Inclusivity in Media - The What, Why, and How.
The month of June every year, is widely known as ‘Pride Month’. A month full of recognizing and appreciating the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating inclusivity in all spaces and making equal opportunities an all-year-round agenda!
But why is inclusivity relevant in the media?
The media is a vivid reflection of the generation using it, and they are, in their own terms - woke!
To be an inclusive society, we must embrace diversity, and propagate acceptance. Unsurprisingly, like all else, it begins with the media!
How can we make media inclusive?
Whether it's the LGBTQ t-shirts, the self esteem workbooks or the rainbow coloured 'love is love' posts on your Instagram feed - the people want to be included and represented, as they are, in the brands that they follow and the markets that they buy from. Consumers of today have a plethora of options, so if they don’t find what they are looking for, they can simply switch the tab, making their want - a necessity.
Several famous MNCs have been criticised for their lack of diversity, while others have been praised for their inclusivity. Be it a skincare brand that brings in more shades of foundation (like Fenty’s skincare), a clothing line with plus sizes, or a nice box of chocolates as a gift for valentines day, without limiting their marketing to heterosexual couples; the practice of inclusivity can be implemented in all kinds of businesses!
How can you make your brand inclusive?
Step 1: Social listening!
Listen to what your consumers and your competitors are saying about your brand; monitor and analyse your social media accounts or use tools (i.e. Social Media Management Software for agencies / SMM Services) for the same.
Step 2: Make your change bona fide, not symbolic!
Fair and ‘lovely’ have gone hand-in-hand for generations, so swapping it for ‘glow’ and lovely, without any concrete change is simply a futile marketing strategy. The best strategy? Own up to any error or misunderstanding that you may have caused and correct yourself. Don’t worry, we are all human!
Aim to make real change, by making your products and advertisements include consumers from all walks of life. Cater to the specific needs of the marginalised communities as well, and watch your target audience grow!
Step 3: Your vibe attracts your tribe.
When your brand is diverse and inclusive, it will attract instagram influencers and free advertising sites of similar nature. However, be careful, and monitor those who associate with your company. Their stance on the subject must align with yours.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are some people in the media to look upto in 2021!
1. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: “Whenever I hear the term ‘transgender’, which we hear so often these days, I always feel that it implies ‘transcending gender”.
A transgender/Hijra rights activist, actress, classical dancer and motivational speaker, Tripathi is the founder of Astitva, an organisation that promotes welfare of sexual minorities. She contributed to the appeal of Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code Acts and has starred in several award-winning TV shows. She also co-authored her own biography, titled ‘Red Lipstick’, and has truly paved the way for the inclusion of the transgender community in
2. Anwesh Kumar Sahoo: “Coming out completely changed my life. I was finally able to love and respect myself for who I was. I was finally able to live my life and unapologetically be the way I wanted to be”.
Artist, blogger, actor, speaker, and famed as Mr Gay World India, Sahoo was the youngest contestant. He began a campaign called ‘fitting out’, and was a part of another called ‘Fifty Shades of Gay’. Alongside his features in multiple national and international websites like Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed, he is also a TEDx speaker and the ambassador for ‘Dance4Pride’ by Those in Need.
3. Dr. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju: “Beauty to me is about embracing yourself regardless of society’s expectations of you”.
Kanataka’s very first trans-woman doctor, Dr. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju has an enormous social media presence of more than 200,000 people. Her audience is largely captivated by her vlogs, where she captures the process of her gender confirmation surgery, and the life of a trans-woman in India, in general. She also updates them on her youtube channel called ‘The Trinetra Method’. Her main focus lies in un-learning society’s expectations, and bashing transphobia as a whole.
4. Vikram Seth: “To not be able to love the one you love, is to have your life wrenched away”.
A renowned Padmashree awardee, Vikram Seth is one of India’s finest poets and novelists. He has written eight books of poetry and three novels, one of which being ‘A Suitable Boy’, which was adapted into a television series in 2020. Seth emphasises on the need for Indians to speak up about their sexuality and normalise it.
Inclusivity is imperative, especially in media, because it is not only a reflection of the society at present, but also a tangible guide for the future.
It's simple, really! All you need is a spoon of respect, a splash of empathy, mixed with a cup of love to make the batter for an inclusive, diverse, and successful brand today!
We, at Digital Batter, wish you and your loved ones a Happy Pride Month!