By: Laura Wallace
June is known as Pride Month which celebrates and raises awareness for the LGBTQ+ community. All types of businesses are encouraged to give back to the LGBTQ+ community during this time. As general support for the LGBTQ+ community has grown, many companies have to create a plan for how they will support and raise awareness for the community.
In recent years, many companies have faced either criticism or praise for their support during Pride Month. Skittles received backlash on their social media for their One Rainbow skittles which were skittles placed in packaging that was white-colored; however, Nike received praise in 2012 for starting their BETRUE collection which was started by a group of employees.
To ensure that companies do not face any sort of criticism during Pride Month, these are five different ways companies can create social media campaigns that are authentic for Pride Month:
- Avoid “rainbow washing”: According to forbes.com, the LGBTQ+ community has a buying power of over $3.7 trillion dollars. This has made companies put the rainbow flag on any of their social media platforms and products during the month of June and then forget about the community once July begins. Over the years, consumers notice whether companies have been genuine with efforts to fight for equality versus companies that are trying to make extra money. Companies should make it clear their support for the LGBTQ+ community is not just limited to the month of June and not just slapping a rainbow on everything during the month of June.
- Remember what pride is really about: Pride is more than something that just happens once a month. Pride is known for being very prevalent in the queer community. One event that happened was the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. The queer community was protesting at the Stonewall Inn due to police brutality and the police not letting them live a free and open lifestyle. The Stonewall riots weren’t some of the first protests regarding the community. Many brown and black trans women were fighting to protest for their right to be taken seriously.
- Ask yourself why you support the queer community? Before posting any sort of pride-related content you should ask yourself, are we really adding to the conversation? What are our motives for Pride Month? Is our brand one that represents the queer community that includes supportive allies? If we ask ourselves these questions before posting during Pride Month, it can make the message that we give on social media become more reliable and genuine.
- Work with the right influencers: Collaborating with influencers that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Working with these influencers can make your messages more amplified and meaningful. The audience of these influencers is also passionate about supporting the LGBTQ+ community
- Make education and awareness center of content: Ideas that come for Pride Month posts can include the meaning and history behind the Pride flag, what Pride means to your company and employees, spotlighting certain members of the LGBTQ+ community and providing resources on additional education on how to donate to these organizations. No matter what content you publish regarding Pride Month, it is important to keep education and awareness noticeable in your content.
Pride Month is something that requires support, during all months of the year. Companies should not capitalize off this month by making performative Pride campaigns. Ensuring that your company has genuine Pride campaigns makes your company more authentic.