This past weekend, protesters marched in cities around the US, seeking justice for George Floyd. A now-former Minneapolis policeman killed Floyd, an unarmed black man, during an arrest last week. Floyd was the latest in a series of black citizens who've lost their lives during police apprehensions.
In an always-connected digital world, delivering a message to unite a community seems simple. We see this in the unity of health and safety messaging from organizations that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now groups, companies and brands must decide on their stance not only on the loss of Floyd, but support of the black and brown communities.
In a soon-to-be-released PRNEWS survey, 43 percent of PR pros said they were including diversity and inclusion (D&I) content in their internal and external messaging. However, 37 percent said they were not including D&I messages in communications.
The survey was finalized prior to Floyd's death, but it began as a video showing two white men shooting Ahmaud Aubrey, an unarmed black jogger in suburban Atlanta, went viral.
Certainly, it’s a tough time to be a brand manager, with sensitive issues in the forefront. We highlight D&I messages done within various industries.
What a time to work in social media for a major corporation
— Sophie Vershbow (@svershbow) June 1, 2020
For many communication leaders, it's time to decide what their organization's values mean.
Finn Partners stayed true to its messaging of openness and progressive ideals with a statement from founder Peter Finn.
— Finn Partners (@FinnPartners) June 1, 2020
Berlin Rosen’s Jonathan Rosen, co-founder and principal at the agency, tweeted that the firm opened its wallet to support the cause.
— Jonathan Rosen (@JonathanRosenBR) May 29, 2020
Consumer brands, some of which were victims of looting, are reaching out to followers. Some brands are providing real assurance for customers.
Sony made a supportive statement on Twitter, reflecting on the looting.
Nike's record on diversity is spotty. Yet at this moment it set a trailblazing example, releasing an ad Friday, taking a fierce stance against racism. Instead of "Just Do It," the sneaker company pivoted its messaging to "Don’t Do It."
— Nike (@Nike) May 29, 2020
And Capitol Records, home to many legendary black artists, including Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Tina Turner, George Clinton and others, encouraged solidarity with #TheShowMustBePaused.
— Capitol Studios (@capitolstudios) May 31, 2020
The sports world promotes community and a place to call home. Major leagues and teams delivered messages of support for athletes and colleagues.
The Washington Wizards, a team that plays in the heart of Washington, DC, provided a statement of unity from its players.
A united statement from our players. pic.twitter.com/SGKSDw76zU
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) June 1, 2020
USA Track and Field delivered a statement from CEO Max Siegel, who also is the highest-ranking African American in the US Olympic sector.
— USATF (@usatf) June 1, 2020
And even the NFL, which has had its share of public divisions after former quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality in 2016, shared a statement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The statement failed to mention Kaepernick, who remains a free agent without a team.
— NFL (@NFL) May 30, 2020
Nicole Schuman is a reporter for PRNEWS. Follow her @buffalogal