Now That June Is Over, Your Brand’s Commitment to Pride Really Begins | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

Now That June Is Over, Your Brand’s Commitment to Pride Really Begins


Being an outspoken ally to the LGBTQ+ community during the month of June is easy. Since so many brands do it now, the act has lost almost all meaning. That's not to say that brands should no longer offer their support during PRIDE month. Of course, they should. But doing so is now the barest of bare minimums. And in the world we're living in today — where the rights of many are under assault — doing the bare minimum is no longer enough to consider your brand a true ally. Not that it ever should have been in the first place.

Now that June is over and your brand has de-rainbowed its logo across social media and ended its month-long campaign of full-throated support, the real work must begin. June is the month where your brand talks the talk. It's the other 11 months of the year that your brand now needs to walk the walk and show the LGBTQ+ community that its actually committed to meaningful support.

If you're not sure where to begin with that work, we're offering a few suggestions to help you get started below:

Ensure Representation Among Your Staff and Business Partners

Diversity, equity, and inclusion must be an action your business takes, not an ideal it holds. According to research from earlier this year, more than seven percent of U.S. adults now identify as LGBTQ+.

Does your internal staff reflect that reality? If not, it may be time to work with HR on a campaign to focus on hiring more members of the LGBTQ+ community. Many client-side marketers are taking this effort a step further by also placing diversity quotas on their agencies in order to continue being a partner of the brand. This ensures that these agencies also have a certain level of diversity among their staff.

Internal representation of the LGBTQ+ community is hugely important for the health and well-being of your business. It's critical to have these voices in the room to better understand how your brand can connect with and support them authentically. If your internal team or external partners are currently lacking in LGBTQ+ representation, it's time to change that.

Highlight the Community in Your Content Year-Round

You already know how important content has become to the success of your brand. Chances are, your company is producing more content now than it ever did before. So why would you only produce content that features LGBTQ+ individuals during June?

This is one simple way your brand can begin to expand its show of support for the community on a more regular basis. Begin planning and executing content year-round that is not only catered toward the LGBTQ+, but that showcases these individuals even in content meant for the total market. Along with having representation behind the camera with a more diverse internal team, the talent your brand works with on content should also be reflective of everyone, including LGBTQ+ individuals.

For some inspiration about what year-round content featuring LGBTQ+ individuals can look like, we recommend checking out some of the work ANA member Brown Forman and its Jack Daniel's brand has done to expand its Pride efforts beyond the month of June.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

This is the one area where it feels like a lot of brands still have a lot to learn. Many brands make a corporate donation to organizations or causes that support the LGBTQ+ community. And if your brand is already doing that — awesome! But there's another part of that equation. Who else does your brand donate to? Particularly, which politicians at the state and federal level? Because if your brand is going to be a true LGBTQ+ ally, it is no longer acceptable — and truthfully, it never was acceptable — to continue making donations to politicians, candidates, and people in power who write, sponsor, or vote in favor of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation or who are vocally against these individuals.

Which politicians are on your company's donation list and which LGBTQ+ centered bills and laws do they support or oppose? Even if you do everything else in this article, if you continue to support those in power that are working to oppress LGBTQ+ individuals, your brand is essentially cancelling out all of that other work it does.

More and more public attention is being placed on how businesses choose to spend their money. If your brand is running campaigns that show support for LGBTQ+ people publicly while still continuing to back politicians who don't work for equality and equity under the law, it is simply paying lip service to a popular cause, not actively working to be an authentic ally to the community. As a result, eventually the community will realize your support is not real. Because it isn't.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Ryan Dinger is a director of editorial and content development at ANA.