LONDON — The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has launched a schools outreach programme in the UK, aimed at inspiring students from all backgrounds to consider a career in PR.

Launched during National Careers Week, the schools campaign aims to broaden the industry’s talent pool and tackle its ongoing diversity challenge, by raising awareness of PR among students from all backgrounds aged 16 and over.

According to last year’s PRCA Census, nine out of ten PR professionals identify as white, 80% are graduates and 20% of the workforce have been educated at a fee-paying school – three times the national average.

The PRCA has called on each of its 800 corporate members to visit one school per year, and has already begun scheduling appointments for members to address students this month.

The association has published a series of videos and a magazine to support the campaign. The films feature a two-minute PR explainer and series of informal interviews with PR professionals sharing their experiences and tips for aspiring practitioners, while the 16-page magazine, available online and in print, includes jargon-free insight on the industry, with case studies and advice on how to secure entry-level positions.

PRCA director general Francis Ingham said: “The moral and business case for embracing diversity is undeniable. Broadening the talent pool is not a virtuous ambition – it is a business imperative. The success and sustainability of our industry is dependent on our workforce reflecting the society it seeks to engage.

“Our new resources will empower members to educate students on the benefits of a PR career. I’d urge all members to join our growing community of volunteers and help us inspire the next generation of PR professionals.”