Embracing Diversity: A Strategic Approach to Digital PR in 2023

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, diversity has emerged as a vital element for success. In this blog post, we will explore the profound significance of diversity in the context of digital PR. We will delve deeper into why embracing diversity is critical for businesses, how it resonates with global audiences, and provide concrete examples of brands that have successfully leveraged diversity to strengthen their digital PR strategies.

 

Introduction to the Drive for Diversity

In the 21st-century workspace, the need for diversity and inclusivity is essential, especially in terms of startups and scale-ups that have to contend with fierce competition from established corporations. When talking about what diversity means in the workplace, it describes a workforce comprised of varying characteristics among employees. This includes everything from race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, language, educational backgrounds, skills, abilities, culture, physical abilities and disabilities, culture, and political beliefs. Not only is the drive for such diversity important in regards to being viewed and valued as a modern, progressive and innovative brand but it’s also crucial for businesses looking to differentiate from their competitors in order to become the go-to biz. 

These days, diversity and inclusivity are non-negotiables, and embracing them is a key aspect that leads to success. Just think – a company tapping into a wide range of talents, ideas, and experiences is bound to have an edge over conservative brands unwilling to accept change.

 

The Power of Diversity in Digital PR

In terms of digital PR, diversity plays a pivotal role by allowing brands to connect with global audiences on a deeper level. In an era marked by social consciousness and cultural awareness, consumers actively seek out brands that reflect their values and identities.

Digital marketers (like us) have the resources to advocate for diversity and inclusion with clients by tapping into the following:

  • Raising awareness: Whether it’s including a more diverse range of people in your advertisements or curating ones that specifically target those who have previously been excluded from mainstream advertisements. Remember, the more diverse a campaign is, the wider your audience awareness, and the more people you’ll be able to appeal to/have them relate to you.
  • Understanding their audience: It’s essential you can craft messaging that not only relates to your target audience but doesn’t alienate other people. There are numerous tried and tested ways you can get to understand them more, and social media is a major play-point. It enables you to freely talk to and engage with your customers, and find out what makes them tick and what, well, doesn’t. Start conversations, ask for feedback, and in terms of diversity – ask them if there’s anything they would do differently. 
  • Gathering insights: You need to gain insight into your brand if you’re going to promote it well/embrace diversity. For example, look at what currently makes the brand special and why it’s important to people. Then, look at it from a wider perspective: what universal qualities does it have that surpass gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.? If you can think ahead of traditional labels, it’s easier to figure out how the brand can appeal to people on a transcendental level.
  • Driving change: While digital marketing and PR are trained in responding to change – making sure messaging is relevant and timely – it’s also beneficial to drive social change to prove you’re an alert brand. Do this by exposing your audience to insights and opinions they may not normally come across and drive the conversation in a way that advocates for positive change.  

 

For example, Nike’s “Dream Crazier” campaign was a prime example of digital PR being used to promote diversity, drive social change, and pinpoint them as a progressive brand. The campaign celebrated female athletes and inspired a global conversation about gender equality, earning widespread acclaim and resonating with diverse audiences. 

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By embracing such diversity, they were able to establish genuine connections and build trust with diverse customer segments. 

 

Diversity in Different Markets/Localisation and a Strong Hook

To truly succeed in digital PR, it is essential to understand the nuances of different markets and cultures. Europe, for example, comprises diverse countries with unique languages, customs, and behaviours. Brands that recognise and respect these differences can effectively localise their campaigns, ensuring they align with the cultural sensitivities and preferences of their target audiences. In terms of localised marketing in Europe, it’s one of the most effective ways to build connections and trust with such a varied audience. We’ve dropped a couple of top tips for successfully localising content for different markets, therefore increasing diversity:

