PRFest, the event and community of PR professionals Laura has built, has launched the DRIVEN Pledge today, to help the public relations and communication industry tackle its problem with diversity and inclusion. 

PRFest, has a community of over 500 senior PR and communication professionals and at the event in June, used the DRIVEN framework to collaboratively brainstorm solutions to the industry’s diversity and inclusion challenges. 

Launched today, the DRIVEN Pledge is a result of a two-month-long initiative and consultation and is a free, easy-to-use tool, for industry leaders and individuals, to start making positive changes to their approach to diversity and inclusion.

Laura Sutherland, went on to explain: “We really need a collaborative approach to discussing how problems can be solved and agree how positive change can be achieved through action. PRFest is a neutral ground for discussion and has brought the industry together to learn, share and collaborate.

“The challenge we have is not for one individual or one organisation to solve. We’re all in this together and need a collaborative approach to long-term change. The DRIVEN Pledge isn’t a silver bullet, but it’s a starting point for many. Thank you to everyone who has participated and supported this journey. 

“I believe we have the momentum right now to continue to progress, but we all need to commit to action, professionalism and present leadership.”

Two key events took place as part of the outputs of PRFest, including “How to recruit based on values and purpose” with Rohan Shah, co-founder and MD of Reuben Sinclair, then today, a panel event including leading industry body figures, to discuss accountability. The panel included Melissa Lawrence, chief executive of Taylor Bennett Foundation, PRCA’s director general, Francis Ingham, CIPR President, Jenni Field and CIPR chief executive, Alastair McCapra.

Francis Ingham urges the industry to take the DRIVEN Pledge: “Our industry has faced some very hard truths in recent months about the levels of discrimination faced by Black and ethnic minority professionals. It’s essential we all proactively play our part to help the industry achieve the aspirations we have for it. I urge members and the wider industry to take the DRIVEN Pledge so we can hold each other accountable in achieving workplace diversity and inclusivity.”

Alastair McCapra added: “The DRIVEN Pledge is a great starting point for moving beyond words and into actions by providing a clear opportunity to think about two things: first, at the moment, how DO I meet each of the commitments it sets out?  And second, how COULD I meet them more clearly in future?”

And finally, Melissa Lawrence supports the DRIVEN Pledge and said: The PR industry has had an inconsistent record of successfully delivering Diversity and Inclusion programmes. Progress has been made, but at a glacial pace.  PRFest’s new DRIVEN Pledge gives industry leaders a framework to create real change through well-meaning action. 

“This resource is fluid and allows businesses to adapt it to suit their organisations individual needs. Now is the time for change!”

The DRIVEN Pledge is free to download at