Manifest retains full Blueprint status & Blurred promoted from Ally to full status

Manifest retains full Blueprint status & Blurred promoted from Ally to full status

Wednesday 6 July 2022; London, UK: Manifest has become the first agency to retain full Blueprint status and Blurred has become the first agency to be promoted from Blueprint Ally to full Blueprint status after both agencies re-applied for the diversity mark in April.

The Blueprint diversity mark aims to promote racial diversity in PR and communications. Awarded agencies sign up to a series of commitments aimed at encouraging diversity from training to boardroom, staff culture to recruitment and retention.

Manifest was the first agency to secure full Blueprint status when the diversity mark launched in June 2020 and has become the first to retain the status. Blurred was awarded Blueprint Ally status two years ago and has become the first organisation to be promoted from Ally to full Blueprint status following the latest application round.

The agencies’ submissions were marked by an independent panel of judges: Henry Rowling (founder, Flying Cars innovation agency); Sasha Daly (advocacy and influencing consultant); and Nyree Connell (healthcare policy manager and Blueprint strategy advisor).

Both agencies were commended for tackling The Blueprint commitments and their approach to creating equitable workforces including tackling gender and ethnic pay gaps and recruiting, retaining and nurturing BME talent especially at a senior level.

Furthermore, award-winning brand communications agency Manifest wowed the judges with their ongoing commitment to anti-racism and being a force for D&I good in the industry. The Blueprint judges were particularly impressed by the agency’s trailblazing work to promote D&I with clients including Tik Tok, Gousto and Tommee Tippee and its bold initiative to tackle the BME influencers’ pay gap.

Award-winning global strategic and creative advisory firm Blurred leapt from Blueprint Ally status to full Blueprint status after rolling out a number of bold and ambitious initiatives to promote D&I. The judges were particularly impressed by the consultancy’s innovative intersectional approach to recruiting diverse talent coupled with ambitious D&I targets that has led the agency to attract and, crucially, retain diverse talent at all levels.

Elizabeth Bananuka, Founder, BME PR Pros; Founder/CEO Blueprinted, said: “Two years ago when we launched The Blueprint, we could never have imagined what our first Blueprinted agencies, Manifest and Blurred, would do, create or achieve. Their re-applications for The Blueprint status are the stuff of D&I dreams. Bold, ambitious, transparent, strategic, creative, exciting results and data-driven stuff. From client work to workforce culture, the agencies are the greatest adverts for what a commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion can achieve and the advantages they can offer from clients to retention. On behalf of The Blueprint judges, it is an honour to re-award Manifest full Blueprint status and to promote Blurred from Ally to full Blueprint status. We cannot thank them enough for their continued commitment to diversity and for rooting for talented BME PR and comms pros to get the careers they deserve.”

Julian Obubo, Partner & Brand Strategy Director, Manifest, said: “The Blueprint Diversity mark has provided us with the necessary resources and guidelines needed to hold ourselves and our clients accountable so we can step up to become agents of change in our industries. We have benefited immensely from the training sessions and the chance to share learnings with other awardees. Importantly, the mark has helped ease what in the past could be fraught and sensitive discussions around diversity and inclusion. Agencies looking to strengthen their internal capabilities and targets with respect to DEI should actively consider applying. We’ve still got a long way to go, but we are in a much stronger place after two years as Blueprint awardees.”

Nik Govier, CEO & Founder, Blurred, said: “Since we first applied in early 2020, so much has happened in the world, including an evolution in the expectations of businesses when it comes to driving DEI within and outside their own walls. There is still much to do, but The Blueprint has been fundamental in pushing our industry to be better. I know we’re better because of it. The very process of applying is an important step, as you’re guided by the commitments. But it needs to be applied alongside a genuine desire to improve, and we’ve built on it with our own commitments to creating an environment in which every individual can thrive, be given equal opportunity, and feel they can be their true, best selves.  We’re proud to continue to be part of the ever-growing cohort of Blueprinted businesses, and we recognise the journey is never over.

Since The Blueprint for Parity launched in 2020, it has been awarded to twelve agencies including Hope&Glory, Cirkle, Riot Communications, CCgroup, Harvard and PrettyGreen.

The Blueprint for In-house and The Blueprint for Comms. Organisations was launched in May 2022.

The Blueprint diversity mark has four application rounds a year and applications are judged by an independent panel who have taken part in a Blueprint diversity workshop. The deadline for the next round of agency applications is midday on Thursday 1 September 2022. Applications can be requested via the website.


Blueprinted organisations must re-apply for the diversity mark after two years.