At Taylor, it’s important that the achievements within the Black community are appreciated and celebrated all year long. Using this as our North Star, we leaned into Black History Month to create multiple touchpoints, in February and beyond, to honor and reflect on the contributions of notable African Americans in history and in our immediate community. From highlighting change agents within the Black community on all social/digital platforms to hosting an employee panel discussion and company outings, Taylor created moments to be recognized and celebrated, during Black History Month and beyond.
Shapers of Influence Series: Black History Month
We appreciate the importance of inspiring, inciting, and shaping conversation. We see brands as more than content, impressions, and algorithms, but part of something bigger. When understood from the inside out, they can be impacted in lasting, meaningful ways. We shape a brand’s relevance in culture one conversation at a time, allowing us to become “Shapers of Influence.”
Every Thursday in February, Taylor highlighted Shapers of Influence within the Black community, bringing attention to leaders from all walks of life. Change makers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Elaine Welteroth, Billy Porter, and Rosalind Brewer are consistently challenging the status quo, advocating for long-lasting impact and opening the door for others to follow. By continuously highlighting Shapers of Influence across industries, we hope to not only raise awareness about the leaders of today and the work that they are committed to, but to inspire others to create a long-lasting impact as well.
Taylor Panel Discussion: What It’s Like to be Black in PR
Inspired by PR Week’s inspiring short film “What It’s Like to be Black in PR,” Taylor hosted a panel discussion — featuring five Taylor colleagues — to talk about the Black experience in PR. The panel was moderated by Andrew McCaskill, inclusive innovation expert, who was also a key voice in PR Week’s film. During the panel, we delved deep into the identities of the panelists and their personal experiences, discussed the importance of having representation in the workplace, and shared how to be an ally to the Black community, both in and outside of work.
“To see the trajectory of where my career can go. To see someone like a Sade or Sabrina [at Taylor] is really inspiring. Having that village, having someone to go to, having someone like that, which I know is not true for a lot of Black people in the industry, has really been a big impact on my career.” – Nysah Warren, Associate Account Executive
Sabrina Lynch, SVP, mentions how throughout her more than 10-year career, Taylor is the most diverse workforce she has been a part of. However, the story remains true that for many Black executives in PR. It is uncommon to see someone who looks like us in a senior position, let alone at the organization in general. We are commonly treated as “the only one” and have to consistently deal with microaggressions. Members of the panel reflected on the adversities they personally faced being “the only” in their career, whether it was “the only” Black person at the company/department, or “the only” in a senior position. Sade Ayodele, Account Director, pointed out that as a Black person, it feels as if you have to work a 10-hour workday at times: 8 hours for work and 2 hours to “fit in.” Panelists also discussed the importance of representation within the workplace. Seeing someone who looks like you gives others opportunities and hope that their goals are more attainable without racial bias.
McCaskill perfectly summed up the need for representation in organizations by stating: “Consumers of color, similarly just like employees, we’re looking for ourselves. If we don’t see ourselves in advertising, or see ourselves represented well in advertising, we want to know why or we think maybe this is not for me. This company, this brand, or this product.”
Near the end of the discussion, panelists offered tips for people who are not a part of the community on how to be an ally:
- Don’t view Black employees as a monolith. Don’t assume we are only interested in topics focused around Black culture.
- Ask questions if you are curious about a topic or need more knowledge.
- Be authentic and be your genuine self.
- Check your unconscious biases.
- Inclusion takes extra effort.
Alvin Ailey Performance in Charlotte, NC
Near the end of February, employees in our Charlotte office had the opportunity to attend an Alvin Ailey performance in North Carolina. Throughout the evening, Taylor’s HR Generalist, Megan Beatty, took over our Instagram story, giving us a sneak peak into the magical evening through pictures, videos, and boomerangs (the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater showcases dance performances, training & education, and community programs to everyone). It was important for us to not only support this iconic Black-owned theater institution, but to also be in an environment that brings beauty and humanity to the African American heritage.