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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

Is it safe to start planning business trips abroad in 2022?

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Young business man arriving at airport
Overall, corporate travel ticket volumes finished 2021 down 43% compared to pre-pandemic levels | Source: ARC

Over the past 20 months, millions of business trips were put on hold or cancelled all together. For some, switching luxury airport lounges for the lounges of their own homes, even when it offered far less entertainment perks, was not a big issue. But for others, travelling as part of a job spec became part of their DNA – and that DNA went through many changes in 2020 and 2021.

“Corporate air travel ticket volumes started to pick up in October as the impact of the Delta variant wore off. Recovery flattened toward the end of the year which is typical given the holidays. Overall, corporate travel ticket volumes finished 2021 down 43% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Our current projections have it finishing 2022 down, once again, at 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels – and we still don’t expect them to hit pre-pandemic levels until late 2026.” – says Jim Allen, senior financial analyst at Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), an air travel intelligence and omnichannel providing tools and insights that connect the global travel community.

As not everyone is convinced that they can carry on working from home and, instead, would rather pack their laptop and board their first business trip of the new year, I asked entrepreneurs and professionals, from the travel industry, if it is safe yet to start planning a business trip abroad in 2022. The result was a mixed bag: 30% of those responding to my query posted online on the last day of 2021 are against rushing plans too far from your postcode any time soon. However, over 45% of almost 1,800 people who replied, believe that this is the year they will be dusting off their passport for one or more business trips.

Here are some of the highlights, including the professionals who will stay put for a bit longer, and those ready to go.

 

Postpone business trips if you can
“I was supposed to go on my first business trip this January. However, the current surge of the Omicron variant is wreaking havoc in our lives once again. The back-to-back flight cancellations and COVID-related travel restrictions are changing by the day, while more and more travel plans are getting affected.
If the travel is non-essential, I would advise travellers to postpone traveling until the worldwide COVID-19 situation gets better. If the travel is urgent, make it a point to know all the travel requirements and quarantine protocols. It is also important to practice extra caution when in transit, as a lot of the new cases were transmitted while flying.”

Emily Cooper – founder at luxury Italian menswear brand Oliver Wicks

 

Current necessary logistics aren’t worth the hassle

“Before the omicron variant, I was very optimistic about business trips and thought I could finally meet with some of the partners in person. However, the situation keeps changing and a lot of European countries are closing their borders or tightening COVID-related policies. I think now is the worst time to plan any trips abroad because of the uncertainties and potential existence of new variants. I’m not sure when it will be possible to plan, but I expect to see a similar situation for another 6 months at least. The only option is to plan a week or two in advance, in case of shorter trips. However, this doesn’t mean much because of the necessary logistics for trips, so it’s better to simply avoid traveling for some time.”

Malte Scholz – CEO at software solution company Airfocus

 

Renting a car is still safe

“From a car rental perspective, I would suggest it is very safe. Despite what the last 2 years have thrown at the travel industry, car rentals (when pre-booked) have remained one of the only travel services to offer a full refund up to 24 hours prior to travel, meaning that should your plans change due to personal isolation, airline cancellation or even government travel restrictions, you’ll never be left out of pocket with the rental car. Simply cancel for a full refund as soon as you know of your plans changing.
Equally, if you opt for pay on arrival (common place in the US), if you do not show at the rental counter, there will again, of course, be no charge.”

Phil Partridge – Marketing Manager at rental company Rhinocarhire

 

Some travel insurance will not cover borders being closed

“Pandemic protocols could affect the travel industry for years, so it is important to be flexible and resilient when planning a business trip. With countries re-adding limitations to travel in an effort to stop the spread of new variants, business travelers should be careful of traveling internationally as most travel insurance policies don’t cover when your destination closes its borders. With searches for “business travel accident insurance” up 350% in the past 12 months, ensure that your insurance covers cancellations, lost baggage, medical emergencies, trip interruptions, and delays. As you may need to cancel or rearrange your business trip, make sure to book a refundable ticket. These tickets are at a higher price point but are a good option if you’re uncertain about your travel plans.”

