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.
William B. Marks, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a mentor, champion for education and trailblazer for the public relations industry.
With over 30 years in the public relations industry, Marks has a lot to show for it. In addition to being awarded the 2003 D. Parke Gibson Pioneer Award — PRSA’s highest distinction in multicultural affairs — Marks has held senior positions at some of the world’s biggest companies. For three years Marks served as the vice president of public relations for Coca-Cola North America, and was president of GCI Group, Atlanta for over seven years.
Marks has dedicated his time to speak to both professionals and students about the importance of diversity in the public relations industry. Through his pursuit for diversity, Marks has cemented relationships with minority media organizations such as National Newspapers Publishers Association, National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association and the National Association of Minority Media Executives.
Marks currently serves as the owner of W. B. Marks Partners, LLC. Thanks to the influence of public relations professionals such as Marks, the industry has taken huge strides toward equality by become more diverse.
Andrew Young is a sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where he serves as the president of the MTSU PRSSA Chapter. He is also a member of the Advocacy Subcommittee for PRSSA National.