Maja Pawinska Sims 03 Nov 2022 // 4:50PM GMT
LONDON — Stronger Stories has become the second agency to retain full Blueprint status and Cirkle has become the second agency to be promoted from Blueprint Ally to full Blueprint status, after both agencies re-applied for the diversity mark in September.
The Blueprint diversity mark aims to promote racial diversity in PR and communications. Awarded agencies sign up to a series of commitments aimed at encouraging diversity from training to boardroom, staff culture to recruitment and retention.
Stronger Stories was the second agency to secure the full Blueprint mark after the diversity mark was launched in June 2020 and has become the second agency to retain the status alongside Manifest.
Cirkle was awarded Blueprint Ally status two years ago and has become the second organisation after Blurred to be promoted from Ally to full Blueprint status following the latest application round.
Both Stronger Stories and Cirkle impressed the Blueprint judges with their determination to fulfil all the Blueprint commitments, to create inclusive workplaces where all can thrive, and to create inclusive work.
The independent panel of judges noted Stronger Stories’ initiatives aimed at encouraging diversity including an advisory board to promote diverse voices, a planned apprenticeship programme and a values-led client charter.
Cirkle was promoted to full Blueprint status after introducing a range of initiatives aimed at increasing EDI knowledge throughout the agency and among their clients and increasing workplace diversity, leading to an 800% increase in Black, Asian, mixed race and ethnic minority representation since being awarded Blueprint Ally status in June 2020.
Blueprinted founder and CEO Elizabeth Bananuka, who is also the founder of BME PR Pros, said: “Just over two years after the summer of BLM and after so many organisations have abandoned meaningful, impactful, accountable and transparent DE&I work, it is an honour to award Stronger Stories and Cirkle full Blueprint status.
“Their initial applications in 2020 showed a passion and commitment for diversity and inclusion, their reapplications in 2022 show progress, results, and incredible change. The agencies are proof comms organisations can become diverse and inclusive workforces, creating the diverse and inclusive work clients deserve.”
Cirkle CEO Ruth Kieran added: “Over the last two years we’ve worked hard to make Cirkle a more inclusive and diverse organisation. The Blueprint has been a fantastic and rigorous guide to ensure we’ve held a mirror up to our actions and words, and has kept us accountable along the way. We know that we still have much to do, but we’re extremely proud to have now been given full status.”
Since The Blueprint for Parity launched in 2020, it has been awarded to twelve agencies including Hope&Glory, Riot Communications, CCgroup, Harvard and PrettyGreen; all agencies must re-apply for the diversity mark after two years. The Blueprint for In-house and The Blueprint for Comms. Organisations were launched in May 2022.