Muck Rack Survey and Webinar: Most PR Pros ‘Confident’ Advising on DEI but Lack Budget and Training

The study analyzes what motivates PR to integrate DEI into their strategies and how Politics influences those efforts

NEW YORK--()--Muck Rack, the leading Public Relations Management (PRM) platform, today published their State of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in PR study with a corresponding webinar that will be held today at 1pm ET. Conducted in partnership with lead researcher of The World in 2020 Project, Angela Chitkara, and advised by Columbia University Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Robert Y. Shapiro, the survey sheds light on what motivates PR teams to launch DEI initiatives, and what necessary context those initiatives are missing.

According to the survey, 97% of PR pros said they are at least “somewhat familiar” with DEI practices and 93% are confident advising clients and stakeholders on issues related to DEI. Meanwhile, 79% provide strategic counsel to clients, colleagues and brand stakeholders.

Yet, only 41% said that their organization allocates budget for DEI and 53% said their organization does not require DEI training.

“Doing what we say matters, more than ever”, says lead researcher Angela Chitkara. “We have entered an age of stakeholder capitalism in which an organization’s words need to align with its actions. The lack of diversity and inclusion poses social risks to an organization. The data suggests there is a leadership deficit and lack of budgetary resources to effectively support the DEI function across an organization.”

In addition to limited budget and training, only 13% said leadership informs the strategic counsel they provide. Instead, 39% turn to mission and brand values, while 35% follow what they believe is the “right thing to do.”

“PR pros have an important role to play in shaping public opinion and ensuring stories that represent marginalized communities are a part of the national media discourse,” says Muck Rack co-founder and CEO, Greg Galant. “These results show that a well-balanced, diverse media diet is needed.”

In response to this year’s renewed conversation around systemic racism, over one-half of those surveyed said that communicating their efforts was their highest priority related to DEI—above counseling stakeholders on DEI issues, changing the way they pitch stories or changing the partners they work with.

“The data are consistent with the argument that concerns for racial and ethnic equality reflect inequities in civil rights and socioeconomic status,” says Professor Shapiro, “but there is more to it involving conflict and emotions, as current politics suggests."

Other key findings include:

  • 78% ranked Race and Ethnicity as their highest priority issue for engaging with DEI through PR, while People with Disabilities ranked the lowest at 42%. PR pros must put more focus on Inclusion (the “I” in DEI).
  • 36% said a lack of lived experiences was their greatest challenge with pitching stories to diverse audiences. This suggests more training and cultural fluency is needed.
  • 80% do not have a contingency PR plan in place post the US Elections, suggesting they will be reactive during these unprecedented times.

About Muck Rack

Muck Rack’s Public Relations Management (PRM) platform enables PR teams to work together to find the right journalists for their stories, send customized pitches, build meaningful relationships with the media, monitor news and quantify their impact. Thousands of organizations, including Taco Bell, Pfizer, Golin, International Committee of the Red Cross, The Carter Center, Kauffman Foundation, and Penguin Random House, use Muck Rack to take their communications to the next level.

Muck Rack is also the solution of choice for journalists, who use Muck Rack’s free, automatically updated portfolios to showcase their work and to provide information about what stories they’re looking for.

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The World in 2020 Project

For a copy of the World in 2020 report, please visit

Keep up with Angela’s work by following her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Emma Haddad, Public Relations Manager,, (212) 500-1883


Emma Haddad, Public Relations Manager,, (212) 500-1883