Today, June 1, marks the first day of Pride Month 2022. Traditionally, Pride Month is a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities and highlight the ongoing pursuit of equal justice and opportunity. We’ll also be observing Juneteenth this month to honor the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
However, as of late, we’ve witnessed national movements and events like Pride Month and Juneteenth as a time when brands tend to capitalize on the attention of consumers with rainbow logos, African prints, and questionably sincere statements of support.
There are meaningful ways to engage in moments like Pride Month and Juneteenth as a brand. But before doing so publicly, it’s important to make sure it’s appropriate for your brand to have a voice in the conversation and that you’re not attempting to monetize marginalized identities. Here are three questions to ask your company before posting for Pride Month, Juneteenth, or other national holidays and events so closely intertwined with identity and oppression.
Question #1: What is my company hoping to achieve by speaking out on the subject?
If the answer has anything to do with money, relevance or reputation, I’m going to stop you right there. Don’t post! There may be reasons your company would speak out that aren’t immediate red flags: to open up a dialogue with other brands, provide information or resources, demonstrate support for employees, etc. Whatever your goal, it’s important to think about whether it serves the company or the cause.
Question #2: What is my company doing to support the cause?
Think about what actions your company is taking. Are you donating time or resources to the community? Are there company policies or procedures you can point to that show the company’s support? To build genuine and meaningful campaigns, you need to prove your brand is not only talking the talk, but walking the walk. If your company’s actions and words are aligned, you’ll have more credibility when joining the conversation.
Question #3: Is this a one-time thing, or is my company vocal about its support year round?
Similar to the previous question, this one gets at whether or not speaking up aligns with your company/brand. If it’s something your business regularly discusses, it’s only natural that the conversation would continue during a key moment. However, if the only time your brand contributes is during conversation peaks, it’s likely to be perceived as insincere, even if your heart’s in it.
While these questions can serve as helpful thought-starters, it’s important to note that there’s no clear-cut answer as to whether a brand should weigh in on Pride Month, Juneteenth, or similar events. There are many factors to take into consideration before posting like impact and brand alignment. The simplest advice we can provide is this: stay genuine. If you’re going to talk the talk, make sure you’re walking the walk all year round.