National Black Public Relations Society to Outline Strategies on How the Industry Can Improve Diversity

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National Black Public Relations Society to Outline Strategies on How the Industry Can Improve Diversity


National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. Also to Promote Professional Development and Develop Partnership Opportunities

Survey results will be discussed at high-level industry summit in Washington, D.C.

(Los Angeles – Sept. 22) The National Black Public Relations Society Inc. (NBPRS), the foremost organization for image makers and brand strategists, run by professionals for professionals, will outline strategies on how the industry can improve diversity, promote professional development and develop partnership opportunities at a daylong summit designed to jumpstart the public relations industry’s diversity efforts.

kpowellonMIC-100dpiThis one-day, invitation-only summit, to be held on Friday, October 30 at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C., will be an off-the-record discussion to help set the direction for the future state of the organization – and the industry. Representatives from major corporations, organizations and agencies, including Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, GolinHarris, Mitchell Communications Group, MSL Group, Edelman and the PR Council, are participating. They, along with NBPRS board members, will discuss and develop specific actionable solutions to help increase diversity, focusing on mid-career practitioners across the industry and agencies. They also will look to create strategies to strengthen competencies and increase opportunities for black-owned businesses.

“This year, we decided to focus our efforts on convening the best minds in HR and talent management, technology and innovation, the global workplace, and small business development for a highly strategic and task-oriented summit,” said Richelle Payne, president, NBPRS, Inc. “We are setting out on a course that is designed to hold the industry accountable for its diversity efforts and position NBPRS as a critical partner in transforming agencies and corporations, and empowering black-owned businesses for the global opportunities of the future.”

An industry white paper, authored by Drs. Rochelle L. Ford, Professor and Chair, Newhouse School, Syracuse University and Clarke L. Caywood, Full Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, will offer several insights into the data gathered from an industry-wide survey conducted earlier this year.

An exciting and defining element of the Summit is the opening session with Kevin Powell, one of the nation’s most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices and author of the highly-anticipated memoir The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood.

Sponsors for this year’s Summit are: Coca-Cola, GolinHarris, Edelman and Safeway.

About the National Black Public Relations Society, Inc.

Since its founding in 1997, the National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. has served as an advocate for black professionals in the public relations, media relations, corporate communications, investor relations, government affairs, community relations and related fields. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @nbprs.

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Key Player Bios

Neil Foote

Neil Foote is a collaborator, connector, strategist and journalist. He has experience in all aspects of the media, including print, broadcast and the Internet. Foote has been a newspaper reporter (The Miami Herald & The Washington Post), a newspaper industry executive (American Society of Newspaper Editors) and an Internet strategist (The Dallas Morning News, Belo Corporation, Tom Joyner).  He is President and CEO of  Foote Communications LLC, a public relations, web consulting and multicultural marketing firm.  His clients include the Tom Joyner Foundation, J. Anthony Brown, AMS Production Group and REACH Media Inc.  He also is an assistant professor of University of North Texas’ Department of Journalism.

Previously, Foote was Director of Communications for Tom Joyner’s Reach Media. He managed the public relations and communications plan for all entities of the multimedia company that is the parent company for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the nation’s #1 syndicated morning entertainment radio show. He is charged with creating an overall media plan for the company as well as each of its subsidiaries and special projects and has worked secure articles and appearances in major national media, including the New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Ebony, Black Enterprise, CNN, Regis & Kelly Live! and NPR.

Jane Foote

A veteran newspaper reporter and editor, Jane Foote is Foote Communications’ Chief Operations Officer. She had a distinguished career at The Washington Post and The Dallas Morning News where she worked in several roles, including metro reporter and editor, financial reporter and local columnist.

Michael H. Cottman

Michael Cottman an award-winning journalist and author, is a Senior Correspondent for REACH Media/Radio One, the nation’s largest black-owned media company. Cottman — a former reporter for The Washington Post, Newsday and The Miami Herald — is also presently a lecturer in the Department of Journalism at University in Washington, D.C. Cottman is also covering the 2008 Presidential campaign and offers political commentary and analysis for The Tom Joyner Morning Show and XM Radio.

Cottman, the author of three books including the story of a 17th-Century slave ship, has spent nearly 30 years reporting about politics, social trends and America’s expanding multi-cultural society. Cottman has worked for some of the nation’s top newspapers, including The Washington Post, Newsday, The Miami Herald and The Atlanta Constitution. In addition to writing for newspapers. He has received numerous awards including journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, which he shared with a team of reporters at Newsday in 1992. Cottman also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2000 to discuss his book, “The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie.” He has also appeared on CNN; NPR; PBS; C-SPAN Booknotes; ABC News and CBS News affiliates, The Learning Channel and The History Channel.