InFusion Comms is one of only three UK agencies to be awarded the PR industry’s new diversity mark solely focused on ethnic diversity, created and launched by BME PR Pros founder, Elizabeth Bananuka.
The Blueprint Mark has been developed by comms professionals to work towards achieving parity in PR for Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Ethnic Minority people. Those awarded the mark sign up to 23 commitments covering all aspects of operations to ensure fairness, equality, support and inclusion through the entire organisation – from recruitment to the boardroom.
Agencies who are awarded the full Blueprint or Ally status have two years to show progress and must reapply after this time period. The status awarded is based on a points system from an in-depth application process; to secure Ally status requires a minimum of 70 points, whilst The Blueprint status requires 101. The award can be removed if organisations are considered to be in breach of terms.
Agencies can apply for The Blueprint four times a year and applications are judged by an independent panel. Agencies pay to apply with funds generated directed back into Bananuka’s BME PR Pros work, which is rolling out a series of additional programmes to improve the PR industry’s poor record on the recruitment, retention and progression of Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Ethnic Minority persons.
Sara Hawthorn, MD, of InFusion Comms said:
“Applying for the The Blueprint diversity mark process required us to analyse all aspects of our business to establish where we are and what we need to do to support Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority PR pros. The application is, rightly, challenging and as the smallest, and only Yorkshire agency to apply I am extremely proud to be given Ally status. Becoming a Blueprint Ally is the start of our journey, not our destination. I’d also like to congratulate our fellow Ally awardee Blurred, and first fully Blueprinted agency, Manifest – we are three very different agencies, which shows this isn’t about size, sector or location, but demonstrable action and commitment.”
“It’s clear that this is a framework and system designed to make real change and applying for the mark is necessary for any agency genuinely committed to supporting Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Ethnic Minority PR pros.”
Elizabeth Bananuka, Founder, BME PR Pros / CEO, Blueprinted:
“I am delighted to award Infusion Comms The Blueprint Ally status. It is an extraordinary agency and proof that even the smallest of businesses can put in place effective processes and practices to support a diverse workforce and have a positive impact. The judges were taken with their democratic and transparent culture and on their solid focus on open discussions at every level among the team. Founder Sara Hawthorn deserves special praise not just for creating an incredibly inclusive work environment but for her great work on disability inclusion and awareness. Sara is not just a diversity champion but a diversity leader.”