There are few books that you read and feel both uncomfortable and positive at the same time. The latest edition of #FuturePRoof, which is actually the fourth publication, is a vital addition to reading lists for all PR and communication professionals.
I was lucky enough to receive an early version to look through and grabbed a brew expecting to just skim through the contents. But when I opened the first of the essays I was stopped in my tracks. It was an article by Julian Obubo which spoke of the lack of action taken in the area of diversity and inclusion. I was gripped.
It was followed by eye-opening and stomach-churning essays by people I am lucky enough to know including Katrina Marshall, Harriet Small Okot, and Arvind Hickman. Every word gave me a glimpse of their lives and what they have experienced. But the fact it is shocking to me just reinforces that I speak from a position of privilege.
After 20 years working in police communication I have spent many meetings talking through aspects of diversity and inclusion. I have been given diversity training and have looked at unconscious bias. I have worked with teams looking to increase the recruitment of those from underrepresented communities. Despite all this I know very little of the lived experience that exists for many within the world of PR and communication.
There is so much within the 19 chapters and 120 pages that I could write a lengthy essay trying to capture it all. But I know that I will be revisiting each of the chapters in the book to take care reading each and every word. More than that I will be taking a close look at myself, what I do, how I work and what I can do to really help those who are pushing to improve the PR industry.
#FuturePRoof 4 feels like a book that is long overdue and it is credit to Sarah Waddington and her inspiration Elizabeth Bananuka that it has been produced. I would recommend that everyone working in PR and communication, or aspiring to work in this industry, gets a copy and reads it carefully. More than that though they need to face up to the uncomfortable truths and resolve to make a change.