Naveen Dittakavi – CEO at Next Vacay

 

Yes, it can be done safely
Our agency, Haute, plans domestic and international incentive trips for corporations as well as other in-person events, so we are extremely conscious of safety policies for gatherings.

From small groups of 10 people to larger meetings of several hundred, we believe that it is possible to safely travel and meet for business. Throughout 2021, my colleagues and I visited seven countries safely (UAE, Maldives, Belize, USA, Bahamas, Mexico, and Colombia). We were vaccinated, masked, and cautious in crowded places. Although some countries had strict requirements for entry, some had completely open borders with no testing necessary. We had to stay up-to-date on country guidelines and airline policies, and we tried to fly business class where possible to get more personal space on the plane, especially the overnight flights. Having business meetings and seeing local cultural sites was easy – we primarily stayed with outdoor dining, or a private room in a restaurant when we were with a group.

Liz Lathan – Chief Marketing Officer at Haute Companies

 

You could be stranded abroad

“One is not fully immune to the virus even after taking the vaccines. Not only is health the issue but with rapidly fluctuating travel restrictions, it can be a game-changer for your plans. Imagine the borders closing just a few days before your departure. That would change everything, and you will have only a few days to stop things from falling apart. This would be a hectic drama to deal with. Hence, plan with the future in mind and a strong backup. Thus, be careful and alert while you plan trips this year.”

Hilda Wong – Founder at content writing agency Content Dog

 

Be flexible when planning your next trip

“Travel disruptions are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, so it’s important to stay flexible. Make sure you’re up to date on entry requirements at your destination, as these could change before your trip. If you don’t generally purchase travel insurance, it may be a good idea to consider it for travel this year.

We’re still seeing a return of pre-pandemic demand for travel, and there seems to be a reluctance to return to the travel restrictions of the past two years. While the situation could certainly change, it does appear that 2022 will be a better year for traveling abroad.”

Steve Oliverez – CEO at travel comparison website InsanelyCheapFlights

 

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Business

New Year. New Fiscal Quarter. New Goals. New Copy?

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Need new copy for your business? Here’s the thing about copy. It’s not static. It is living and breathing. It should move. It should be growing with you and your business. So…

Is it time for new copy for your business?

Confession time: the hardest copy I have to write, is my own. For my own business. And I’M A COPYWRITER, PEOPLE.

 

It got me thinking about why it’s so damn hard, and what I can do about it.

And then at the end of last year, I decided to buy myself a Black Friday/Cyber Monday/39th birthday/Christmas present: COPY SCHOOL. *cue violins, unicorns, and hearts floating out of a sea of chocolate in the middle of Bilbao*

Copy School is the greatest, most awesome, and beautiful wondrous thing I have ever experienced. Okay…apart from that time in Cape Town *wiggles eyebrows*

Whyyyyyyy? Because Copy School is making me a better copywriter. Like, every single day, I get better and better. Here’s what I’m learning. Maybe you can implement some of this into your world when you start looking into new copy for your business. Or…you know…hire me to do it. Because ain’t nobody got no time to write copy, except copywriters.

  1. Research

I always thought I was doing research. Oh, hell, no. I’ve just written a sales page for a summit – and I used Copy School to do it. If I tell you that the amount of research you should be doing vs the amount of research you’re actually doing is, like…well, it’s not the same. You need to do waaaay more research than you think. Waaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaay more. And there are very specific and vital methods you should be employing when you do it. When that happens, your new copy for your business goes from meh to OMFG this is POWAH.

  1. It’s not about you

I say this all the time. I don’t write copy that focuses on the client. But sometimes you get a client who wants their copy to be about them. No. No, no, no, no. ‘Nuff said. You gotta fight that client if you want your copy to convert. And if they still don’t listen? Then you have to put in writing that the copy they’re pushing for isn’t going to yield the results they want.

