June 5, 2020
Recently, I was invited by the Michael Smart of Michael Smart PR to speak to one of the smartest group of media relations experts in the industry. Michael, a white male out of Utah (that’s how he described himself) and a renowned, national speaker, called me yesterday and invited me to share my thoughts on how public relations professionals should operate and work in this current environment especially with each other and reporters. At first, I was pleasantly surprised and welcomed the opportunity because it showed he cared about my opinion. There were about 300-500 people in this room, majority who were white, and I really wanted to convey something of value with the best intentions so I prayed that God would guide my tongue because this opportunity is all about uplifting Him and not about me at all. The initial advice that I shared to the listeners was to reach out to people of color whom you know, check on them and let them know you care and respect their fears and distress. I have been blessed with so many sweet e-mails, texts from friends and former co-workers to let me know they love and care for me. I know it’s hard to ask the difficult questions to a person of color about what you can do to make things better. But understand the response is hard to provide because the answer lies within you as well. Here’s a few things from my POV. I’m sure there are more.