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How can a business integrate Pride month into their content strategy?

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Employee holds a rainbow ribbon
Progress: Portugal and Northern Ireland (UK) revoked all restrictions on LGBTI people for blood donation, making it possible for everyone to donate blood safely and equally | Source: Rainbow Europe Map 2021

We are halfway through Pride month and, as with every year, we have seen thousands of companies, big and small, trying to ride the colourful rainbow of LGBTQIA.

Although most of the content posted by businesses on social media making reference to June Pride month are harmless and well intentioned, many entrepreneurs and marketing agencies are not posting this type of content to support the movement started with the Stonewall Uprising in New York City on June 28, 1969.

So, how can a business integrate pride month into their strategy while being supportive, instead of sounding shallow and jumping on the bandwagon?

I wanted to hear from businesses owners who will be posting ‘Pride’ content throughout June.

Here, businesses owners and professionals share how they planned their content throughout June to make the best of the pride celebrations in a meaningful way.

 

Make it an ongoing topic
“I make it a point to have our company participate in Pride month because it ties directly to our mission, which is to provide opportunities to others and a world that works for all through our high-volume applicant tracking system. We talk about diversity and inclusion all year round, which means Pride month then becomes a natural extension of our existing content. One thing we make sure we don’t do is offer any sort of discount associated with Pride.”

Tracy Sestili – VP of Marketing at Fountain

 

Promote creators and charities instead of yourself

“For Pride Month, it is easy to come across as disingenuous, as making your logo rainbow-colored is simply not enough to show support. Instead, it’s better to promote actual social change around the important issues. Highlight LGBTQIA influencers or influential people in your industry or space, and promote different charities that specialize in LGBTQIA issues.”

Cody Iverson – Co-founder & CEO at Viscap Media

 

Support your diverse team

“As a branding platform, we’ve decided to highlight LGBTQIA designers and branding agencies through a series of Instagram posts focused around their work and experience. This is meant to bring awareness to their work, their experience, and their creativity.

We’ve also gone ahead and created content around Pride for Linkedin, to honour different LGBTQIA entrepreneurs and businesses. We think highlighting our LGBTQIA members is critical to inclusion, diversity, and showing our support as a business. There is no incentive to grow our business or measure impact with our Pride month content. It is simply to bring awareness and to celebrate diversity and inclusion.

Enina Bicaku – Content Marketing Specialist at Looka

 

Get serious if you want to cash in on Pride

“Now, more than ever, we need to see businesses and industries take a more assertive position in support of the LGBT+ communities. However, if organisations really want to cash in on Pride, I would recommend they put their money where their mouth is and treat the current diversity, inclusion and equity challenge in the same way they would tackle a profit or sales issue … by getting serious! From making a donation to an LGBT+ charity and highlighting commitments that outline how you are going to achieve better LGBT+ representation across all levels, to reviewing current supply chains to meet expected minimum standards when it comes to LGBT+ representation within organisations. Every act counts.”

Ed Jervis – Founder & Chief Disrupter at  www.inclusioncrowd.com

 

Highlighting internal stories

“Highlighting how your company’s internal processes and policies match the ideals that Pride month represents is one of the best ways your brand can demonstrate genuine support during Pride month, while integrating it into your content strategy.”

Jennifer Harder – Mortgage Broker

 

Steven A Wardlaw - Chairman at Emerald Life Insurance company

Steven A Wardlaw – Chairman at Emerald Life Insurance company

Enquire about what companies are doing for LGBT+ people

“We have a different take on what to do during Price month. To avoid accusations of jumping on the bandwagon or pinkwashing is easy. Make a real change to how you treat LGBT+ staff, customers or stakeholders, and actually tell your staff what you are doing. We challenge LGBT+ people (and I am one) that if you see a rainbow in a store/company window, go in and ask what that organisation is doing for LGBT+ people. It’s a very effective tool and we should use it more often. A rainbow without any real action is a cynical attempt to take money without making effort.”