  1. The power of one

You’re going to want to write copy that focuses on many, many things. Don’t. Remember, your copy isn’t about you. It’s about your reader. Keep it simple, clear, focused. Only explore one thing. Have one CTA. This is extremely important.

  1. Scanners vs the detail-obsessed

Different people read in different ways. Some people LOVE a good, old READ. They plan their first cup of coffee around it. They sit down and read every single word of your email, website, sales page. They want the details. The details make them feel comfortable. Safe. When they have all the information they need, that’s when they can make an informed purchase decision. But other people scan. Me? I’m a scanner. I don’t have time to read every single word on a page. I need to get the important stuff quickly and then move on. So, your copy needs to cater to both kinds of people, mmmkay? Cool.

  1. Emotional vs intellectual buyers

The same thing applies here. Some people are going to buy with their feelings. They’re buying because they want all your many bennies (benefits), and they want to make their lives easier/more chilled/more money-filled/dreamier. Other people want the facts. What are they getting for the price they’re paying? What are the numbers? What’s the ROI? Now, I’m not saying that people ONLY buy with their hearts, or ONLY buy with their heads. We are much more complex than that. But you do need to keep in mind that there is an overlap, so your copy can’t be too much about the benefits or too much about the features.

  1. Specificity

I’m talking specificity with everything. Your ideal client doesn’t just ‘dream of more money and more time.’

They…

‘Are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into their business every single day, trying to make it profitable, while they work overtime, worrying that they’re not going to bring in the bucks, as people constantly ask them “Are you sure this is what you should be doing” and they sit on the side-lines watching other people slam their goals, while they invest in another online course hoping this one will be the one that gets them to six figures (hell, five figures would be a win right now).’

See? Specific. (Oh, and PS, if you do want to give your business’s visibility a boost, here are five ways you can do that.)

Finally …

When done right, copy is your best friend. It can move people through a journey and get them to a solution for their problems. And then? They buy. Try these out when you decide to create new copy for your business. And then take a look at this, and then at this. And remember, research is your BESTIE.

 

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Emirates re-opens premium lounges at selected airports in Europe

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Customers at an Emirates premium lounge
Depending on specific local guidelines in each market, either buffet service or a la carte dining are offered to customers.

Emirates, which has resumed operations to over 90 percent of its pre-pandemic network, is re-opening lounges facilities for first class, business, Platinum and Gold Skywards members. The company, currently flying to over 120 destinations worldwide via its hub in Dubai, will allow customers to use signature premium lounge services at airports in its network, comprising popular destinations across Europe, Africa, the USA and Asia.

Lounges at several airports in the UK, including London Heathrow, Birmingham, and Manchester, are expected to have re-opened their doors for customers to immerse themselves in the pre-flight premium experience by the end of December, while the lounges in London Gatwick and Glasgow will welcome customers in January 2022.

In Europe, Emirates lounges in Germany, namely Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dusseldorf, in addition to lounges in Milan and Rome, have already re-opened for passengers to enjoy their premium facilities, while the lounge in Paris is scheduled to open later this month.

Emirates’ First Class passengers and Platinum Skywards members can enjoy complimentary access for the first passenger and up to three additional guests, including one adult and two children under 17 in the airline’s lounge facilities. Before flights, passengers in Concourse A can savour the unique flavours of gourmet dishes prepared by chefs in show kitchens, enjoy a drink at the Cigar Bar or let expert sommeliers guide them on the best vintages to indulge in, at Le Clos Wine Cellar. The lounges also feature spa services and shower facilities, a dedicated duty-free shopping area in First Class and a Concierge Duty-Free service in Business Class. Customers enjoying the lounge facilities will also have direct access to boarding gates at the airline’s dedicated A380 hub.

In addition to Emirates’ exclusive lounge experience in Dubai and select airports within its network, First Class and Business Class customers in addition to Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold members can also enjoy access to 96 partner lounges across its network and benefit from their services before flights, with an additional 15 partner lounges to be phased in. Customers can check availability of lounges before their flights and eligibility requirements for complimentary or discounted access.

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