The essential role PR plays in ensuring a brand’s business success is critical in this moment. This guide offers tips about the correct use of cultural terms so you can craft respectful messages as part of your inclusive business practices.
Diversity & Inclusion
When a brand gets caught in the middle of a crisis, what IS the proper response? Is it better to be a punching bag for the public and stay silent, or is it the responsibility of the middleman to explain or absolve themselves from the situation? So what is Wendy’s role?
In non-COVID times Pride supporters filled their calendars with parades and events across the globe, celebrating the beauty and importance of LGBTQ+ rights and representation. It seems only fitting during this time of another equality movement, Black Lives Matter, that messaging reflect a nod to the history of Pride—an uprising against police brutality by the queer community.
Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn, spoke with Holly Teichholtz, SVP communications and content strategies at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The two discussed pandemic-related disruptions to the workplace, the future of work, and how the nonprofit sector can best respond to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Earlier this week, IBM and Amazon said they will pull back from facial recognition technology contracts with law enforcement. The use of machine learning technology that detects faces has come under renewed scrutiny for racial bias. In addition, the technology is known to be flawed, particularly when applied to non-white faces. Until today, Microsoft was notably quiet on the issue, given it too has provided facial recognition software to police.
Communicators and the companies they represent are wrestling with what to communicate, if anything, about diversity and inclusion. In the end, the best response seems to be the authentic one, interviews with PR pros indicate.
The CrossFit debacle is not a crisis to be envied by communicators, however, the transparency it provided the public with its poor choices and timing prove that it is trying to regain the community’s trust and respect.
In a wide-ranging interview, PRSA chair T. Garland Stansell argues that diversity and inclusion should be year-round concerns for communicators. In addition, he believes PR pros have a vital role to play in combatting the scourge of misinformation about coronavirus treatments. “People are looking for direction and leadership, and it is our job to be truthful, transparent, and trustworthy,” he says.
As companies look at addressing their D&I issues, one place to start may be who should fill the shoes of those replaced. Particularly in media, no one can leave a prestigious editorial leadership position gaping for long, as news never stops. However, who and how you choose to replace can have a long-term impact on any organization.
Many employees have received or will receive statements from senior management detailing the company’s stance on supporting diversity and the Black Lives Matter protests. The PR community knows the power of communication and what words and messages represent. We look at how some companies and trade groups are shaping internal communication at this moment.