Language Matters – Our October Program Dives into Diversity and Inclusion

By Lisa Sands, APR

No one can deny we are in some interesting times— for our culture and our profession. Our companies and clients rely on us to be the experts on matters of communication. But, how and when to say things seems a bit harder these days, doesn’t it? We’re second-guessing ourselves and wondering if we got it right. We’re trying to think of issues from every angle and predict how different audiences will perceive our messages. We’re called upon to be effective but we also need to be sensitive, inclusive, genuine, and, yes, politically correct.

2017 has brought many new conversations to the forefront and perhaps some that, while not new, remain unresolved. When we created our fall programming calendar, our chapter wanted to address some of these challenges head-on. We wanted to have an honest and open dialogue about how we talk to each other, while taking into consideration our individual experiences, our biases and predispositions. We want to better understand how race, gender, religious beliefs and all the things that make us unique citizens of the world affect how we speak, listen and believe.

Our October program is called Language Matters: Communicating Effectively and Respectively with Diverse Audiences. Our speaker is Dr. Tameka Taylor, CEO of Compass Consulting, who will lead us in a discussion specific to communications professionals on matters of diversity, inclusion, respect and understanding.

Dr. Taylor says, “Diversity is more than race. We’ve got to expand the different aspects of diversity to include religion, age, family structure, socioeconomic status and other characteristics.” We’ll discuss the real meaning and application of “inclusion,” intent and impact, and we’ll take a closer look at behaviors that may be emotional triggers for people around us.

We understand that talking about these things isn’t always easy. We guarantee a safe space, mature conversation and takeaways that will help you engage more fully with others.

Please join us on October 19 at 7:30 a.m. (program starts at 8 a.m.) at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown for this program. Be sure to register any coworkers and colleagues who may also find value in this program. RSVP here.

Public Relations Society of America, Greater Cleveland Chapter