The last few weeks have been a time of deep learning and sincere reflection on how we can enact real change for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC), both within our own organization and our industry as a whole. Since being founded in 2012, our mission has always been to challenge the status quo. It’s right in our name: Reformation, the action or process of reforming an institution or practice. These past weeks, it has become abundantly clear that this mission is far too narrow. In order to truly live up to our role as changemakers, we need to profoundly shift the actions of our own business, while calling on our PR industry colleagues and fellow agencies to join us in eradicating systemic racism from our ranks.
We have a singular goal: to build an agency that demonstrates true diversity and actively advocates for anti-racism. We know there is a lot of work ahead of us and that it will take time. These next steps are not exhaustive nor are they enough – there will be more to come. While we don’t have all the answers, we have identified a group of core tangible actions we will take to enact real change, from the inside out. This is our 90-day action plan.
Launch In Good Form, a quarterly pro-bono program designed to amplify Canadian brands led by women of colour. Every three months, we will select a qualifying company and provide it with more than $10,000 in free strategic PR support. Stay tuned for more details on In Good Form and our inaugural call for applicants.
Institute mandatory Diversity & Inclusion training for all Reformation team members, and audit all internal manuals and hiring processes to ensure diverse applicants are recruited and interviewed for future job openings. Our diversification goal is a team comprised of minimum 25% BIPOC by 2021.
Recruit ethnically diverse photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and other creatives to join our collective of subcontractors. We will also actively seek out BIPOC influencers, tastemakers, and media to add to our databases, and commit to ensuring that all multi-person influencer campaigns target a minimum of 30% BIPOC individuals.
Provide all team members with an additional two paid days off every year for volunteering and advocacy work, effective immediately. Our social media, blog, and other communications channels will also pivot to include advocacy messaging about anti-racism, feminism, and other causes that hold meaning for our company.
We promise to do our part to make the world a better place, and call on our industry colleagues to join us in tearing down the barriers for BIPOC in PR, one agency at a time. Who’s next?
Amanda Haines Lazeski
Founder + Principal