Unless you have been rooming with Patrick Star in Bikini Bottom, you’re acutely aware of the traumatic events plaguing America (and the world). For the first time ever, it seems that more people are recognizing the systemic oppression facing black communities all over the country.
Let me be clear: This is not a message to recount the events of what is happening around us.
Instead, I want to strategically lean into this moment and provide business leaders, owners, and entrepreneurs with the necessary resources needed to provoke real, long-term change for the people and communities we all serve.
I know many of you are the voice(s) of your organizations; and with that comes tremendous responsibility to communicate authentically and effectively to better the world we live in. Below is a short list I pulled together after analyzing many businesses and leaders miss the mark. Please use this list to help identify areas where you can grow yourself and your organization.
The list below are just a few simple, yet impactful steps, designed to foster diversity and inclusiveness. My hope is that you design your organization to provoke change; that you go beyond the simple statement, donation, and social media creative, to make a real difference.
As always, if you need more help or unsure where to start, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly here.
Recruit diverse talent and perspectives
Are you actively recruiting and retaining diverse talent for your business? Take a hard look at your team and identify opportunities where you can incorporate more diverse thinkers. Hiring diverse people has been proven to offer a strong competitive advantage and a handsome return on investment. One of my favorite resources for hiring talent is MiMConnect.
Learn from and listen to your audience(s)
The best way to learn about what you can do better is by first listening to what you can or should do better. In the past I wrote about what tools you can use to listen at mass to your perspective audiences. However, make sure to also use this opportunity to speak 1:1 to people whose voices you need to hear most. Listen to their needs, and truly work hard to do and be better. This is not a publicity stunt or a chance to capitalize on grief.
Democratize your services
How are your products, services, and messaging accessible to anyone and everyone who needs it? Go beyond showcasing diverse imagery on your social pages or website. Truly think about how you’re listening and leveling the playing field to empower diverse backgrounds to engage with your brand in an authentic way. There is a reason why Fenty Beauty’s ‘Beauty for All’ remains a resounding success. For the first time ever, a makeup brand highlighted the importance of inclusive marketing and product offerings and there results showed.
Email me here if you have more questions or need help fine tuning your communication efforts during this challenging time.