‘Gems in Comms’ Returns with Further Exploration into the Experiences of Diverse Talent in the UK PR & Comms Sector”

Exciting news! The eagerly awaited second series of the ‘Gems in Comms’ podcast by 9to5workrebels is returning on September 5th 2023. This remarkable series is dedicated to highlighting the talents of Black, Asian, mixed, and Ethnic Minority professionals in the UK’s PR and Communications sector. In an industry where 91% of professionals are white, this podcast offers invaluable insights into the journeys and experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Hosted by Ebony Gayle, the series delves into the real-life stories of people of color in the field. The discussions cover a range of topics, including career paths, challenges related to racism in the workplace, equity considerations, and the creation of inclusive environments. For those committed to fostering inclusiveness, this series is essential listening, offering unique perspectives and invaluable insights.

Launching on September 5th, 2023, the podcast boasts an impressive line-up of guests, including industry experts such as Barbara Phillips (founder of Brownstone Communications), Ann Marie Blake (co-founder of True), Kevin Leonce (founder of Togethr), Nicola Millington (founder of FP comms), Bemi Idowi (founder of Talking Drum Communications), and many more. These guests will share their experiences and key insights, with subsequent episodes following each Tuesday.

The ‘Gems in Comms’ series breaks down the misconception that people of colour are a homogeneous group by exploring diverse work experiences. It provides an honest and open window into rarely heard conversations, shedding light on the perspectives of underrepresented voices.

This special podcast series aims to:

  1. Explore the experiences of people of colour in the PR & comms industry, including the highs and lows.
  2. Understand how these experiences have influenced their professional journeys.
  3. Uncover valuable insights for employers to foster more inclusive work environments.

The series is spearheaded by Ebony Gayle the host of 9to5workrebels, an independent consultant with over two decades of PR and communications experience. Her expertise enables candid and engaging conversations that break down barriers comfortably.

Ebony’s motivation behind the series is to showcase the contributions of people of colour in the industry. While the lack of diversity in PR and communications is known, this podcast focuses on the accomplishments and experiences of these talented individuals. It seeks to celebrate their success while promoting cultural awareness for better retention and a harmonious work atmosphere.

Save the date for September 5th and tune in to 9to5workrebels for the ‘Gems in Comms’ series, sponsored by the PRCA Race Ethnicity and Equity Board. New episodes will be available weekly on major platforms. Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to gain insights and celebrate industry diversity.

5 Tips for getting your business media coverage

So, you want to read about your business in the news, great, I don’t blame you. Media coverage can be a great boost for your business, and can help to build credibility, awareness and conversion rates. Therefore it’s understandable that business owners see the benefit of media coverage.

But how do you go about getting some media coverage for your business, there’s hundreds of thousands of businesses all looking to get their names out to the public and there are thousands of media outlets looking for news, but just the thought of that can feel overwhelming. You might have PR on your to do list and it has turned into a task that you are constantly putting off. Or maybe you’ve tried to secure some coverage for yourself and not had much luck. Well here are five tips for you.


  1. Is it newsworthy?

I’m a straight shooter, so I’ll get straight to the point, before you spend lots of time on trying to do a big PR push, firstly let’s look at what it is you want to tell the media about. Asking yourself if your story is news worthy is the first point of call. What may interest you might not interest a journalist and their readers.


  1. Research

Spend some time going through your local newspaper or the relevant publications in your industry to see what kind of stories they cover and see if you can create something similar for your business. Research media outlets that cover your industry and your competitors.


  1. List building

Following on from your research start to build a mini media list for yourself of those outlets that cover your area. You can always introduce yourself to local media so they know they can come to you on particular stories.


  1. Think of the readers

Most of the time when clients come to me they are relying on my expertise to highlight relevant media. However, I have come across a few that have their media wish list of titles that they want to be featured in. This can be fine if it fits, however on a couple of occasions the outlets have been a total mismatch for the business. Make sure you are pitching to the right audience and at the right level.


  1. Don’t be salesy

We don’t like the cheesy sales reps so don’t turn into one yourself, if you have a story idea pitch it to the journalist, be honest and helpful – don’t overdo it and don’t pester. If you send them an email, you can chase up, but don’t turn into a stalker.


Have any tips you can think of? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to check out this video on how to get media coverage.

All publicity is good…right?

I’ve had this conversation on many occasions, is all publicity good publicity? I watched a show recently and a group of women were talking about the fact that one of them had been in the media and she wasn’t concerned about the fact that the publicity wasn’t favourable or positive it was entirely negative but to her all that mattered was that her name is out there.  That is something I hear often, people think as long as they’re being spoken about is all that matters.

Well as a professional in the business that has had to manage crisis communications on behalf of clients I don’t agree with this statement at all. Think about it, I’ve said it before if you’re a restaurant owner and you get a huge amount of negative media attention for food poisoning and rodent infestation how do you think that would impact your sales? I think it’s fair to say that your restaurant might look like a ghost town depending on the severity of the coverage.


Think of recent issues that have hit the media, an example is clothing brand H&M, one of their poster campaigns depicted a young black boy wearing a hoodie that featured the phrase ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’. Somehow this was approved which says to me that the company need more diverse employees at the decision making levels and certainly in the marketing department. They were dragged through social media and the media for there lack of judgement. The scandal affected bottom line sales as well as loosing trust from consumers.


Another example is Roseanne Barr star of popular US sitcom ‘Rosanne‘ who came under fire for some disparaging and racist remarks about a former advisor to president Obama’s advisor she made that resulted in her shown being pulled and her being fired.

These are loads of examples to illustrate how bad publicity has hurt brands. I believe there is such a thing as bad publicity and while most do recover from the crisis if handled openly and transparently the bad publicity they’ve received has done some serious reputation damage for at least the short term….. and maybe longer.

Now you’ve heard from me, but what do you think? Do you believe that all publicity is good publicity?  Feel free to leave a comment!