unveil their 2017 diversity initiatives.
Following Black PR History Month, the Museum will continue its efforts to recognize the field’s pioneers by encouraging textbook writers to include these legendary figures in next editions and by providing educators with resources to help teach students about these notable contributions.
Admission is free. But do not wait to RSVP. Hundreds of PR lovers are expected! To register for Black PR History Month kick-off event visit prmuseum.org/black-pr-history-month-0217.
If you are unable to make the event in person, follow the Museum of Public Relations on Facebook to see a live streaming of the kick-off event.
Whether you are a student, young professional or an experienced executive, Black PR History Month’s kick-off event is a great opportunity to meet, mingle and build your network within the industry.
The Museum of Public Relations is a 501(c)(3) educational institution chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. It is dedicated to preserving and sharing public relations history with students, educators, researchers and practitioners. The Museum archives have more than 600 books, dozens of artifacts, correspondence, photographs, old media technologies, and videotaped oral histories. It resides in Baruch College’s Newman Library Archives and Special Collections.
To arrange a tour of the exhibit and discover the amazing collection and legacies of these public relations figures visit prmuseum.org/schedule.
Julien Perocheau is an intern at the Museum of Public Relations and Spector & Associates in New York City. He enjoys learning about public relations and exploring history. Originally from France, Julien also a writes for Views, a news-oriented French website.