We, the undersigned, as leaders of major Canadian public relations firms, join our voices in opposition to racism and discrimination, both in our country and abroad. We stand with our employees, with the activists and advocates, and the growing mainstream in our society that seeks change.
We understand that we must listen more, learn more, and do more to eradicate racism, inequity and discrimination of all kinds – both inside our profession and in our work with clients, stakeholders and society.
Each firm therefore commits to the following six strategic actions, starting immediately:
- Leadership: We understand that this anti-racism commitment must start at the top, and that our current leadership ranks are not diverse enough. That is why we commit ourselves and our firms to understanding and removing barriers to the recruitment, retention, advancement and experience of professionals from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Recruitment: We will audit and enhance our recruitment processes to achieve an ongoing, measurable improvement in the representation of Black, Indigenous and people of colour at all levels. We will bring an equity lens to the hiring process, including a commitment to working with educational institutions to improve the diversity of the available talent pool.
- Training & development: We will ensure our training programs for managers and employees explicitly include instruction on how to recognize and eliminate unconscious bias. This also means creating safe spaces for employees from underrepresented backgrounds to share their experiences, and ensuring there is mentoring, support and opportunities for them to showcase their skills, and to rise to senior leadership roles.
- Client work, content & partnerships: We will be proactive in advocating that clients invest in greater engagement and communication with people and communities who are under- represented in institutions and organizations with power in Canadian society. This also means seeking to ensure diverse, inclusive representation in the content we create, and in our partnerships with content creators and suppliers.
- Social investment & philanthropy: We commit to making equity and anti-racism core elements of our respective corporate social investments and philanthropy, with each firm selecting initiatives and causes appropriate to its business, values and communities.
- Accountability: We commit to setting clear benchmarks and targets, measuring our performance, and reporting as an industry association on key metrics such as representation and pay equity at all levels.
We know that the fight against racism, discrimination and inequity is a long-term effort that requires sustained and strategic action, rigorous measurement and courageous communication. It also means advocating and embracing change. While we compete in the marketplace, we collaborate in making these commitments to our employees, our profession and our society.
Apex PR – Linda Andross & Kenneth Evans, Managing Partners
Argyle – Daniel Tisch, President & CEO
Broad Reach Communications – Andrea Lekushoff, President
Casacom – Tricia Doyle, Managing Director
Citizen Relations – Nick Cowling, President
DDB Canada – Kevin Brady, President & CEO
Edelman Canada – Lisa Kimmel, CEO
Energi PR – Carol Levine, CEO & Co-Founder
FleishmanHillard HighRoad – Angela Carmichael, President
GCI Canada – Kristy Derkson, General Manager & Senior Vice President
Golin Canada – Lindsay Peterson-Chisholm, Managing Director
Hill + Knowlton Strategies Canada – Sheila Wisniewski, President & CEO
Media Profile – Alison King, President
Paradigm – Mike Abbass & Tracey Bochner, Partners
Proof Strategies – Bruce MacLellan, President & CEO
Strategic Objectives – Judy Lewis & Deborah Weinstein, Co-founders & Partners
Veritas Communications – Krista Webster, President & CEO
Weber Shandwick Canada – Greg Power, President & CEO
All Canadian public relations firms that meet the CCPRF membership criteria are invited to join us in making this commitment.