How to avoid perpetuating racism in your content and make a difference through your business.
Following the protests, the tragic deaths and the horrific news coming out of everything happening around the world, there should only be one question for us to each think about. That is, how can I make a difference?
For people in minority groups, prejudice is so common and so present that you grow up learning to just ‘deal with it’. Perceive it as a ’normal’ thing,” don’t take it personally" or “relax, it’s just a joke" therefore all you should do is politely laugh along and just be okay with it.
As my career evolved and I landed headfirst into the world of digital marketing, I realised that representation and diversity was also lacking across the various forms of creative I was dealing with. It’s now 2020 and I’m done with it all. I’m done with the ignorance and I’m ready to stop making excuses up for others, for myself, do more and take responsibility.
A business can argue that racism isn’t relative to them or that it does not affect them. What people need to understand is that if you’re in a business, you probably create content and therefore you definitely do some form of marketing. If that’s the case, unconscious bias and racism may exist and you need to be aware of it. That doesn’t make you a bad person, but you are still responsible for what you put out there. Be mindful and be proactively conscious of what you write, say and do so that you can avoid making mistakes in the future.
Some actionable things you can do to assess and address your own marketing strategy and content plan:
Include writers or creators who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour) to include their opinions
Address current headlines by checking the appropriateness of the content
Be diligent and non-biased in the way you share stories
Educate yourself and others on racism
Be inclusive in your messaging and storytelling
Consider the representations in your branding and in advertisements
Elevate the stories of BIPOC to show that their lives matter
There is a need to stand against racism and to work hard for diversity, and equality.
If you want to create content that truly resonates with your audience, be inclusive. Know your audience, make sure their voices are heard in your team and be aware of accessibility and language as part of your style guide.
It’s not necessary to make a big announcement about what you’re going to do, just start doing it and continue doing it. There is no end date to being inclusive of all the people and groups within your community.
I am one voice representing my personal experience but I’m certain it’s representative to many others who are BIPOC and I hope that it helps others to understand better on how to deal with these current situations.
See how the biggest brands from all around the world are taking action to show their solidarity in the fight for equality and human rights:
McDonald's names victims of police brutality, racist violence in new ad
Starbucks stumble on BLM shows rising stakes for brands in addressing race
Written by Dee Huynh