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Author: Aleena Gardezi

GOLIN B&B Launches Pilot in London, Major Focus is to Attract Diverse Talent

Posted February 16, 2017

For its 2017 Internship program, integrated communications agency Golin wanted to encourage people from a more mixed background to come, try a career and start a career in public relations but the agency understood that not everyone can afford the high rent in major cities such as London, New York and Hong Kong.

“At Golin, we try to bring new experiences and a sense of adventure to your life which is the foundation of our “Unternship” program,” CEO Matt Neale explained. “ If you are moving to the capital, the rent costs are about $2000 pounds for the deposit and the first month’s rent, which – if you don’t come from a reasonably wealthy background – is prohibitive.”

In an attempt to attract more diverse candidates, Golin launched Golin B&B for its “Bright Young Things” (intake of interns in London).

Golin B&B initiatives include:

  • Flatshare for all interns together in London’s zone 1 or 2
  • 0% PayLater loan for first month’s rent and deposit
  • Reimbursing interview travel costs for those based outside of London
  • Advice on budget, lifestyle & commute requirements, relocation essentials (such as SIM card and transport maps), help finding and registering with health services
  • and a Golin B&B buddy to offer local tips for services, restaurants, gyms etc

The announcement, which was in the works for a few months came right after London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the The Fifty Thousand Homes campaign, which aims to help workers with London’s steep house prices by having employers offer loans to staff that covers their rental deposit.

“Golin B&B is designed to help level the playing field and ensure that starting a career as an intern in public relations is not just for the wealthy,” Neale stated. “If you don’t have the personal wealth and if you don’t have the social connections, starting a career in public relations can be incredibly difficult.

“We may be missing out on a community of incredibly talented and innovative people because they simply aren’t drawn to our industry due to the economic challenges it brings,” he added.

To truly get a range of diverse applicants, the agency has partnered with the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity that aims to make a practical improvement in social mobility for young people from low-income backgrounds by working together to target areas for advertising and promoting the program.

“This fantastic initiative from Golin is precisely the kind of radical, imaginative way of thinking that our industry desperately needs -completely typical of Golin’s habit of setting the agenda, and showing the way,” said Francis Ingham, Director General at the PRCA, in a statement. “Both as an employer, and as the head of our industry’s professional body, I know that housing costs have become a crisis issue. The London market is simply pricing too many young people out. This move from Golin will be applauded by anyone who cares about the future of PR.”

Applications for the January intake are now closed but applications for the May 2017 intake will open in February.

If the pilot program is successful, Golin will expand its program to other major cities. Neale explained that the London program is the test market. The agency will take the learnings from it to learn, adapt, and improve the program as necessary and roll it out in other very expensive cities in the world like New York.

“And we hope that this is something that other agencies will borrow with pride because we alone cannot make an industry as diverse as it should be,” Neale told DIVERGE. “We believe – as I am sure other agency leaders do – that diversity leads to innovation and innovation leads to creativity and creativity drives the performance and success of our businesses.”

“So there is a clear business need for agencies to step up, move beyond rhetoric and actually take action to make our industry more diverse,” he added.