June is a time of celebration but also a time to learn about history, and how companies can support Pride all year long. Every year, we see companies flock to rebrand their social media profiles, websites, and storefronts in support of Pride and the LGBTQ2+ communities with Pride coloured logos and marketing materials, but they may be doing it for the wrong reasons. In recent years, companies have come under scrutiny for failing to meet the mark with their Pride marketing.
There’s a right way and wrong way for brands to participate and be an ally of Pride. It’s important to take a look at all the verticals when dealing with a human rights issue like this. You need to ensure you’re looking at the good as well as the bad.
Let’s dive in!
Pride is an emotional state deriving positive affect from the perceived value of a person or thing with which the subject has an intimate connection. It may be inwardly or outwardly directed.
With Pride comes responsibility, and as a brand, agency, or business, you must make the most informed decisions when planning out a strategy that is centered around “Pride”. Do you currently have active LGBTQ2+ representation? Are they a part of the planning process? Are you implementing any internal changes, making donations, or showing support in any other way for the LGBTQ2+ communities? All of these questions should be top of mind during Pride Month every year.
It’s important that when you’re planning a marketing strategy around Pride that it should focus on inclusivity. Make sure to obtain input from employees so no part of your efforts can be misconstrued. We covered this topic in our recent blog post titled, Queer Voices Share How to Nail Pride Marketing. Take the time to plan and take the opportunity to think about how you support or can support the LGBTQ2+ community in the long run, rather than when the topic is “trendy” during Pride month.
If you are a company or brand that chooses to support Pride by showcasing that in your marketing efforts, ensure that you’re also creating safe workplaces internally within your own company, and have the abilities to train staff on diversity and inclusion — making sure that everyone is on the same page.
Providing support as well as an open-door policy all year round is imperative. You should be supporting Pride all year round, not only acknowledging it during “Pride Month”. To be a true ally, it’s important to show this level of support especially when it becomes difficult or less “trendy” to do so. That means when June is over, don’t drop your support. Keep bringing attention to the various injustices, marginalization, or human rights violations that occur within the community day in and day out.
While the majority of actions performed by companies of all sizes are commendable, there’s still room for them to do much better.
When it comes to supporting Pride in and out of the workplace, be sure to offer resources, both in person and virtually, especially in the age of COVID-19. This can be done through digital meetings, supporting Slack channels, LGBT workgroups, and much more. It’s integral that companies offer support, rather than it is sought after by employees. If you’re a business owner, brand, or company, ensure that you have a zero-tolerance HR policy in place for discrimination. Be inclusive with your hiring, especially if your advertising efforts align you with the LGTBQ2+ community and the specific clients that you may work with.
When you’re dealing with sensitive topics in the workplace, ensure you do not generalize or provide blanket statements that may be received in a negative light. Ensure that statements are followed up with actionable items that hold your business accountable if you truly want to illustrate your commitment to the LGTBQ2+ community and other minority groups. Lastly, ensure your management team is equipped with inclusive leadership tactics as progress within the workplace starts from the top-down.
If you’re looking for helpful and local resources to help educate you and your team about the LGTBQ2+ community, here are some great resources to start!