The Diversity Action Alliance (DAA) is a coalition of public relations and communications organizations and leaders joining forces to accelerate progress in the achievement of meaningful and tangible results in diversity, equity and inclusion across the public relations profession. Last week we were honored at the 2022 Diversity Action Alliance Annual Dinner for Best DEI Communications Research, for our project, The Language of Diversity, developed in collaboration with the Institute of Public Relations. This annual event honors industry change-makers and thought leaders.
Receiving recognition for this work highlights a growing understanding of the power of language to drive change. The results from the research contained in the Language of Diversity report, which verified the pervasive lack of understanding, consistency and application of inclusive language within the PR industry, was conceptualized through our Lexicon Project.
Finding consensus on the language that reflects an organization’s DEI principles, and being able to express that language in a culturally competent manner, is a powerful step in creating the systemic change needed to operationalize DEI. Through the Lexicon Project, we work closely with nonprofits and socially responsible companies to shift how they communicate with internal and external stakeholders. As one client described:
“After a systematic and qualitative research process, information audit, and influence mapping, Wakeman helped us understand how our most aspirational DEI goals could be enhanced through messaging, positioning, and reimagining our use of language, including internal and external communications. The work culminated in a dynamic lexicon – a living, breathing resource that clarifies and defines our organization through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It provides strategic insight into our messaging and positioning, as well as a list of terms in current use that are to be retired, providing substitute language and a rationale for each shift. Significantly, it’s built to evolve over time.”
To learn more about how the Lexicon Project can advance the operationalizing of your organization’s DEI efforts, please contact [email protected] for a confidential consultation.