LONDON — Headland, the UK consultancy specialising in financial and corporate communications, public affairs, and brand campaigning, has become the latest agency to secure The Blueprint Ally status.

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 entry level to boardroom, including staff culture, recruitment and retention.

Headland was awarded Blueprint Ally status after completing a 40-question application form detailing its diversity and inclusion work. The agency’s submission was marked by an independent panel of judges: Henry Rowling (founder, Flying Cars innovation agency); Sasha Daly (advocacy and influencing consultant); and Nyree Connell (education policy manager and Blueprint strategy advisor).

The judges said they were impressed by Headland’s initiatives aimed at removing barriers to entry, including the launch of its first apprenticeship programme; employee training, including the roll out of diversity and inclusion training for senior partners; and building an inclusive culture, including a dedicated room for prayer, breast feeding, or mental health needs, lunch and learn sessions, and internal events. Headland’s commitment to recording and analysing data was also recognised.

Blueprinted CEO Elizabeth Bananuka, the founder of BME PR Pros, said: “Headland, like many organisations, is at the very start of its DEI journey. However, unlike many other applications we’ve received, the Blueprint judges and I saw robust processes and policies in place alongside a data-driven approach that we believe will not only increase diversity in junior roles at the agency but at senior level too.

“Furthermore, in CEO Dan Mines and MD Dan Smith, we saw two leaders determined to ensure Headland becomes a more diverse and inclusive workplace. The judges and I congratulate Headland for the great work done so far, and we look forward to working with them over the next two years and watching the organisation evolve.”

Mines added: “It’s imperative that a business our size is playing an active and meaningful role in tackling our industry’s diversity problem. We took the decision to apply at this stage in our journey because we wanted to get the judges’ perspective on our progress and where to focus to nurture meaningful change.

“Being awarded Ally status is a significant milestone as we work towards achieving the full diversity mark. There’s much more that we still need to do, and we’re looking forward to working with The Blueprint and benefitting from the team’s expertise. I know Headland will be a stronger business for it.”

The Blueprint diversity mark has four application rounds a year. The deadline for the next round of agency applications is 7 December 2023.

Nine agencies currently hold full Blueprint status – Manifest, Blurred, Stronger Stories, Cirkle, Hope&Glory, CCgroup, Harvard, Riot, PrettyGreen – while Cowshed also has Blueprint Ally status.