This abstract is summarized by IPR from the original report published in the Journal of Public Relations Research.

Nneka Logan, Ph.D., analyzes race in the public relations industry and introduces a theoretical concept of the White leader prototype.

A descriptive case study was conducted to explore the role that race plays in leadership ascension in public relations. Dr. Logan analyzed a racialized leadership landscape of 25 top public relations firms through the lens of Critical Race Theory (Crenshaw, Gotanda, Peller, & Thomas, 1995).

Key findings include:

  • Of the 25 leaders included in the study, 100% were White and 72% were male.
  • Although African Americans gained access to the corporate sector, they were often tracked into race-based jobs, dealing exclusively with affirmative action or community-related responsibilities.
  • Public relations scholars and practitioners should encourage discussions of Whiteness and the White leader prototype as a way to more accurately understand how race contributes to the distribution of roles within their organizations.

Read more to learn about the White leader prototype in the public relations industry.


Logan, N. (2011). The White Leader Prototype: A Critical Analysis of Race in Public Relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 23(4), 442-457. doi:10.1080/1062726x.2011.605974

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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