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Companies Want to Support the LGBTQ+ Community for Pride Month. Now What?
June is Pride month and many companies want to show their support to the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some suggestions companies can follow.
Consider some of these suggestions that your organization can try this month and any other months throughout the year.
Bring in an LGBTQ+ expert.
Ask an expert to come in and prepare a presentation for your company. You may want to have that expert speak on common issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community, from problems with discrimination to challenges in finding public accommodations that work for them. Members of the LGBTQ+ community also face higher levels of mental health concerns, including greater levels of depression and anxiety and higher suicide rates. They also struggle with a lack of representation in popular media, which can make it difficult for them to identify with popular heroes.
Consider finding ways that your expert can tie their presentation to your specific industry. If you work in education, for example, your LGBTQ+ expert may want to speak about ways that educators can show support for their LGBTQ+ students. If you work in fashion, you may want to discuss ways that you can modify your marketing or the clothing you present so that your message and your offerings align with the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. If you do not know how your business can show regular, daily support for the LGBTQ+ community, consider asking your expert to provide you with guidance that could help you make those vital decisions in the future.
Create content specifically for your LGBTQ+ audience members.
Most of the time, content geared toward your target audience focuses heavily on the members of that audience who most clearly fit societal and cultural norms. Unless you have products geared directly toward an LGBTQ+ audience, you may focus your marketing and content on your cisgender, heterosexual target audience members–even without meaning to.
During pride month, consider creating content specifically focused on an LGBTQ+ audience. Ask these key questions to determine how you can best shape your content to fit those needs.
Do you have LGBTQ+ audience members who regularly use your products or services?
You may already have a booming social media community with considerable audience involvement. Chances are, you have LGBTQ+ members in that community. They use your products. They appreciate your services. They may even already be your brand ambassadors. However, many of them may not be blatant about their sexuality in your forums.
As part of your support for Pride Month, consider inviting those community members to share their families with you. Invite them to share pictures of their partners or families using your products. Encourage them to connect with you and share their stories. Then, feature them on your website or social media pages.
Is there a specific way that LGBTQ+ community members can use your products or a modification to your products that can make them more accessible to the LGBTQ+ community?
Take a look at your products and their accessibility, inclusion, or convenience to the LGBTQ+ community. Making your products accessible can be particularly important if you offer products like clothing, which are frequently gendered. You may also find that materials intended for couples are frequently geared toward opposite-gender customers.
What inclusive options can you offer for your LGBTQ+ audience? Is there a specific way you can make your products more inclusive, including offering specific products just for your lesbian or gay buyers? Highlight them on your website to show your support.
Do you have gendered content on your website?
Take a look at the current content on your website. Is it highly gendered or focused on heterosexual couples in some way? During Pride Month, you have the perfect opportunity to correct those errors. Take a look at your existing content and refresh it. Make it more supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.
Do a fundraiser for an LGBTQ+ cause.
Does your business often conduct fundraisers to help support the causes that best line up with your goals or to raise awareness of your support within the community? If so, during Pride Month, consider focusing a fundraiser on an LGBTQ+ cause. Common organizations include The Trevor Project or the Family Equality Council. However, there is a wide range of organizations that help support LGBTQ+ individuals, from teens to adults. Do your research into reputable organizations that match the values your organization values or wants to support most.
Get your employees involved in your fundraising efforts. During Pride Month, it’s important to remember that it’s not about raising overall awareness of your business or meeting your business goals. Rather, it’s about showing support for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. However, that doesn’t mean that your fundraising efforts can’t reflect your business’s unique personality. Consider:
- Holding a race or walk
- Matching gifts within your organization
- Penny drives
- Donate a percentage of profits on certain item sales
- Create and sell t-shirts
- Put together a coupon book
Brainstorm fundraising ideas within your business–and invite your employees to help come up with ideas or to support the fundraiser.
Evaluate your diversity and inclusion policies.
Many businesses are operating with outdated diversity and inclusion policies that do not fully support the LGBTQ+ community, from the workers in your office to your customers. During Pride Month, it’s the perfect time to take a look at your policies and determine whether they really offer support to the community. Take a look at:
- Whether your policies specifically ban exclusion and discrimination based on gender identity
- Whether your policies prohibit discrimination based on sexuality
- Whether your policies use gender-neutral language
- How your benefits package offers benefits to employees and whether those packages are relevant to all employees
- How you handle diversity training throughout your organization
If you have outdated information in your policies, Pride Month is the ideal time to fix them. Remember, it’s not about your organization patting itself on the back or sharing its efforts with everyone. Rather, it’s about making sure that you genuinely support the LGBTQ+ community.
Host a virtual Pride parade.
Pride parades are back in person in many cities this year. Your organization can certainly get out and walk in the local parade in person, showing your support to the LGBTQ+ community with your presence. However, even if you aren’t able to get out and walk in person, you can still show your support with your own Pride parade. Host a virtual parade that invites your employees to post a photo that shows their support for the LGBTQ+ community. Encourage them to dress up in their rainbows, post pictures of their families, or otherwise choose a photo that directly showcases their support for Pride. Then, bring them together. You can use a social media hashtag to share them across social media or put together a document or message thread within your communication platform that will allow all of your team members to show their LGBTQ+ support.
Create plans and policies that will last the entire year.
Showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month is fantastic. However, all too many companies drop the show of support as June draws to an end. For some, supporting the LGBTQ+ community is little more than a marketing grab. For others, it’s just not a priority. Once Pride Month is over, they shift their focus to other things.
While it’s fine to put your rainbows and obvious support away as Pride Month ends, throughout the month, take a look at the ways you can offer more support to the LGBTQ+ all year long. Can you use more inclusive language or imagery in your marketing? Do you need to change the way you present your products so that they are inclusive to your entire target audience? Do you want to continue to financially support an LGBTQ+ charity or organization throughout the year, rather than only offering a fundraiser during Pride Month? Spend some time discussing your efforts with your employees. Invite them to contribute their ideas or to share their opinions of your existing content. Pay particular attention to LGBTQ+ employees already within your company and the opinions they may issue about the products and services you offer every day–and how you can change them to better fit their needs.
At Pronto, we offer the communication tool you need to discuss your LGBTQ+ support within your internal community and connect employees of all backgrounds. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help support your organization during Pride Month and throughout the rest of the year.