BME PR Pros/PRWeek Mentoring Scheme 2019 – FAQs

How will the scheme work?

The BME PR Pros/PRWeek Mentoring Scheme is open to UK-based comms professionals from an ethnic minority background who have worked in the industry for a minimum of six months.

Successful applicants will be matched with mentors who are deemed to be the best fit for their particular circumstances. They will receive advice and guidance through four sessions from April to September: three face-to-face and one remote meeting.

The closing date for applications is 17.00 on Friday 15 February 2019 and successful applicants will be notified by Monday 18 March 2019.

Why is the scheme only open to professionals from an ethnic minority background?

Figures show people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are underrepresented in PR and communications. This mentoring scheme is one of many initiatives developed by BME PR Pros aimed at increasing BME diversity in the sector.

What are you looking for in mentees?

The mentoring scheme has been deliberately designed to be solution-focused so we’re looking for professionals with a clear understanding of the support they need.

Be it getting a new job, applying for a promotion, changing sectors, setting up an agency, developing a team or winning more clients – the clearer the aim, the more our mentors can help and the more mentees will get out of the scheme.

How will mentees be chosen?

A shortlist will be drawn up by an independent panel and the final eighteen will be picked by the mentors.

If I’m successful, how will I be matched? Could I choose my mentor?

Successful applicants will be matched to mentors that are the best fit for their circumstances and their career goals. The final eighteen will be chosen by the mentors. Mentees cannot choose their mentors.

There are only eighteen spots. If I apply and I don’t get a place on the scheme, is there a plan B?

Possibly. BME PR Pros are hoping to hold a special event for all applicants in 2019. However, this is yet to be confirmed. Please follow @bmeprpros on Twitter for the latest news.

If I’m unsuccessful will I get feedback?

I’m afraid not. BME PR Pros has limited capacity and will not be able to feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

I’ve only been working in PR for six months and would love some support navigating the sector. Could a mentor help with this?

Absolutely. Our mentors include rising stars from in-house and agency backgrounds that can provide invaluable support and advice on staying on and climbing that ladder.

I’ve worked in PR for years and consider myself a PR pro. I don’t need to sharpen my PR skills but I’d really like to set up my own PR agency or go freelance, can a mentor help me with this?

Yes. Our mentors include award-winning agency owners and freelancers who can offer guidance and support on setting up, building and managing an agency and winning clients.

I’m interested in developing a creative career within PR. Can a mentor help with this?

Yes. Several of our mentors produce creative consumer work and of course, we have the incredibly talented Indy Selvarajah, Creative Director, Edelman Deportivo, on board.

If your less about media relations and hard news and more about developing creative work, we have the mentors for you.

Hold up! I am more about hard news and media relations. Do any of the mentors tick those boxes?

Absolutely! Amongst our mentors are corporate communication pros used to working in hard fast news.

Our mentors also come from a range of sectors from healthcare to tech, legal to corporate comms.

I didn’t go to Oxbridge, I didn’t get into PR on a fancy internship, I don’t work for a top ten agency, I’ve never won a Cannes Lions, I was never a ’30 under 30’ – be honest, if I applied you wouldn’t pick me for the scheme, would you?

The BME PR Pros/PRWeek Mentoring Scheme is about supporting black, Asian and minority ethnic professionals from all professional and personal backgrounds. We don’t care about your socio-economic background, if you went to uni or if you work for a “famous” agency. We’re just looking for talented, passionate, individuals with career goals that we can help them fulfil.

Hold up! I did go to Oxbridge, started my career on an amazing internship and yes, I’ve been to Cannes Lion. Does that mean my application won’t get a look in?

Not at all! We’ll say it again (for the people at the back ;-)): we’re just looking for talented, passionate, individuals with career goals that we can help them fulfil.

I’m a mother and I’ve struggled to develop my career since returning from maternity leave. Is this something the mentors will understand?

Yes! Our judges include parents who understand the challenges of juggling parenthood and a demanding career.

If I’m picked as a mentee, what will be expected of me?

You’ll need to be available for an introductory Skype/telephone call in March, to meet your mentor three times face to face (April to June) and a fourth time remotely (September).

You will also need to attend a photoshoot in London on Wednesday 10 April 2019 (4pm to 6pm).

You’ll need to be committed to the process and do all those things we expect of professionals (turn up on time, complete agreed actions, respond to communication from your mentor and BME PR Pros in a timely fashion etc etc).

Most of your mentors are in London and one in Scotland but I’m not based in either location. If I’m picked as a mentee, can we meet halfway?

I’m afraid not. If you’re successful you will need to meet our mentors at the location where they are based (e.g. Manchester or London for Claire Quansah).

Will the scheme run again?

We hope so! However, there is no guarantee. Please follow @bmeprpros on Twitter for the latest news.

What is BME PR Pros?

BME PR Pros aims to promote BME diversity in PR and communications. The initiative was founded by – and is led by – Elizabeth Bananuka.

All BME PR Pros events are delivered by speakers from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and all content on the site is produced by or focuses on BME professionals.

BME PR Pros is unfunded. Speakers, mentors and writers all contribute their time and/or content for free.

Is the BME PR Pros/PRWeek Mentoring Scheme funded?

No. BME PR Pros has not received any funding or sponsorship to develop or manage the scheme.

What if I want to know more BME PR Pros?

No problem, check out this Q and A.

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