$2,000 award available now to Black public relations professionals in Pittsburgh (application form inside)

by Rob Taylor Jr., Courier Staff Writer: 1:05 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020

The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that the Pittsburgh chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has teamed up with global communications agency BCW to establish an annual $2,000 Black Excellence Award for African Americans committed to the practice of public relations and the City of Pittsburgh. 

Each year, this $2,000 award will be given to a new graduate of African American/Black ancestry who has chosen to work in the PR, marketing or communications field in the Pittsburgh area. 

This award was created to motivate Black professionals to choose a career in communications or public relations and to live and work in the Pittsburgh area. Earlier this year, PRSA launched its latest diversity and inclusion plan aimed at addressing the lack of diversity in its membership and leadership, but as PRWeek reported earlier this year, the PR industry has long struggled with attracting, retaining, and developing non-white communications professionals.

The city of Pittsburgh has had similar struggles – just last year, Pittsburgh was labeled the worst city in America for Black people and the worst city for Black women to live in, according to a Pitt Gender Equity Report. So, the Pittsburgh chapter of PRSA said, it’s not surprising that the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey found that Black people are rapidly leaving the city. 

“We need to do more to show talented Black communications, public relations and marketing students that there is a home for them here in the Pittsburgh PR community,” said Jordan Mitrik, PRSA Pittsburgh President, in a release. “PRSA Pittsburgh has had our own struggles attracting, retaining and developing Black PR leaders. Our membership is only 2% Black. Over the last five years, our Board has only had three Black members. We must do better. We will do better.”

PRSA Pittsburgh has partnered with BCW, one of the world’s largest full-service global communications agencies, to award $2,000 to one (1) new graduate who is of African-American/Black ancestry and working in the PR, marketing or communications field in the region. All applicants must have graduated from an accredited four-year college or university located in the U.S. in the last three years and accepted a communications/PR/marketing position in Southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Potential applicants should visit https://prsa-pgh.org/2021-renaissance-awards/ to learn more about the award and submit their applications. 

“The city of Pittsburgh needs to show Black communications professionals that we see, hear and need them. PRSA Pittsburgh and BCW are committed to doing more to identify, hire and develop these future leaders,” said Mitrik. 

Complete the entry form below to submit your application. Applications are due by Friday evening, Nov. 27, 2020. 




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