  • Tailor your message: It’s more than just translation. You also need to adapt your content for each individual market you’re looking to reach and speak to said audiences in a way that’s culturally relevant, relatable and respectable to them. For example, if it’s seasonal – not all European countries celebrate the same thing. Say your campaign is related to Thanksgiving, it’s not going to resonate in a country like the UK. Instead, adapt the campaign so that it touches on a UK celebration, or completely redo it.
  • Build relationships with local influencers: Influencer marketing is huge, which means it’s a PR method that is well worth using in this day and age. After all, more than half the world (around 60%) now uses social media. But despite this marketing type being a great source of expansion, there’s no use doing it if the influencers aren’t relevant to the market you’re in. This is where local influencers come in – they can connect authentically with their audience by using relevant language. Going super local with your PR by using local influencers helps to target niche and geographically relevant customers.
  • Tell relevant stories: Similar to the first point, but make sure that you’re telling relevant stories to each market. Localised marketing – especially in Europe – relies heavily on sharing local stories as it helps to engage the audience on a more personal level. 

 

When it comes to each individual tip, never underestimate the power of a good hook – it’s essential for capturing attention and differentiating from the brand noise. If the story you’re telling isn’t new, make sure that your angle is. Make it fresh, give it a twist, and ensure it has a unique edge to separate yourself from your competitors. Also, you could turn a national story into a local story and personalise the data.

Sidenote: while it’s majorly crucial to have a killer hook, don’t blur the lines. There needs to be a concise link between the sell and the story plus obviously the brand/client.

When it comes to an example of a brand that has successfully diversified in different markets, Swedish furniture store (and meatball pioneers) IKEA are stand-outs. Their “Everyday Heroes” campaign tailored its messaging to resonate with specific European markets, featuring relatable stories that highlighted the everyday challenges and triumphs of individuals in different countries.

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Strong hook-wise? Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign wins this one. You’ll no doubt remember when they personalised their product by printing popular names on their bottles. The reason it was so successful was that it created a sense of inclusivity and fostered personal connections among diverse consumers worldwide.

Plus, in 2022, Barcelona, Bologna, Bilbao, Ghent, Gothenburg, Leuven and Mannheim were the seven cities (with above 50,000 inhabitants) that were finalists for the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Awards. The reason they stood out was because they embraced and understood inclusion regarding age, disability, sexuality, gender, religion, and racial or ethnic origin.

 

Inclusivity as a Core Mission

These days, there’s no excuse for inclusivity *not* to be a priority and at the core of every brand’s mission. It works hand in hand with diversity and demonstrates a business’ commitment to fostering a fair environment. 

Both in the workplace and its wider audience, inclusivity as a core value exhibits respect for everybody both in terms of actions and words. It gives employees a sense of connection and belonging and enhances engagement so that they feel passionate about their work and always give 100%. This resonates on the outside, too, as consumers who recognise such brands (who implement diverse and inclusive policies) are more inclined to actively promote and engage with them.

But who does this best? Airbnb’s 2016 “Open Doors” campaign smashed it out of the park in this department. They basically took it upon themselves to address discrimination and promote belonging for everyone within the Airbnb community. This was following customers who complained of hosts being racist towards Black and other ethnicities.

 

Bottom Line?

Diversity is not merely a buzzword; it is a transformative force in the world of digital PR. When brands embrace diversity, they’re able to scale up hugely, as it provides wider access to audiences around the world. It also provides the opportunity to get one up on your competitors who maybe haven’t embraced the D word just yet.

Essentially, through effective localisation, a strong hook, and a genuine commitment to inclusivity, businesses can maximize the impact of their digital PR strategies and create lasting connections with diverse communities worldwide.

And as the world is *finally* becoming more accepting, we owe digital PR a lot for sticking its head above the parapet to campaign for diversity. So, why not evaluate your current strategies and consider how you can better incorporate these non-negotiables into your business environments?

Whether you need a digital PR whizz to conduct a diversity audit, or you just need some advice when it comes to seeking diverse perspectives to strengthen your digital PR initiatives, here at Minty, we’re well-versed in the topic and can help your brand to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.

 

 

Ellie Mckenna

Content Executive

MSc Digital Marketing & Communications. All things pattern and design. Find me eating pizza in a floral print 🌸🍕
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