As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, it is important to remember that our responsibility, as future professionals, is to keep promoting D&I initiatives in our future organizations and companies in order to build a better society. In fact, thanks to an Instagram post made by PRSSA National, we now know that only 5.7% of the public relations workforce is Hispanic.
As of this year, PRSSA has made a presence in three Latin American countries: Argentina (2007), Colombia (2013) and Peru (2014). Last year, two new Chapters were founded in Puerto Rico, contributing to the growth of the profession in this region. PRSSA International Ambassadors are here to share the challenges they face every day and the experiences that they shared with their fellow members,
Isabella Pareja — Universidad de Medellín (UDEM), Colombia
Hi! I’m Isabella Pareja, a communication and corporate relations student who has been part of the PRSSA Universidad de Medellín Chapter for over a year. Being part of the Chapter has been a very enriching experience for me because I started learning, from the previous e-board, how to carry out different tasks and I’ve also been enjoying all the different activities we do.
This year the challenge was bigger for me, because I started as the Chapter president, coordinating a new team, and creating plans for what this year would be. However, the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and we had to reinvent ourselves to keep the group together and motivated the members despite the external circumstances. Through this, I’ve been able to meet members of other Chapters in Latin America and the United States, creating closer connections between Chapters and making the Colombian Chapter and University of Medellín more visible.
Even though public relations is needed in different types of organizations, the challenge of the profession in my country lies in its capacity to position itself and gain the recognition it deserves. consider this to be an advantage for our Chapter’s members as they will bring unique cultural and business insights to the organizations they work for.
Justina Kleine — Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), Argentina
Being a member of the PRSSA UADE Chapter has allowed me not only to meet and become friends with colleagues who are passionate about public relations, but also to learn more of the profession by visiting companies and contacting experienced professionals in my country.
Although many times the distance and economic conditions of Argentina do not allow us to take full advantage of all the activities of PRSSA National offers, technology has helped us and allowed us keep in contact with members of other Chapters throughout the Americas.
Argentina is a country that has been characterized by its multiple crises, but we have managed to transform them into opportunities with creativity and with the resources available to us. This practice of turning crises into opportunities for storytelling is a skill I hope to continue building as I advance through my career. I hope to share what I have learned with my peers and future generations of PR professionals from Argentina in the future.
Dieter Tirado — Universidad de San Martín de Porres (USMP), Peru
PRSSA has been a key part of my student journey. When I joined in 2018, I didn’t expect to discover a world with so many benefits and experiences that could help me grow as a future professional. This group led me to meet awesome people who trusted in my abilities and allowed me to serve in our executive board as the internships and scholarships director.
In 2020, I became the assistant director of our Student-run Firm. We all know this year has been difficult for everyone, however, we were able to adapt and embrace the change. Surprisingly, during this quarantine I had the opportunity to meet more fellow members in my Chapter and internationally.
The story of public relations is still being written in my country and in Latin America. The profession is not as well-known as it is in other regions, but PRSSA has taught me to share all I’ve learned with the organizations I work for. Peruvians don’t see walls or give up when a challenge appears, they face them and try to find a way to reach their goals.
This article is part of PRSSA’s ongoing celebration of Hispanic Heritage month. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage month celebrates the cultures, contributions, and history of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Be on the lookout for stories from students and PR professionals all month long.
Dieter Tirado is a junior student at Universidad de San Martín de Porres (USMP) in Lima, Peru. He is pursuing a major in PR with a minor in Advertisement. He has served as a PRSSA National Publications Subcommittee member since 2019. As PRSSA USMP’s International Ambassador and the Assistant Director of its Student-run Firm, PR USMP, Dieter takes advantage of every moment and experience in the Society. During his free time, you can find him singing, connecting with people from his city and the world, and watching any kind of videos online just for fun. Connect with Dieter on LinkedIn and Twitter.