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  • Writer's pictureGemma Walton

How To Make Sure Your Marketing Is Inclusive All Year Round Not Just During Pride Month

Updated: Apr 25

There is no better time than Pride month to review a few ways you can champion social issues and reflect your company’s values of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in your marketing plans. If you are not already taking steps to support LGBTQ+ communities all year-round, take this opportunity to talk about doing so with leadership and employees during Pride. Instead of treating Pride month as a marketing campaign, direct your efforts towards activities that positively impact LGBTQ+ communities. The best way to commemorate June is by making a genuine, ongoing commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ tourism communities, not only during the month of June, but also throughout the entire year to ensure your marketing is inclusive all year round not just during pride month.

How To Make Sure Your Marketing Is Inclusive All Year Round Not Just During Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and it gives companies of all types the unique opportunity to celebrate, express support, and increase visibility of LGBTQIA+ people directly in their own social media channels and marketing. If you spend any time on social media in the month of June, you have probably seen a few major brands stating their support of the LGBTQ+ community to honour Pride Month. Unfortunately, that inspired many businesses to stick a rainbow flag across their social media channels during Pride Month - and then immediately forget the LGBTQ+ community once July came around. While brands may have emphasized the community heavily during Pride Month, many still have a long way to go when it comes to representing LGBTQ+ people in advertising throughout the rest of the year.

Brands should ditch Pride month platitudes and instead produce content and campaigns that demonstrate unambiguous support for LGBTQ+ communities. If you truly want to engage, represent, and support LGBTQIA+ communities, now is the time to actively make a transition into better inclusive marketing all year long. Inclusivity must be a proactive mission for your Pride campaigns, as well as your marketing efforts going forward. Every organisation looking to champion Pride on social media can find a way to do this and to do it in a way that is authentic, genuine, and effective to your brand, and more importantly, your employees and customers.

Start by reminding your followers about Pride events happening in your local area, or by promoting a local LGBTQ+ organisation doing amazing work for your community. Research events happening in your community and consider attending or even sponsoring a Pride event as a way to show support. Instead of asking one person of colour to assist, issue an overall call inviting all employees--especially those who identify as belonging to LGBTQ+ communities-to collaborate with your marketing team on Pride content. Invite your teammates -- regardless of their identities -- to share stories related to LGBTQ+ Pride and develop content gradually around these stories.

Ideas for content in your Pride campaign could include informing your followers about the significance of the pride flag, using posts to teach about the history of the Pride flag, and asking employees about what Pride means to them, and running responses to them as a Q&A. Another idea is creating posts that will help followers understand more about June and providing resources that will help people to better educate themselves about the causes and to support the LGBTQIA+ community. Celebrating Pride and showing your support of the LGBTQIA+ community is not a trend - nor should it be treated as one.

When a brand switches their social media avatars to the rainbow version of themselves, or otherwise shows a little bit of support during Pride Month, savvy consumers are going to know whether their advertising is showing the LGBTQ+ community all year long, if they are hiring LGBTQ+ people and placing them in positions of power, and if the brand is really supporting the community with resources and legislative support. If a brand chooses to create a Pride-centric campaign but has taken actions in the past that run counter to Pride, consumers may perceive them as shallow and opportunistic. While it is true that pride campaigns have occasionally managed to push doors open into spaces that are unwelcoming, or just plain uneducated about the Lesbian experience, it is also undeniable that many of these advertising efforts have provided merely lip-service to a community, while failing to create a tangible change they will actually benefit from, and has a term for this - Rainbow Capitalism. While that might be the case with the majority of corporations looking to cash in on Pride, there are some who are going above and beyond promotional efforts to truly support the community.

How To Make Sure Your Marketing Is Inclusive All Year Round Not Just During Pride Month

As companies strive to become more inclusive both in their workplace policies and in their marketing efforts in front of the public, it is important to remember that, although all support is important - the most meaningful support does not come in the form of a rainbow logo that is proudly displayed for a month out of the year. Companies like Tinder are working on building deeply inclusive workplace cultures all year long, and companies like Jagermeister are trying to support communities in a tangible way through campaigns such as their "Save the Night" campaign supporting lesbian bars.

It is important to create marketing and ads year-round that are also LGBTQ+-inclusive, going beyond efforts that just advocate against LGBTQ legislation. Specific to supporting LGBTQ, showing up means showing up in communities, attending pride events, and supporting our employees through Pride & Allies network. When you lay out precise, actionable steps that you are taking to address LGBTQ+ issues, you are making it clear to your audience that you are taking Pride Month seriously, and you are not just jumping on a bandwagon to cover a wider audience.

Useful Links:

Check out Episode 20 of the Like Click Share Podcast where we discuss "Should Brands Use Pride In Their Campaigns?"

If you’re looking for help or support for a marketing project to help your business grow by improving your online presence, please check out the Digital Marketing Services I Provide.

Not sure or want to have a chat about this in more detail then please Contact Me directly.

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You can also check out my podcast "Like Click Share" for digital and marketing tips and advice or head to the channel page on You Tube.


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