This article is part of a mini-series celebrating the first-ever Black PR History Month, showcasing individuals of color and the influence they’ve had on the public relations industry. Read more here.
As the 2006 Gold Anvil Winner and PRSA 1997 National President, Debra A. Miller, Ed.D, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a public relations leader, strategist, counselor, educator and advocate. As the first woman of color lead PRSA and the second educator to head the organization, Miller left an astounding impact on the public relations industry and the push for diversity and excellence.
Miller is also one of only four women and the first woman of color to receive the Gold Anvil. She has spent over 30 years practicing public relations and promoting the value of the profession to those outside of it. Miller has held positions in Fortune 100 companies, universities, federal agencies and the military. Her various positions have helped her serve as a mentor while recruiting multicultural practitioners into the industry.
Miller has continuously expressed the impact mentoring has had on her own personal growth and how she continues mentoring others.
“I am convinced that had it not been for the counsel of my mentors, I would not have made some of the best decisions in my career and personal life,” says Miller.
Miller explained that having experience is not the most important thing in today’s industry. It is important to leverage relationships that help you grow personally and professionally every step of the way. Mentors are meant to be there in order to help us assess our performance and provide feedback on our weaknesses and strengths as well as offer support and resources.
Debra A. Miller is a public relations legend who has taught this generation to always push the boundaries and invite others to the table in order to have a more inclusive and successful industry. Read more of her public relations tips here.
Yara Ismail is a junior studying public relations and advertising at DePaul University in Chicago. She is a member of the PRSSA Industry News Subcommittee and the vice president of professional development for DePaul’s PRSSA Chapter. Follow her on twitter @YaraIsmail_ or on LinkedIn.