PRIDE MONTH EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Members of the LGBTQ+ Community at Bidtellect

PRIDE MONTH EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Members of the LGBTQ+ Community at Bidtellect

In honor of Pride Month, we have highlighted members of the LGBTQ+ community at Bidtellect to hear about their experiences and advice on how to best support and celebrate Pride at work.

headshot tyler hazlewood with text

Pride is more than just a rainbow flag.

What has your experience been like in the workforce being a part of the LGBTQ+ community?

Being “out” in the workforce is different for every person. After struggling with coming out in college, I was nervous to be my authentic self in the workforce. I quickly learned, however, that our industry is full of allies and people who treat everyone the same way. It has been so peaceful and stress-free to be who I was created to be and not have to hide it for fear of termination or mistreatment.

 

How can team members in the (virtual) office be allies to the LGBTQ+ community?

Ask questions and understand situations that people that are LGBTQ+ have gone through. Be visible and proud of being an ally. Let those people in the LGBTQ+ community know that you support the community.

In what ways do you believe companies should be celebrating pride month? Do you believe there are ways companies should not be celebrating pride month?

Don’t only teach the history of Pride Month (i.e. the 1969 Stonewall riots that jump started the gay liberation movement in the U.S. and ultimately led to yearly celebrations of Pride), but also teach where things currently stand in terms of equal rights to all employees. Pride is more than just a rainbow flag. If organizations are going to celebrate Pride month, tell stories about the history of Pride and showcase people that have paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as ones who continue to do so in our current times.

What does it mean to embrace LGBTQ+ pride?

Be willing to learn, confront your own bias or privilege, encourage family and friends to be allies, learn from your possible past mistakes where you may not have been supportive, intervene when needed, get involved, and get educated. Treat people of the community with respect and the same way you would want to be treated.

How are you planning to celebrate this year? 

Pride Events in Dallas with friends, plus a Bidtellect Dallas Office Pride Lunch!

headshot alex williams with text

I believe that truly embracing pride is to be fully accepting of yourself and others. It means knowing that all people deserve the same respect as anyone else. This means being comfortable with yourself and allowing and promoting others to feel the same way about themselves.

What has your experience been like in the workforce being a part of the LGBTQ+ community?

I’m very proud of who I am as a person.  In the past, anytime I encountered any sort of issue in the workplace regarding an aspect of my character, I relied on that confidence in myself to push through it. I also have a very open sense of humor, so if “gay jokes” were thrown around the workplace, I might have laughed along – but you’d better believe I cracked a joke that got right back at them. 😛

How can team members in the (virtual) office be allies to the LGBTQ+ community?

Vote to support people who care about human rights. You can be as nice as you want to your LGBTQ+ coworkers, but if you’re voting in support of a legislature that infringes on their rights, then your kind words are meaningless.

In what ways do you believe companies should be celebrating pride month? Do you believe there are ways companies should not be celebrating pride month?

Rainbows everywhere. (Only partially kidding.) The celebration of pride is very commonly focused on this one month, which, in my opinion, isn’t the best approach. This leads to a sense that the organization is only responsible for this support in one given month. In order to support our LGBTQ+ community, we need to make it clear that we support the LGBTQ+ community year round. This could be as simple as making it clear in our organization that discrimination is not allowed.

What does it mean to embrace LGBTQ+ pride?

Once again, rainbows. (Also only partially kidding.) I believe that truly embracing pride is to be fully accepting of yourself and others. It means knowing that all people deserve the same respect as anyone else. This means being comfortable with yourself and allowing and promoting others to feel the same way about themselves.

How are you planning to celebrate this year? 

I’m going to keep doing what I always do. I will keep on living my life authentically and I won’t be ashamed of who I am. I’m going to live my life proudly.

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3 Ways You Can Show Up For Pride Month As A Brand or Advertiser

3 Ways You Can Show Up For Pride Month As A Brand or Advertiser

June is Pride Month – a time to celebrate the historically marginalized LGBTQ+ community. When planning your campaigns, the key is to go beyond “slapping a rainbow on it” and hijacking campy phrases. Authentic representation and giving back to the community – in June and all year round – will build a connection with consumers and ultimately lead to sales and build brand loyalty.

LGBTQ+ individuals make up approximately 4.5% of the US population but account for 8%-approximately $1 trillion-of the country’s disposable income (eMarketer, 2021)

1. Authentic Support is the Key to Connection With Belief-Driven Buyers

When it comes to your brand’s support of the LGBTQ+ community, authenticity matters. That means having a 12-month strategy, treating LGBTQ employees well, and showing that you support LGBTQ non-discrimination policies both in their own corporations and also things that are happening in the government (CBSNews, 2021)

If you communicate your genuine support of the movement, you’ll be more likely to connect strongly with consumers who share your beliefs. Consumers want to buy from brands that resonate with their beliefs.

Two-thirds of consumers worldwide identified themselves as “belief-driven buyers,” indicating that they expect brands “can make change and not just talk about it and do advertising,” Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, recently told CBSN. (CBSNews, 2021)

In a U.S. survey by Adweek, 40% of those surveyed said they want to spend money with a brand that aligns with their personal values. (Adweek, 2021)

It also means extending your support beyond June and into the rest of the year. It’s important to not be perceived as opportunistic and exploitative of the movement, seeking only to capitalize and make a quick buck during the month of June.

