An open letter from the CEO and Chair of the Taylor Bennett Foundation

This summer there has been an international uprising of the voices of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people around the world, following the death of George Floyd.  People from many different backgrounds have joined together to shout loudly that ‘Black Lives Matter’.

At the Taylor Bennett Foundation we have, for the last 12 years, been supporting BAME young people into careers in Public Relations and communications, a profession that is woefully under-representative.  With an award winning, successful track record we are proud of what we have achieved.  But there is so much more to be done.

This year’s State of the Profession research by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations showed that representation in the industry of BAME practitioners is still woefully low at 9%.  Comparable research by the Public Relations and Communications Association, paints a similar picture.

The Foundation can only work as hard as our funding allows and we are immensely grateful to our founders Taylor Bennett and also our founding agency, The Brunswick Group for their continued, generous support. Also, continuing their support are FTI Consulting and Finsbury who have funded our flagship PR Training programme and we are truly thankful for the long standing partnership we have with both of these agencies.

But this year we have seen a step change in support, and we want to shout it from the rooftops.  We know this will have a significant impact on our work and enable us to do more. We call upon our colleagues and friends across the PR and communications industry to join with our founding partner and agency, our long standing funders and these new supporters to help us accelerate change for the young BAME people we support.

This summer more agencies have joined in giving donations large and small, from their own charity allowances, to raising money by holding virtual challenges and fundraising initiatives.  We are grateful for every single pound that is given to us, thank you.

Significant financial support has come from Netflix employee giving programme which has made an amazing donation of £15,000 and Tulchan Communications LLP, who donated £10,000. Claudia Mair, a past trustee of the Foundation and ex-employee of Taylor Bennett, now working for Netflix secured the donation.

Claudia Mair, EMEA Talent Acquisition, Netflix said: I’ve observed the Taylor Bennett Foundation’s work over a number of years and have always been impressed by how tangible an impact they have on both the trainees they work with and sponsoring organisations. This impact only increases as the alumni community grows so strong, and the reach expands with the Summer Stars programme. I was delighted to make use of the Netflix donation matching scheme to be able to make a larger contribution to the continued success of the organisation and would absolutely encourage others to do the same. I felt confident the funds would be put to excellent use by the small and incredibly dedicated team at TBF. No surprise that they’ve been in regular contact with me, and I’m looking forward to meeting the next group of trainees for a masterclass.

Hamide Ahmet, HR Director at Tulchan Communications LLP said: Tulchan passionately believes in providing a valuable learning, working and networking opportunities for all, particularly those who ordinarily would not have access to firms or networks based in the city. We want to help young people who are of school age or just starting their careers to access opportunities through mentoring, work experience placements, inspiring schools talks, masterclasses and more. The TBF is a remarkable foundation that allows us to build professional relationships with individuals who help us grow as a firm – the candidates that come through the foundation are brilliant and inspiring. We have supported and partnered with the foundation for over three years and are committed to helping BAME candidates.

These donations will enable us to do more and we are hugely grateful to Netflix and Tulchan for their donations.

We know that the Foundation changes young people’s lives, we want to change more.  We want to change the face of the PR and communications industry.  We can do it; we have been doing it for the last 12 years.  The Taylor Bennett Foundation is a change maker and now we have more partners committed financially to enable us to achieve more change, more quickly.

If you would like to be part of this work, please get in touch. Join the change makers.

Yours faithfully,


Melissa Lawrence                                                      Sarah Pinch
Chief Executive                                                           Chair