Making Progress in Communications - Diversity in PR Conference - VMAGROUP

Making Progress in Communications - Diversity in PR Conference

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Making Progress in Communications - Diversity in PR Conference

VMA GROUP was delighted to partner with A Leader Like Me at the Diversity in PR Conference on 14th October. We were also joined by Bananatag - an internal communications platform, Rachel Miller from All Things IC, employee experience experts at Brilliant Ink, We Are Resource - a marketing communications provider, a PR agency, Spotty Dog Communications, and Alive with Ideas, the ideas agency. 

Advita Patel, Co-Founder of A Leader Like Me, opened the virtual conference with her thoughts on the current conversation around diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging within public relations, communications, and marketing. This year’s theme was all about #MakingPRogress and speakers across the globe shared their insights, strategies, and stories about their own experiences in PR over the last year. 

A panel of incredible speakers discussed the importance of representation, how professional bodies are committing to D&I agenda, how mentoring can help underrepresented PR professionals progress, and why communicators need to embrace D&I.

Jane Brearley, Founder and CEO of UK-based Intent Health, an agency founded on diversity, inclusion and representation, was the opening keynote speaker discussing representation in healthcare, inequalities that exist in all aspects of health and social care, and how increased representation can create campaigns that truly resonate with your entire audience. 

The talk was followed by a panel discussion from the representatives of PR and Communication associations, including Gabrielle Loring, Katrina Marshall, Loretta Lam, Cornelius Alexander, and Jefferson Darrell, discussing how their professional membership bodies are showing their commitment to D&I and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead. 

Next, we heard from Mark Webb Head of Comms at, who shared a story of his career, intertwined with his MS diagnosis and his journey to becoming an employee advocate. Mark discussed the importance of allyship and representing disability within the communication industry. 

After a networking break, we welcomed a panel of A Leader Like Me members, including Teela Clayton, Naomi Smith, Nafisa Shafiq, Danielle Norris, and Amrit Nijjar, who came together for a conversation about the realities of navigating the PR industry as women of colour.

Later in the afternoon, we heard from Neil Griffiths, Global Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion, ERM who talked about the transition from communication leader to Global Head of DE&I and the skills and experience that communication professionals can bring into D&I work. 

Following on, Ayeni Adékúnlé Samuel, CEO, Black House Media shared his insights on the changing global marketplace and how his company, is growing through global expansion. 

The final panel of the day included Mubashira Nusrat Farooqi, Son Pham, Ilyana Rajwani, and Keith Riley-Whittingham who discussed how to grow diversity in the profession, including changing demographics, expectations of young people and social responsibility. 
The conference concluded with a keynote from Jordan Baptiste, Managing Director, Creative Fire who shared his commitment to developing training and education opportunities for Indigenous youth, and discussed how D&I strategy should underpin all your business goals.


VMA GROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, digital and marketing communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, digital marketing and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications and marketing industry, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

In the UK, VMA GROUP has offices in London and Manchester and in Europe, VMA GROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.

VMA GROUP is committed to equal opportunities and is a Diversity Pledged Recruiter.