NEWS: National Network of Multicultural and LGBTQ PR Agencies Expands to Ten Major Markets
The Change Agencies today announced the addition of five new member agencies. Read the press release below to learn more about our dramatic expansion.
The Change Agencies Adds Five New Member Firms from Across the United States
National Network of Independent Multicultural and LGBTQ PR Firms Expands National Footprint to Ten Major Markets to Better Address Growing Challenges to Inclusive Communications
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 25, 2023) – Five independently-owned and operated public relations firms operating in seven markets nationwide have today joined The Change Agencies, the national network of independent multicultural and LGBTQ public relations and marketing firms that launched in June 2019. The five new member agencies join three existing member agencies led by Managing Partners Ben Finzel of RENEWPR in Washington, D.C., LaTricia Woods of Mahogany Xan Communications in Phoenix, Ariz., and Tanya Churchmuch of MuchPR in New York, NY. The Change Agencies now comprises eight agencies operating in ten major markets across the United States. The new members joining today are:
Kristelle Siarza of Siarza in Albuquerque, NM, and San Diego, Calif.
John Avila of Avila Creative, in Chicago, Ill.
Bernadette Davis of Bernadette Davis Communications in Plano, Tex. and Orlando, Fla.
Tammy Belton-Davis of Athena Communications in Milwaukee, Wis.
Sonia Diaz of Zaid Communications in Miami, Fla.
The Change Agencies is a national collective of PR firms offering inclusive communications advice, counsel and outreach to effectively represent, engage and connect with African American, Asian American, Hispanic and LGBTQ communities. Utilizing a collaborative working approach, The Change Agencies helps businesses and organizations communicate across cultures, ensuring that outreach and marketing to diverse communities are culturally appropriate, sensitive, and meaningful. Every agency owner is either African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, and/or LGBTQ and six of the eight member agency leaders are women.
“While significant strides have been made in DEI, there is still a great deal of work to be done especially in the area of authentic and strategic communications with historically underrepresented communities,” said LaTricia Woods, Founder and President of Mahogany Xan Communications. “This is a time of moving from rhetoric to action, from making grand gestures to making big moves, from imagining the change you want to see to being the change that needs to be. With our growth, The Change Agencies has more resources to meet the needs of our current and future clients while continuing to share the importance of inclusivity in all realms of communications. This is truly an exciting time to be a part of The Change Agencies.”
There are now more than 50 public relations professionals in 20 cities nationwide employed by or partnering with the eight firms in The Change Agencies. Among the services offered by the member firms are consumer marketing, public affairs and policy communications, issues management, community relations, influencer outreach, target market research, crisis communications, annual DEI and ESG reports, and message development. The Change Agencies’ member firms have experience supporting Fortune 500 companies, privately-held firms and foundations, leading trade associations and advocacy organizations and nonprofits in sectors including: consumer, travel and tourism, healthcare and aging services, the arts, retail, telecommunications, automotive, technology, financial services, education and government and public affairs.
“With the addition of our five new member firms, the Change Agencies can be a one-stop shop for any business or organization that wants to improve its inclusive communications, both internally and externally, no matter the sector” emphasized Tanya Churchmuch, Founder of MuchPR. “Depending upon the client’s needs, we are able to build out a tailor made team of senior level communicators to authentically develop and execute the program.”
The signature offerings of The Change Agencies include: The CHANGE Audit, a 360-degree, deep-dive discovery process designed to analyze, evaluate and implement appropriate communications throughout an organization; and It’s Not Pie, a communications program designed to make the case that equal rights for all don’t mean less rights for some by shoring up internal and external support for conducting DEI programs and providing a positive counterargument companies and organizations supportive of such programs can use with opponents of these programs.
“While the idea behind The Change Agencies is simple, the challenge is not,” explained Ben Finzel, president of RENEWPR and one of the Managing Principals of The Change Agencies. “LGBTQ people, people of color and other communities not traditionally part of the national conversation are increasingly being marginalized in communications programs, denigrated in the media, and attacked in the streets. It’s long past time for the public relations industry to represent and reflect all of the people it serves AND for diverse communicators to collaborate to help clients effectively approach, address, and answer this growing challenge. That’s why we’re here - and why we are growing.”
The Change Agencies network is supported by an Advisory Council of diverse industry leaders with significant multicultural and/or LGBTQ experience and expertise. Each member of the Advisory Council is a respected, nationally-recognized industry thought leader and practitioner in one or more of the sectors represented by The Change Agencies. These leaders provide advice, counsel, and connections to help The Change Agencies grow and serve clients. The updated list of Advisory Council members will be announced in February 2023.
Visit The Change Agencies website at www.thechangeagencies.com for more information. The quotations below provide additional insight from our new members.
About The Change Agencies
The Change Agencies is a national collaborative of multicultural and LGBTQ-owned public relations firms focused on providing inclusive public relations to multicultural and LGBTQ communities. We help businesses and organizations approach, address and answer diverse communications and marketing challenges and opportunities. Founded in 2019 by leaders of six independently-owned, diverse public relations firms located in major markets throughout the U.S. and now including eight agencies operating in ten major markets, its mission is “Changing the way businesses and consumers communicate across cultures.” For more information visit the website: http://www.TheChangeAgencies.com.
QUOTABLE: Comments from New Members of The Change Agencies
Kristelle Siarza of Siarza in Albuquerque, New Mexico
“When I entered the field at a young age, I would always walk into a public relations meeting, workshop or event and be the only APINH person in the room. When I looked for diversity and equity in this field, I was overwhelmed to have stumbled upon The Change Agencies. I found more than that - I discovered people who work, think, and challenge the norm of diversity, equity and inclusion and truly embrace what our field so desperately needs.”
John Avila of Avila Creative in Chicago, Illinois
“Avila Creative is honored to stand united with this talented group of diverse professionals transforming the future of communications to be inclusive for all audiences. At this point in our firm's history, working on mission-driven work that reflects our own values is more important to us than ever and we are excited to be a part of this long-overdue transformation in communications.”
Bernadette Davis of Bernadette Davis Communications in Plano, Texas
“Our team is inspired by the vision of The Change Agencies founders to create a network of diverse-owned agencies. We are excited to join them and look forward to collaborating with this insightful and powerful group of leaders.”
Tammy Belton-Davis of Athena Communications in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"Athena Communications joins this group of nationally acclaimed agencies with an expanded commitment to serve as national change agents. The heart of what we do is centered in creating transformational work with and for transformational clients. When we align belief with intention and move at the speed of trust, real and lasting change can occur, all in the pursuit of a better world with our partners."
Sonia Diaz of Zaid Communications in Miami, Florida
"Being part of The Change Agencies means having the opportunity to bring true diversity to the table so that brands can engage our most underserved communities in a meaningful and impactful way."