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San Diego Public Relations Team of the Year – 2019

Mixte team wearing silly glasses with serious faces

In 2019, Mixte became holder of the PRSA San Diego Public Relations Team of the Year Award.

What. An. Honor.

Our public relations peers recognized us for our work, for standing out, and doing something different in our industry.

Since our beginning, this PR agency set out strong values and a business model to help those organizations and businesses that align with our values. In 2017, that included launching and incubating a social enterprise — Tracks PR. We’ve since closed that business and incorporated it into our new Tracks Apprenticeship program which aims to open career pathways for underrepresented professionals by partnering with organizations to offer paid job training to the communities that they serve. Why? The public relations industry is 83% white, and we strive to change that statistic by creating more opportunities for those who are often excluded from the public relations job market.

Our commitment to important work doesn’t stop there. Mixte founder and CEO, Jamie Hampton, became a Public Relations Society of America board member of the San Diego and Imperial Counties chapter, chairing the diversity committee so that she can ensure real, actionable change within the public relations industry.

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When our CEO accepted this Public Relations Team of the Year award with us standing on stage with her, she shared three important immediate changes that decision-makers in our industry can make right away:

  1. Pay your interns — If the industry continues to accept free labor, it will continue to prioritize those whose privilege allows them to work for free. Spoiler alert: there’s many talented people supporting their families or paying for their education who need part-time jobs to thrive, and you’re missing out on their talents when you don’t pay your public relations interns.
  2. Stop asking for candidate referrals from people who look like you — We had the opportunity to promote research from San Diego County that uncovered how people get their positions on boards and commissions. Too often, it’s from referrals from people currently in positions of power. When your team is fairly homogeneous in gender identity, religion, race, age, ability and socioeconomic upbringing, you’ll continue to recruit similar people if your main recruitment tool is asking your team for recommendations.
  3. Look for transferable skills — What does it even mean to do “pr” these days? If you require previous agency experience or a resume loaded with public relations internships, you’re limiting your pool of candidates to a small group of people (see item #1). Instead, consider a wider definition of public relations and the skills that are required to be successful in our career: community outreach, sales, volunteer coordinator, front desk or administrative assistant. It’s not for us to say what your business needs in order to reflect your clients’ cultures and understand their buyer, but we’re pretty certain neither of those requires a resume lined with public relations agency experience.

We continue to collaborate with good people who strive to empower our communities and improve livelihoods. In other words, no matter the year or award, our promise is to always be an outstanding PR team. We’re thankful for every staff member who contributed to our success, for every client who trusted us with their communications needs, for our contractors who pick up where our expertise ends, and for journalists who trust us to provide them with credible and valuable information.

Winning this award represents our leadership, courage, and creativity. And for Mixte, the award is simply a reminder of the principles that ground us.

This award tells us what we’re doing is working — so we’re going to keep on doing it.

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