Many companies and organizations are taking stands in support of recent events. More than a few of their statements fall flat. There are several things an organization should consider before it takes a stand. First, avoid empty statements, be sensitive, honest and, most important, say something real.
Diversity & Inclusion
As communicators, we have a powerful opportunity to positively influence behavior change. Through messaging with strategic calls-to-action, brilliant creative and multichannel outreach, we can impact wide-spread sea change in any environment. Whether you’re operating from agency or brand, our shared purpose within this discipline is to do well by doing good.
The business case for diversity and inclusion is well known. Now, the pandemic and wrongful death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have teed up an opportunity for corporate communicators and PR agencies to re-shape their organizations’ values on diversity and inclusion. It’s a moment that PR should not miss.
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 about their stance not only on the death of George Floyd, but support of the black and brown community.
Skittles pledged to honor LGBTQ Pride Month by removing the rainbow colors from its signature product late last month. “Only one rainbow matters during pride,” greyscale candy wrappers read; individual candies will temporarily be leeched of color. Skittles will donate $1 per pack of its all-white Skittles to LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD. Here are communications takeaways to consider as Pride month—amid nationwide protests against racial inequality—begins.
Franklin Templeton Issues Timely and Effective Crisis Response Following ‘Central Park Karen’ IncidentMay 27th, 2020 by Sophie Maerowitz
On Memorial Day, a video went viral of a white woman, Amy Cooper, calling the police in New York City’s Central Park on a black man, Christian Cooper (no relation) after he asked her to leash her dog in a leash-required area. The video sparked widespread outrage at Ms. Cooper’s racist report, with some lawmakers calling for false calls to law enforcement like Amy Cooper’s to be classified as hate crimes. Franklin Templeton, Cooper’s employer, enacted a rapid crisis response.
In the wake of events of the past few days, we’ve decided to slow or suspend many of our activities on this site so we can reflect on diversity and inclusion. As one of the authors of the essay, Angela Chitkara, said, “People are hurting. We need to take a good look at ourselves and ask what kind of society and organization do we want to be.”
Even though health and safety are top priorities during the coronavirus, it is not time to abandon diversity and inclusion (D&I). Unfortunately, many companies are failing to communicate D&I messages to employees at this moment. Yet protecting employee health and well-being while promoting D&I are, in fact, mutually supportive.
Hallmark found inspiration for its latest Mother’s Day commercial from a Facebook fan who shared her journey of parenting a child with a disability on its page. The fan noted that not all motherhood looks the same, but should be celebrated nevertheless.
We must fight against the inclination to label diversity, equity and inclusion as “nonessential” at a time when it is more relevant and pertinent than ever.