Creating People-First PR Efforts That Engage Rather Than Divide

Audiences should always be at the center of public relations and marketing efforts. Yet the needs, challenges and interests of diverse audiences are often an afterthought in communications campaign planning.

On October 25, I shared audience inclusion insights with communication studies students, educators and alumni of the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs. Watch the session recording below.

In this 60-minute session, we discussed effective people-first audience inclusion strategies through a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) communications framework. These strategies will position overburdened community audiences at the center of campaign, message and material development planning and position audiences as insightful collaborators to engage — and not divide — communities.

To close the presentation, I shared the following list of what I know for sure about creating diverse, equitable and inclusive PR efforts that engage rather than divide. Fast forward to the 37:35 timestamp in the embedded video above to learn more about these eight insights for inclusive audience engagement.

  1. It’s all about listening to others and yourself.
  2. Ask audiences where they are and what they need.
  3. Involve audiences from the start and value their counsel.
  4. Research first, plan second and set actions last.
  5. Always be strategic and minimize harm.
  6. Assume the presence of bias in yourself and everyone.
  7. Evaluate often and be open to change.
  8. Keep learning and get uncomfortable.