600 & Rising merger broadens nonprofit's reach into the PR industry
600 & Rising, the nonprofit formed earlier this summer by Nathan Young and Bennett D. Bennett in an effort to end systemic racism in advertising, has expanded its reach. The organization today announced that it will be merging with Hold the PRess, a group that recently launched in order to improve diversity in the PR and communications industry.
The move effectively extends 600 & Rising’s efforts into the PR sector, contributing to the group’s ultimate goal of creating effective policy and programming that eradicates systemic racism across all of advertising, marketing and PR.
The union brings more than 300 signatories from the PR industry into 600 & Rising’s membership, bringing its total to more than 3,800 Black members and non-Black allies.
Hold the PRess was founded by Taylor’s digital sports group director Sade Ayodele; Taylor Account Executive Nysah Warren; The PR Girl Manifesto Founder Fatou Barry; and Connective Agency Account Executive Enoma Owens.
The founders began the initiative in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd and in response to the lack of representation of Blacks in the PR industry. Harvard Business Review study of federal labor statistics found that the PR industry is 89.7 percent white, 8.3 percent Black, 2.6 percent Asian and 5.7 percent Hispanic or Latinx.
Going forward, Hold the PRess will continue as an extension of 600 & Rising, targeting the PR industry and led by its founders.
As 600 & Rising did previously with ad agencies, the Hold the PRess members will starting a diversity data campaign asking PR and communications firms to publicly share data on their diversity makeup as well as any action plans with regards to improving their diversity. 600 & Rising is asking for disclosure by July 31, 2020, and those who have not shared the information will be listed on the organization’s website beginning in August.
“The move to unite the work of 600 & Rising and Hold the PRess makes sense, as we’re both focused on making radical change for the better,” said 600 & Rising’s Nathan Young in a statement. “By combining resources, we increase our ability to effect positive change in both industries and deliver progress for Black talent.”
“By joining forces with 600 & Rising, we are able to bring a cohesive front to advertising and public relations, while maintaining our goal of enabling meaningful and measurable change for Black public relations professionals,” added Ayodele.