WhitPR: Q&A with Founder and CEO Dreena Whitfield
WhitPR, an integrated strategic communications agency, continues to make waves in the PR industry. CEO Dreena Whitfield founded it in 2010 and has led her team of eight to great success since. Whitfield has been recognized as a 2021 PR News Top Women in PR Honoree, PR Weeks 40 Under 40, Ebony Magazine’s “Top 10 Black Women in Politics’’ and Huffington Post’s,” Top 25 Millennial Publicists.” Read the Q&A with Dreena Whitfield below to learn more about WhitPR today...
Q: What are you most proud of as an agency?
A: I founded WhitPR in 2010 with very little resources and over a decade later, I’ve been able to scale my company from my one-bedroom apartment, to the agency of choice for brands looking to authentically connect with multicultural audiences. In an industry that is often dominated by major conglomerates, I am grateful that our work continues to have a lasting impact on the communications sector.
Q: What recent wins can we celebrate you for?
A: The last year welcomed tremendous growth for my team. In 2021, we were recognized as a Webby Awards Finalist for Best Cause-Related Campaign and a 2021 PR News CSR & Diversity Finalist for the work we did with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. I was also recently recognized as one of PR Week’s 40 under 40 and PR News’ 2021 Top Women in PR.
Q: How would you describe your agency?
A: At WhitPR, we are champions of cultural creators, moments, and movements. The core of our work is dedicated to elevating the voices and stories of multicultural communities. We’re a talented team of communicators, marketers, and strategists that merge Public Relations, Marketing, and Creative strategies to authentically tell our client stories that reach the right audience and generate measurable results that support their overall business goals.
Q: What are your predictions for the PR industry in 2022?
A: 2021 has been a year that has really called on brands to display their commitment to Diversity and Inclusion beyond words but rather through action and impactful campaigns. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the brands they support and a focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be a continued theme heading into 2022 as consumers look to align themselves with brands and companies that reflect their values and are more globally-minded. This trend will also greatly impact the industry internally as PR professionals will look to become more intentional about the brands and companies they work with. Professionals will be seeking companies that not only promote diversity and inclusion externally but also embrace these practices internally.
Q: What are you doing to improve D&I in the PR industry?
A: We have long been a champion for the advancement of underserved communities. Our work centers on filling the need for cultural connectors in today’s ever-evolving consumer landscape. We implemented communications strategies for social justice & human rights organizations such as the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Fwd., Because of Them We Can and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; in addition to multicultural beauty disruptors like Scotch Porter and Botanika Beauty.
Another core value that transcends beyond my professional endeavors is my commitment to helping drive the success of women of color in business. As someone that worked in this space prior to opening my own firm, I understand the biases and disparities many women— especially women of color face in the marketing and communications industries, and I understand the importance of leading by example. Creating a space that centers on including diverse voices and perspectives is reflected in how communicators are able to craft and share culturally sensitive and authentic messaging.
Not long after forming WhitPR, I established an internship program that provides college women with one-on-one mentorship and meaningful opportunities to jumpstart their career path prior to graduation. We’re committed to nurturing the next generation of women of color communicators and giving them the opportunity to advance this industry. Currently, my entire staff is made up of Black women, many of whom started as interns and have been able to grow within this industry.
To learn more about WhitPR, check out the website here.
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