Steven A Wardlaw – Chairman at insurance company www.emeraldlife.co.uk

 

Pay Tribute to LGBTQIA Trailblazers

“Before starting your campaign, we encourage you to consult members of the LGBTQ community and allies. You’ll be able to write more informative material as a result. By stopping you from sharing insensitive materials, it can also help you avoid unpleasant and damaging situations. Remember, only run a Pride Month campaign if you and your company sincerely believe in LGBTQ rights. Don’t use this as a way to make money or sell rainbow-colored items. Also, pay tribute to LGBTQ Trailblazers by reminding your audience of the fortitude it took — and still takes — to overcome prejudice and adversity. For example, share quotations and images from your favourite LGBTQ activists.”

Joel A. Almazar – Administrative Assistant at www.upgrow.io

 

Build a culture of inclusivity

“I’d definitely encourage businesses to do more. If they can, they should highlight LGBT causes they support, ensure LGBT employees get treated fairly all year round, build a culture of inclusivity, and track and improve on things consistently. And then, if you want to have a bit of fun during Pride month, no one’s going to fault you for it. That’s what I do for my business, and that’s what we recommend all our clients do too.”

Farhad Divecha – MD and Founder at AccuraCast.

 

Make actionable campaigns

“We will be posting Pride content throughout June to promote our Pride collection and partnership with OutRight Action International. Pride is particularly relevant to our business because we sell clothing to wear at raves and festivals, and those events have always been safe spaces for the LGBTIQ community to express themselves. Acceptance, individuality, and dressing with complete freedom of expression are values that we hold dear.

We only choose to align ourselves with causes that are relevant to our community and also make sure to give back. We will be donating 10% of the revenue from our Pride collection to OutRight Action International, while also giving our customers the ability to easily add a donation to any purchase on our site through July 31.”

Brian Lim – Founder at www.intotheam.com

 

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.

Business

Fund to launch and grow a business will help black entrepreneurs in the UK

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Blacl barber looks after a client and his business
Applications are open for funding of up to £15,000 for the most innovative new business ideas and exciting existing companies in the UK 

Future 100 Growth Fund, a programme backing Black British entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses is now open for applications. The £1m partnership between Europe’s leading media and entertainment company, Sky, and the newly launched independent civil rights group, the Black Equity Organisation (BEO), aims to provide funding and support over three years to help overcome the significant barriers faced by young Black entrepreneurs in Britain when setting up businesses.

“We want to share our platform and capability to create lasting change for Black British entrepreneurs. We are pleased to be working with BEO to provide direct assistance and advice from Sky to help make the UK a great place for Black businesses.” – celebrated Dana Strong, CEO of the Sky’s Group. The company has made £30 million commitment to tackle structural inequality and make a difference in communities impacted by racism.

Driving economic empowerment and equity of opportunity for Black people and businesses is one of six key areas Black Equity Organisation will focus on. Research has highlighted that in the 10 years between 2009-19, only 0.24% of the total invested in UK start-ups from venture capital funding went to Black entrepreneurs. Just 0.02% went to Black female entrepreneurs.

Besides offering funding of up to £15,000 for the most innovative new business ideas and exciting existing companies, the initiative aims to create a network of mentors and community organisations to advise and assist new enterprises through direct financial support and products nurturing talent and innovation.

”The Future 100 Growth Fund will back the next generation of Black founders to thrive and succeed. We can’t wait to see what the applicants achieve through this programme as they drive growth across their businesses and for the UK economy.” – says Dame Vivian Hunt, Chair of Trustees at Black Equity Organisation.

The programme is open to applicants between 18 and 30 years old of Black African, Black Caribbean, Black British and/or Mixed-race descent who are UK residents. The fund will support Black entrepreneurs who are looking to bring a business concept to life, have a fledgling business that they want to scale or have the beginnings of a thriving business.

To find out more about the Future 100 programme and for details on how to apply visit the project here.

