Beware of Pride PR Pitfalls

Yesterday while perusing my newsfeed, I ran across a Yahoo! Finance article pointing out only two in five brands with Pride campaigns this year are donating to LGBT charities. Woof. There’s never seems to be any shortage of companies jumping on the Pride bandwagon, but this year feels especially oversaturated. I had no idea Listerine was such an ally of the LGBT community!

The danger anytime you try and commercialize cultural milestones is that you can come off as inauthentic, and companies therefore should have a solid communications plan behind their Pride campaigns before June 1, 2020 rolls around. Consumers are smart, LGBT issues are top of mind, and it can be easy to fall into a PR nightmare if you’re simply trying to capitalize on a sensitive set of issues. 

With that in mind, here are three questions to ask yourself before flipping the switch on next year’s Pride campaign. 

Is it coming from an authentic place? 

It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and throw together a hasty Pride campaign, but that’s where many brands lose their way. Make sure you have a reason for demonstrating your support the LGBT community. If your grasp on the subject matter is flimsy, the Twitterverse will come down hard and relentless. 

What is your company’s Pride narrative? 

Or how does your organization connect to the LGBT movement? Point to concrete examples of how you’ve been an ally to the community, whether that be the clients you serve or the people on the inside that make your company great. 

What is your communications strategy? 

This year LGBT branding seems especially prevalent, which is great, but companies should be prepared to answer questions about the “why” behind the campaign. Start with a good sense of history and connect that to your brand’s evolution. 

Resist the urge to jump on the Pride bandwagon if you don’t have a good reason for doing so. Otherwise, you risk being seen as out of touch and could even lose a substantial part of your customer base.