As Pride Month 2022 draws to a close, let’s dive into what this means for brands, businesses and organisations… Back to regular programming? Time to remove those rainbow logos from your social media profiles? Quite the opposite, actually.
This year, London has been ‘Loud and Proud!’ marking 50 years of Pride celebrations, making it a particularly significant milestone. Also not insignificantly, it is the first time in two years that Official Pride celebrations have been able to take place physically out and about in the world, since the Covid 19 pandemic – to all the businesses that opted to ‘reallocate budget’ because there wasn’t that big branding on a parade float moment over the last couple of years, (we see you!).
So, how can we as marketeers keep momentum beyond Pride Month and show up for the LGBQTIA+ community in a purposeful and authentic way? Because, in the current global climate that we live in, the energy and effort that goes into the month of June, needs to continue throughout the year - Pride is 365.
Look Inwards to Your Business
One of the first questions that should be asked is, does your business have the right to show up authentically? Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community should be part of your business DNA, not just something that is paid lip service on an external campaign level. What are your internal DE&I policies? What is your company’s stance/statement on recent anti-LGBTQIA+ bills that are happening globally (the recent US anti-LGBQTIA+ State Legislation for example). Actions speak louder than words and companies are being called out and held accountable.
Representation & Intersectionality Matters
Say it louder – there is no LGB without the T. With Trans Rights being held into question by the UK government right now, it’s more important than ever, that representation is TRULY representative. The LGBTQIA+ community and their allies need to stand strong and united with each other, but especially the black and transgender and gender non-conforming communities. Alone we are strong but together we are stronger, and louder.
Put You Money Where Your Mouth Is
Ever heard of the expression, “exposure doesn’t pay my bills”? More and more companies are being named and shamed on social media (rightfully so!), for reaching out to LGBTQIA+ creators, influencers, speakers, and artists to work for free… purely with the promise of reach and new followers. Check out iconic queer artist and illustrator, Dom & Ink and take note. To further go beyond the performative, purpose should be at the heart of any campaign. There are thousands of incredible LGBTQIA+ charities and organisation, doing incredible work that can truly benefit from corporate support. Shout out to Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline!
Pride is (still) a protest!
Showcasing and celebrating queer joy is such an important part of representation and true brand inclusivity, but let’s not forget that Pride is still a protest. Since the first brick that was thrown in 1969 during the Stonewall riots, Pride Month has been a constant reminder of a movement that still has a way to go. Does your campaign go beyond ‘Love is Love’ slogans and rainbow splashed merch? Is it about demonstrating your voice, influence and reach as an ally to truly build a better future for the LGBQTIA+ community?
There may just be a few days left in the month of June, but let’s keep showing up, showing out, getting Loud and being Proud… All year round!