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Hospitality industry in the UK threatened by staff shortages

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Housekeepers are expected to receive a 7.4% pay rise, but UK businesses still struggle to recruit staff | Photo: Liliana Drew

The hospitality and leisure sector’s post-pandemic recovery, in the UK, could be severely hampered by the lack of staff, a new report from a British bank has revealed.

“UK Hospitality’s Next Challenge”, a study from Barclays Corporate Banking, shows that the release of pent-up consumer demand for socialising, holidays and experiences following the pandemic has given a boost to the sector. Over three quarters (77%) of H&L operators are confident of growth this year, and had predicted an average 30.5% uplift in revenue compared with pre-pandemic levels. This equates to a £36bn² rise in annual turnover over 2019, and a £54bn increase on 2021.

However, the predicted growth could be stifled by soaring supplier costs and a scramble for talent. Hospitality and leisure businesses report that their transport costs have already spiked by over 38% year-on-year on average, and their utility bills by 37%.

Meanwhile, over nine in 10 (94%) hospitality and leisure businesses are struggling to recruit personnel, with vacancies for cleaning staff (20%), front of house staff (18%), and delivery staff (16%) causing the most issues. There are particularly acute shortages of cleaners in the East Midlands and the East of England (28%).

Almost a fifth (16%) of bars and restaurants are finding it difficult to hire waiting staff, and over two fifths of gyms and leisure centres (42%) cannot find fitness instructors. Recruitment issues also extend to back-of-house and C-suite roles: 17% of operators are having trouble sourcing finance staff and 16% said the same about senior management positions.

“Crucially for the industry, our research shows that talent shortages are also a major concern, with businesses in every vertical finding it challenging to fill their vacancies. It means there is now an added imperative for hospitality and leisure firms to find new and novel ways to recruit, reward and retain their staff.” – says Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking.

Hospitality and leisure operators are already establishing new incentives to recruit and retain talent, including permanent work flexibility, the introduction of bonuses, and an increase in staff welfare budgets.

Almost one in five employers (19%) have also increased wages given to staff. Senior managers are set to receive the biggest boost to their pay packets, with an average increase of 7.7% – equivalent to £2,014 a year for a full-time worker. Delivery riders, housekeepers and kitchen staff are also expected to see their wages rise in 2022.

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Contemporary artist Demit Omphroy partners with GAP for NTF collection

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Artists Demit Omphroy on the streets
Partnership: the limited-edition is Demit Omphroy’s first digital series of NFTs | Photo: Instagram

Contemporary artist and former professional soccer player Demit Omphroy is partnering with GAP for its third collection of limited-edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

As the brand, founded in 1969, continues to explore new channels to engage customers in the rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, this spring, Demit launched a limited-edition graphic tee collection featuring his unique and recognizable work, and now the artist is launching his first NFTs with Gap. Demit’s art depicts life through vibrant colors and an expressionistic style, seeing the world through his inner child.  

“My work is playful, expressive, and simplistic, yet loaded with emotion. Being able to express myself through a new digital medium and collaborate with Gap, one of the most iconic brands in history, is exciting for me as a creator.” – celebrates the American artist who is also a citizen of Panama and the Philippines through descent.

On June 15, the One of a Kind digital auction will begin, featuring single edition digital art and a custom, hand-painted Gap denim jacket by Demit.  

In July, Gap x DOGAMÍ NFT wearables will launch as the first fashion collaboration in the petaverse. Digital Gap logo hoodies specifically designed for DOGAMÍ avatars will engage players to express their virtual pet’s individual style that will have a direct impact on game stats. 

“Partnering with unique artists and creators is a cornerstone of our NFT program,” – says Chris Goble, Chief Product Officer at Gap. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Demit and to create this vibrant collection of NFTs and product that amplifies his voice and represents his distinct individual style.”  

The Gap Threads marketplace and DOGAMÍ are both built on Tezos, a more energy efficient blockchain, allowing for minimal energy consumption and a low carbon footprint. Customers can also join Gap’s Discord server to connect, engage, and foster a community with other fans of Gap NFTs. The Discord server can be accessed at discord.gg/gapthreads.

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