This month marks Pride month, a period in which the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community are recognised and celebrated across the world. Additionally, this month aims to uplift voices within the community and to push for further support for LGBTQ+ rights.
This time every year, corporations big & small change their logos on social media to show the rainbow flag in the background. Flags are flown on shopfronts. Pride hashtags are used. But often, this is followed by silence on support for the community, generating a sense that this corporate fanfare created during Pride was an empty gesture aimed at generating profit.
It is vital to recognise that this is not just a mistake that organisations make during Pride month. As the Black Lives Matter movement came to the forefront of discussions after unrest in the US, many companies released statements suggesting that they would ‘take a step back’ to review the situation and what they could do to fight racial injustice. Although many elaborated on this in the weeks after these statements, many felt that this was another token gesture by corporations.
Below, we discuss how companies can communicate that they really care about these movements and issues.
1. Put your words into action
It is great to have a social graphic stating that your company is celebrating pride or cares for a certain group of people, but don’t just say it. Talk to your audience about initiatives you are taking to increase the diversity of your workforce or how you are recognising the achievements of a certain group. Are you raising money for Stonewall? Mention it. If you find that you don’t have any activities to mention, it might not be worth posting your support on social media. Your customers want to see action.
2. Provide a human face
Putting a face behind a company name allows your customers to hear from your employees. For example, interview some members of the LGBTQ+ community who work in the organisation to gain an insight into their experiences at the company. These quotes can then be used across social media to highlight how you support employees from the community. Additionally, by talking to these employees, you can also look to improve on the feedback provided to make your organisation a more inclusive environment for all.
3. People support ‘ethical’
There is no doubting the rise of ethical spending, with the market now worth about £41bn in the UK (Guardian, 2019). So, if you want to recognise for example, the plight of the Uyghur Muslims in China, you might want to show your audience how you have been ethically active in tracing your supply lines in the country to avoid using unethically produced materials from the Chinese ‘re-education’ camps. It might be as simple as highlighting donations that your company has made towards charities which attempt to alleviate the suffering of minority groups. If you run a smaller company and don’t have the financial resources to make donations, volunteer with a local charity for a ‘teambuilding day’, which will benefit both your employees and the charity. This provides a great opportunity to make a real difference and can be shared across your company platforms. Not only does this show that you care, but it also presents your brand in a good light and may add to your customer base.