LGBTQ PR Pioneers Share Keys to Ensure Pride-Focused Campaigns are Not Performative

In a sign of performative allyship, it’s enough for some companies to slap a rainbow flag on limited-edition products as they celebrate Pride this month.

Yet consumers are wise. In a 2019 YouGov poll of more than 3,700 US adults, half the respondents said that if they see a company marketing Pride-themed content or products, they’re more likely to view it as a sales tactic than a reflection of corporate values.

On a more positive note, nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of respondents said they would likely do business with an LGBTQ-friendly business. These include millennials (32 percent), liberals (52 percent), high-income earners (34 percent), individuals identifying as gay and lesbian (71 percent) and bisexual individuals (53 percent), or those who often are part of the target audience for these campaigns.

The question is what companies should include and exclude from their Pride Month campaigns. That’s part of what we asked Alex Slater, founding partner, The Clyde Group, and Christina Ferraz, founder, Thirty6Five. Both were finalists for the LGBTQIA2+ Pioneer Award in PRNEWS’ inaugural Diversity Awards.

We asked them how they’re advising companies around Pride month and what role PR should have in advancing careers of those in the LGBTQ community. Responses were edited for clarity and space.

PRNEWS: What advice do you give companies looking to launch Pride-focused campaigns? How do you ensure the efforts are not performative?

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