Have you ever casually scrolled through Twitter only to find that it was National Donut Day?
If it wasn’t National Donut Day, it might have been an awareness week, a heritage month, or a day of observance brought to your attention through your casual scroll.
Notice how this observance is trending on Twitter and on your feed. How are people talking about it? Are they all talking about it in the same way?
As communications specialists, there are a myriad of national and international holidays that are observed throughout the year that you may feel enticed to comment on in your communications, most notably through social media.
But before doing so, ask yourself:
- Are you clear in your purpose for posting in relation to the event, or are you just making noise to join the bandwagon?
- Are you reiterating your values?
- Are you potentially centering your voice in a time when you should center the voice of others?
- Are you taking the opportunity to educate through your work in relation to the event?
Be sure there is thought, consideration, and purpose for posting that is grounded in your organization’s brand. Your brand is your guide rail for knowing what to say and why. Leaning on your brand will not only help you identify what to communicate, but how to communicate about it in a way that is authentic to you.
In the spirit of celebrating Black History Month last month and amplifying the good, here are three examples from Mission Minded clients whom we can learn from and celebrate. Note how their brand guides how they engage with and elevate Black History Month.
Ella Baker Center
On Trayvon Martin’s birthday, Ella Baker Center posted the piece below by @rlmartstudio remembering his life and bringing attention to the national crisis of the killing of Black people, most notably in the hands of law enforcement. This crisis is the reason for the Ella Baker Center’s existence and their work fueled by their namesake, Ella Baker, a Black hero of the Civil Rights Movement that has, and continues to, mobilize and empower people.
Ella Baker Center reinforces its brand of being credible, real, uplifting, and revolutionary when communicating the impact of our country’s long history of racial injustice. Their brand personality sets the tone in their communications as demonstrated in the post below. “We KEEP US SAFE. We free us”
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In the post below, Castilleja School, an independent school for girls in California, shared learnings from their National Black Lives Matter Week curriculum. The work they did was guided by their mission of educating young women to become confident thinkers and compassionate leaders to effect change in the world.
Not only was this timely content, but an example of how organizations can connect with Black History Month by leaning into values. The post directly connects back to the school’s Diversity and Inclusion brand value: Together, we commit to learning from diverse voices and experiences, and we aspire to engage our differences with courage, honesty, intellectual curiosity and respect.
With this post, they reinforced the importance of this value to their community, while also educating them about the important themes of their Black Lives Matter Week curriculum.
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HERE to HERE
HERE to HERE champions young people by working to redefine the systems that unfairly burden Black and Brown students as they pursue their career ambitions. Throughout Black History Month, they shared a series of posts celebrating Black leaders, trailblazers, and creatives like American filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and American novelist and professor Alice Walker.
In this series, HERE to HERE let the quotes of the Black leaders speak for themselves, embodying their brand value of Ensuring Equitable Opportunity. In their vision of an inclusive economy where everyone has the chance to succeed, this brand value looks to unite and inspire champions of change and promote sustainable careers for all. Similarly, through this series, they look to inspire by championing other Black trailblazers.
Lean Into Your Values
Notice how all the organizations talked about aspects of Black history, yet none of them talked about Black History Month in the same way or even labeled their content as such? That’s because they joined the conversation by leaning into their own values first. Whether it be for Black History Month or some other time of awareness, engaging in this way ensures that your content is authentic to your organization and therefore relevant to your followers
How is your organization leaning into its values to celebrate Black History Month? Share in the comments below!