By Paulina Rodriguez, Contributor
Photo by Ines Torres de Jesus, Contributor
The Department of Journalism and Public Relations’ Bateman Team attempted to break the world record for longest string of pasta at the LBSU central quad on Feb. 28.
The world breaking event was used to bring awareness to the lack of diversity in the PR workforce. According to the Journal of Public Relations Research, by 2055 or 2060, the majority of all people in the United States will be Latino, Black and Asian.
However, there is a lack of racial diversity within the public relations and communications field. Even in California, where the total population is only 37.5 percent white, the PR industry is comprised of a workforce that is 76.9 percent white.
“The public relations workforce struggles with diversity and inclusion, even in the diverse state of California,” said Ines Torres, Bateman team leader and PRSSA Long Beach chapter president. “We wanted to take advantage of our diverse campus, one of the most diverse in the state, to show that if we can bring a diverse population together to do something as simple as string pasta, why can’t the workforce work harder to better represent the diverse populations they serve?”
In order to bring awareness to the issue, the LBSU Bateman Team, also known as Diversity LB, has created a campaign for its client, the PRSA Foundation. The Bateman Case Study Competition is the Public Relations Student Society of America’s premier national case study competition during which public relations students have the opportunity to research, plan and implement a campaign for their client. This year’s client is the PRSA Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose efforts aim to improve diversity and inclusion in the public relations and communications workforce.
The team’s goal was to engage students to participate in breaking a world record and discuss the importance of diversity.
In just over 10 hours, the team strung 1,064 feet of pasta, over half of its goal. The team met again for day two, Thursday, March 7, at 10 a.m., to string the remaining 936 feet, bringing it to its goal of 2,000 feet.
The previous winners of “longest string of pasta” were the Redbourn Priory Beavers, a children’s group in the U.K., who strung their pasta 597.7 m (1,960.95 ft) and was made by Redbourn Priory Beavers, a children’s group located in the U.K. This year the Bateman team is using this broken record as a way to educate participants on the lack of diversity within the workforce and how the attendees can work to end this dilemma.