It is simple really – if market involvement isn’t a seasonal trend when straight couples are concerned, then why should it be any different for couples from the LGBTQ+ community? They too like to participate in all the things that make their relationship that much special. Birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, getaways, personalized jewelry – these are all just as meaningful for someone from the LGBTQ+ community as they are to the rest of the population!

2. Support and Representation Matters – And Pays Off

Amongst the LGBTQ+ community, it cannot be overstated how important it is for them to feel that a brand is both representing them in their campaigns and supporting the community they are spotlighting.

Include diverse individuals in your creative assets and content. Feature stories of inspiring individuals or highlight LGBTQ+ employees, and more. During the employee appreciation program, consider getting these unique high end corporate gifts that can be customized according to your employees’ tastes.

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Making a concerted effort to include more diverse representation in creative assets will ultimately build trust and brand loyalty. Portraying LGBTQ+ individuals in ads not only creates a positive association, but encourages purchasing:

  • 79% of people believe gay women are under-represented in advertising (Marketing Week via Unruly);
  • 73% of LGBTQ participants think more positively about companies that advertise in the LGBTQ media (CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
  • 72% of LGBTQ respondents were more likely to purchase from companies that advertised in LGBTQ digital and print media. (eMarketer, 2021)
  • 78% of LGBTQ community members said they are inclined to support companies that market to and support LGBTQ people (CBSNews, 2021)
flags and rainbow products for pride month -originally in GoSanAngelo

3. Give Back – Don’t Just Slap a Rainbow On It

The same goes for giving back to the community. Sponsor events, give back through volunteer work, and donate to organizations through promotions or special products. You can also give free online vouchers (using gift card API) for products that can make LGBTQ+ consumers more likely to think positively about your brand.

Going beyond selling rainbow merchandise is key. If you are selling rainbow merchandise, think about donating the proceeds to an LGBTQ+ organization to avoid falling victim to empty “rainbow retail” that profits off the LGBTQ+ community without supporting it.

A 2021 survey by Adweek showed that consumers are looking for brands that give back to the community in a genuine way, such as donating a portion of their profits to the LGBTQ+ community (24.8%), expressing support for LGBTQ+ issues year-round (22.1%) and publicly enforcing nondiscriminatory policies in the workplace (21%).

  • 27.6% want to support brands that publicly support LGBTQ+ issues (Adweek, 2021)
  • 79% of LGBTQ+ participants think more positively about companies that sponsor LGBTQ+ community organizations and events (CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
  • 74% of LGBTQ+ participants are more likely to purchase from a company that outreaches and advertises in the LGBTQ+ community (CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
  • How would you like to see brands support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month? (Adweek, 2021)
    • Advertising
    • Donations
    • Policy
    • Representation
    • Support

What Else to Know: Demographics

(CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)

  • The more urban the area, the more LGBTQ-friendly the community is considered to be. 96% of LGBTQ participants think that their big city urban environments are LGBTQ-friendly, compared to 49% of those living in rural areas. (CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, 2021)
  • Cisgender gay and bi+ men have a higher likelihood of living in big cities. Cisgender lesbian and bi+ women, transgender, and non-binary participants were more dispersed, living in many different community types.
  • Cisgender gay and bi+ men are far more likely to be single than are cisgender lesbian and bi+ women. Cisgender lesbian and bi+ women are more likely to be married.
  • In general, LGBTQ community members feel that their employer is LGBTQ-friendly (81% supportive). The high percentage may be a function of LGBTQ employees seeking work at LGBTQ-friendly companies.

5 TAKEAWAYS YOU CAN DO NOW:

1. Bring Your Creatives Up to Par:

Utilize creative experts [b]+studio to expand thoughtful LGBTQ+ representation in your creative assets

[b]+studio will work with you to create copy and assets that are genuine and supportive of the community.

Include promotions in your headlines to grab consumers’ attention – a consistent top-performing best practice according to [b]+studio.

2. Give Back:

Offer donations to LGBTQ+ organizations at a national or local level. Utilize your ads to promote sales that give back to the community.

Better yet, if you’re selling rainbow merchandise such as flags or lgbt pride pins, push the proceeds of that to LGBTQ+ organizations to avoid falling victim to empty “rainbow retail” that profits off the LGBTQ+ community without supporting it. There are plenty of LGBTQ+ vendors out there that you could buy from, therefore, supporting the cause from both sides.

3. Reach Your Target Consumer:

Utilize Bidtellect’s context demographics targeting to reach age and gender demographics.

Bidtellect’s context-driven technology will reach users researching LGBTQ+ support, pride month shopping, and other interests without cookies.

4. Scale:

Bidtellect’s 30+ supply partners ensure your ads will reach far and wide in the safest, most relevant publisher environments. Pride is a big spending month – don’t skimp.

5. Adjust, Adjust, Adjust:

Work with Bidtellect’s performance team to optimize to best-performing placements, creatives, spend, scale, and more.

Bidtellect’s unique Engagement Score1 among other measurements will offer clear performance metrics through post-click so you can adjust your campaigns accordingly.

We hope this research and tips for Pride Month Advertising for brands and advertisers helps you.

Contact us to get your Pride Campaigns started ASAP!

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