June is upon us, and we are feeling fabulous. Time to break out the rainbow flags and the champagne and celebrate the long road that has got us here and the long road that still lies before us. Because My Code is at the forefront of bringing diverse audiences to traditional media campaigns in innovative and inclusive ways, we are proud to announce the launch of Pride Code.
Pride Code is Inclusive Marketing for the LGBTQ+ Community
Just as My Code connects and raises the voice of minority-led publishers and creators within the multicultural marketing landscape, Pride Code will focus on driving investment into LGBTQ+ publishers and producers. Our purpose-driven media model puts top talent from this community at your fingertips, just in time for Pride Month.
What Should Your Pride Marketing Campaign Look Like?
While you want to go full Rainbow Bright, you also wish your Pride Month Marketing campaign to have depth, meaning, and potential to spark real change. Therefore, you will have to go beyond banners and buzzwords and speak to issues that still affect the LGBTQ+ community. Today’s marketing initiatives need to be innovative, trendsetting, and take strong stances on what remain controversial concepts to raise awareness and acceptance.
While the best way to do this is to hire from the queer community itself, even a traditional marketing team can tap into the best practices that we lay out to help launch a Pride Month marketing campaign that matters.
Raise Money for the Cause
This should go without saying, but unfortunately, many companies use Pride Month only to make token gestures. According to a recent analysis by Reboot Online, for example, two in five companies that ran Pride campaigns did not donate any money to a relevant cause. Money grabbing in the name of diversity equals all hoopla and no cause for celebration or sign of appreciation.
Unfortunately, and despite the festive atmosphere, the LGBTQ+ community still faces significant battles in terms of discrimination and safety. According to a recent poll, half of all LGBTQ+ workers have faced job discrimination in their lifetime, and one in 10 experience it every given year. Another major recent study found that the LGBTQ+ population is four times more likely to be a victim of violence than a non-LGBTQ+ community member.
This is why support for Pride Month cannot simply be token. It also needs to be accompanied by real financial support for organizations actively fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community as we speak, often on severely limited budgets. We recommend starting with The Human Rights Campaign, the OutRight Action International Campaign, and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA.org).
Implement New LGBTQ+ Friendly and Liberating Policies at Your Company
Do you have an anti-discrimination policy in place with clear guidelines? Are your employees trained on it as well as diversity and inclusion policies? Are your bathrooms gender-inclusive? How about your health care plan and other benefits, including parental leave?
Let Pride Month be your reason to get up to speed on your company policies. Brands must walk the walk, not just talk the talk with their support of the LGBTQ+ community. By declaring yourself an ally, you may also inspire others to make changes at their own workplaces.
Divest Your Brand From Causes That are Anti-LGBTQ+ or Hurt the Community
A recent investigation by Popular Information found that 25 major corporations with massive LGBTQ+ marketing campaigns didn’t follow through. Many even rated highly on things like equality in the workplace by Human Rights Watch. Still, they were donating millions of dollars to congressional candidates with low ratings on their actual support for LGBTQ+ rights.
While that is downright hypocrisy, it’s also a potentially backfiring marketing maneuver that can wind up hurting your company’s reputation while doing lasting damage to consumer and employee morale. So don’t do it. Instead, use your leverage to put pressure on politicians to back human rights issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community, and if they don’t, then don’t give them any money.
Be Authentically Inclusive in Your Marketing Efforts
Marketing to the LGBTQ+ community is no easy task. Not only do you have all of the above considerations, but you have a diverse community to consider as well. In fact, one of the biggest problems that LGBTQ+ marketing campaigns face is that they tend to overly represent white and affluent faces and perspectives. This is a problem that crosses all marketing demographics.
While some of this is just cultural blindness and can be easily overcome, the truth is that many marketers do feel overwhelmed. As a result, they struggle to figure out how to be authentically inclusive when developing marketing strategies and materials for a demographic that spans all spectrums.
According to a recent study by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), almost 80 percent of advertisers admitted feeling that: “it is difficult to adequately represent the LGBTQ+ community because the community is complicated and has many nuances.”
This brings us back to exactly why we are launching Pride Code. We are here to decode those complications and nuances in ways that allow you to connect in meaningful, just, and productive manners with the full range of LGBTQ+ audiences and voices. And it might just transform your entire organization for the better in the process. So give us a call today to set up an initial consultation.