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Ethical Public Relations, Communities of Color, and COVID-19 Crises in Summer 2020

Public Relations for Social Responsibility

ISBN: 978-1-80043-168-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-167-6

Publication date: 10 June 2021


The inequalities in health and economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in communities of color and the racial uprising that followed the death of George Floyd have forced organizational leaders to confront their own shortcomings and those of their organizations regarding ways they prioritize stakeholder issues related to employees, local communities, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitment as it relates to organizational infrastructures. This chapter examines the impact of institutional racism on the ability of PR practitioners to engage with and manage social responsibility (SR) in relationships with communities of color and impact on their discourse. I use the lenses of critical race theory, stakeholder theory, and situational crisis communication theory to illustrate some organizations' communication strategies employed in response to COVID-19 and antiracism protests supporting prioritization of Black and Brown communities' needs. My central argument is that the concerns of communities of color are generally ignored because Black and Brown people often are invisible to organizations and the PR professionals that are supposed to represent them because of institutionalized racism and the sociocultural environment in which PR professionals operate.



Oshin-Martin, M. (2021), "Ethical Public Relations, Communities of Color, and COVID-19 Crises in Summer 2020", Pompper, D. (Ed.) Public Relations for Social Responsibility (Communicating Responsible Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 19-31.



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