Diversity & Inclusion: Uncovering Implicit Bias to Achieve PR Success

On-Demand, available until May 18, 2022
Recorded May 11, 2021

Categories: Communication Strategy, Diversity & Inclusion

Talking about implicit bias as it relates to diversity and inclusion can make some people uncomfortable and reluctant to dive deep for fear of saying the wrong thing. In this judgment-free zone, we’ll step outside our comfort zones to discreetly uncover our own unconscious biases, confront mistaken assumptions and work together to create an environment that allows us to work together to achieve PR and communication goals for our clients, ourselves and PRSA.      

In this webinar, we will come together to talk about how our workplaces and PRSA can achieve diversity and inclusion goals by uncovering our own implicit biases, building diverse teams and recognizing the value and strengths in cultures we consider different. This open and honest discussion about how implicit (or unconscious) bias can negatively affect our workplace lives will invite participants to discreetly see through a new lens. We know that diversity of thought in inclusive environments brings value to organizations ranging from publicly traded conglomerates to nonprofit agencies. In fact, the greatest strength of an organization is its reputation, trust and respect built through a philosophy that demonstrates a track record of honesty and fairness that creates a “bank of goodwill” than can be drawn from when reputation is threatened. Learn how proactive public relations magnifies the effect of “doing the right thing” by building relationships with key publics and how it is through awareness, education and positive recognition of the differences among people that we can begin to recognize the uniqueness in everyone, valuing the contribution that each can make and create an inclusive work environment where awareness of, and respect for, those of diverse groups, which in turn allows us to work together to achieve PR and communication goals for our clients, ourselves and PRSA.       

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how implicit bias (unconscious bias), which refers to the attitudes and stereotypes that affect understanding, actions and decisions, can hinder achieving our highest potential through lack of awareness, knowledge and action – for our Society, our workplaces and ourselves.         
  • Share tips for creating inclusive strategic communications plans and campaigns that go beyond “checking the diversity box,” by understanding the negative impact of implicit bias on building authentic teams that go beyond “just” representing, but also support diversity.           
  • Explain best practices for D&I and how they positively affect change in attitudes, beliefs, and behavior for communities and professionals, as well as play an integral role in an organizations’ crisis planning, corporate social responsibility and customer engagement strategies.
  • Understand “the business case,” as well as ethics of D&I, by utilizing HRC Corporate Equality Index as a measure of success, recognizing that organizations see the value in diversity and reaching diverse audiences for their products, services and ideologies.        
  • Realize that D&I success entails more than human resources policies, but also includes initiatives paramount to effective PR and a company’s overall success.


Jaron M. Terry, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, Jaron Terry Communications Ltd.

Photo of Jaron M. Terry, APR, Fellow PRSA

Jaron M. Terry, MS, APR, , Fellow PRSA, is part of the national-level PRSA Diversity and Inclusion committee and is ethics officer for Central Ohio PRSA, where she is also past president and former assembly delegate. An independent practitioner since 1995, she specializes in high-tech and health care communications.


Gayle Saunders, APR, founder, CEO, The Saunders PR Group

Photo of Gayle Saunders, APR

Gayle Saunders, APR, is founder and CEO, The Saunders Company, a full-service PR agency in Columbus, Ohio. Gayle is a member of Central Ohio PRSA Board of Directors, currently serving as Ethics Officer. In 2016 she co-led a task force to develop a D&I program and co-founded the D&I committee, earning the national PRSA Chapter D&I Award Honorable Mention.

Shanikka Flinn, consultant, Precise One Marketing, LLC

Photo of Shanikka Flinn

Shanikka Flinn, is a PR counselor through her firm, Precise One Marketing, LLC. She is a member of Central Ohio PRSA Board of Directors, currently serving as the chapter’s first-ever Diversity Officer. She chaired the D&I committee from 2017 to 2020. Under her leadership, developed and offered an APR Bootcamp with the specific goal of increasing APR membership among diverse members.


Participants with the APR credential earn 0.5 CEUs for a webinar. Learn more about Accreditation renewal.