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Celebrating 15 years of the Taylor Bennett Foundation: How the programme helped the careers of Kwaku Aning, Shanice Hoo Mills and Toni Adeola

This week, we’re celebrating 15 years of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, and to do that, we’re talking to 3 of its alumni about how the programme helped their careers. On the PRmoment Podcast today, we’re talking to Kwaku Aning, Shanice Hoo Mills and Toni Adeola

For those of you not aware of the Taylor Bennett Foundation - well, I’d suggest you should! It’s an amazing charity that exists to encourage black, Asian and minority ethnic graduates to pursue a career in communications. It does this through its PR training programme, internships and mentoring programmes.

Established by communications executive search firm Taylor Bennett in partnership with the University of East London and founding agency Brunswick in 2008, the Foundation seeks to address the need for greater diversity in the public relations sector.

With the support of leading communication companies, The Taylor Bennett Foundation runs professional development programmes that provide participants with the knowledge, skill set and network required to pursue a successful career in communications.

And what better way to celebrate the 15th birthday of the foundation than to chat with three recent alumni about the programme and how it has benefited their careers?

Kwaku Aning is currently senior director at FTI Consulting and completed the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme in 2016. Shanice Hoo Mills is the founder of PR firm Kallure, which she launched in 2019. MHP sponsored Shanice and Kwaku’s Taylor Foundation intake.

Toni Adeola is the global corporate affairs manager at Charlotte Tilbury Beauty. Previously, she worked at Brunswick for five years. Toni completed the Taylor Bennett program in 2017. Brunswick was the sponsor of Toni’s intake of the programme.

Before we start, if you haven’t already, look at our new event PR Masterclass: The Agency Growth Forum.

At this one event, 22 experts will give 11 Masterclasses on essential elements of managing a modern, profitable and successful PR firm.

Also, thanks so much to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors the PRCA.

Finally, thanks to PRmoment’s data and insight partners, Meltwater, for supporting this podcast.

Here’s a summary of what Kwaku, Toni and Shanice talked about on the show:

3 mins For any of our listeners who are not aware of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, Kwaku Aning talks us through what the charity does.

4.30 mins Toni Adeola tells us what she was doing in life before she went onto the Taylor Bennett programme.

6 mins Toni tells about the type of course content and what she found most useful.

9 mins Shanice Shields-Mills talks us through how the Taylor Bennet Foundation helped her.

14 mins Shanice talks about how long the programme lasts and what content she found most useful.

18 mins Kwaku talks about why interns being paid to go on the Taylor Bennett Foundation is such a game-changer.

“It feels good to be part of something that was ahead of its time. That’s positive.”

20 mins Kwaku outlines how PR employers out there can get involved with the scheme and potentially sponsor an intake,

“They need to have an honest conversation with themselves first. Are they doing this for the right reasons…or are they doing it as an exercise to make themselves feel better.”

“The comms industry still has a massive retention issue.”

“It’s diversity, inclusion but also having equity. ..the equity part of that is important.”

27 mins Kwaku talks about what he learned on the programme that helped him the most in his career.

“Once the programme was finished, I felt so confident in myself.”

“After the third or fourth week, we were made to do four job applications a week…there was a big focus on finding that next step.”

“There are so many different programmes out there…fabulous programmes, but there’s no outcome at the end…the (Taylor Bennett Foundation’s) goal is to secure a placement in the coms industry.”

34 mins For anyone out there listening to this who is from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background and wants to pursue a career in communications, Toni tells you why you should apply for the Taylor Bennett Foundation.

“It’s a safe space. You’re amongst people who look like you and think like you. Who is looking after you.”

“You get paid to do it. That’s unbelievable…The people behind it are top.”

36 mins Kwaku tells you how to get in touch with the Taylor Bennett Foundation to apply to its scheme.

38 mins Toni and Kwaku talk about how rigorous the application process is.

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