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Pride and PR: How Brands and PR Can Reflect Pride Ideals and Values

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Pride Month isn’t just a time for grand celebrations and big parades. It’s also a good opportunity to hear the diverse stories of people’s journey of self-discovery, struggle and acceptance. These stories can resonate with others, encourage them to walk in other people’s shoes and develop a different perspective toward the LGBTQIA+ community that then leads to acceptance and respect.

Businesses and brands are sure to leverage the Pride Month to create narratives and campaigns that — truthfully or not, but hopefully the former — express support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Supporting Pride through PR efforts, however, is not a simple act of joining a movement and riding the bandwagon. It’s more than just a rainbow logo and a catchy hashtag. It’s about having and demonstrating that genuine commitment to inclusivity, diversity and representation, from the workplace to campaigns and other company activities. To truly resonate with the LGBTQIA+ community and allies, PR strategies must be thoughtful, informed and genuine.

But let’s be honest, companies still have to take care of their bottomline while being a good member of the society. In the spirit of Pride Month, now is a great time to explore how brands and PR can strike a balance between committing to company goals and showing solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Leveraging data-backed insights

Data is the backbone of any successful PR effort and campaign. Understanding the demographics, preferences and behaviors of the LGBTQIA+ community will enable brands and their PR partners to tailor their messages and efforts much more effectively to this audience.

GLAAD, an LGBTQIA+ media advocacy nonprofit, in partnership with storytelling studio GROUND Media launched the “Here We Are” campaign to increase transgender visibility and advocate their unique narratives and experiences. This was initiated based on their research that, at the time, 71 percent of Americans claim that they have not met a transgender person.

By grounding efforts in data, brands such as GLAAD are able to come up with unique initiatives to support Pride and its ideals.

Establishing emotional resonance and relatability

The power of emotional connection cannot be overstated. The more the audience can resonate with a brand and its initiatives, the more successful a campaign — and that brand — can be.

Narratives centered on actual individuals and their experiences have been an effective way to increase awareness about LGBTQIA+, and companies and brands have used this approach to show their support for Pride and connect with the community. More companies are turning to LGBTQIA+ brand ambassadors, a strategy that not only literally expresses their acceptance of and support for the sector but also broadens their reach and communicate they are for inclusivity.

Going back to the “Here We Are” campaign, authentic stories told with empathetic language and tone express solidarity, and when matched with strong visuals, make for a very compelling storytelling.

Communicate inclusivity and representation

Now more than ever, and not just in relation to Pride, should PR be anchored on inclusivity alongside diversity.

Diverse voices and perspectives enrich stories and ensure every unique individual is seen, heard and represented. Readers and audiences find value in content, campaign and even PR stunt that they feel represent such values, especially at a time good will among people can make much difference. It is of course crucial to tailor brand strategy to the target demographic. Communicating the ideals of inclusivity and diversity not only broadens the reach of the message but also cultivates a sense of belonging and solidarity among diverse audiences, which ultimately can be good for any brand.

Evoke timeliness and relevance

Relevance is an important aspect of any brand initiative and PR effort, similar to how now is a better time than any to discuss and share Pride-related narratives and experiences.

Stories that address current issues or align with ongoing societal conversations speak more to audiences, capturing their attention and starting a meaningful dialogue that can lead to actual results. People love to be at the forefront of the latest news and developments, and if it’s within their interest, they’d be more likely to engage.

Stir a response

At the end of the day, all PR efforts, including those related to Pride and the LGTBQIA+ community, aim to leave a lasting impression and inspire the audience to do something meaningful and purposeful.

Whether it be a specific call to action or simply to raise awareness, Pride-related narratives will have done both brand and PR agency some good. If the campaign garners some solid support, even better: The engagement resulting from a brand demonstrating its commitment as an ally will win the approval of an increasingly socially conscious consumer base and could translate into long-term business growth.

As Pride Month slowly nears its conclusion, its values and messages will continue to resonate with and inspire people much like a well thought-out and effective campaign. And there again, PR proves the power of storytelling.

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