This is Pride Month. My bestie is gay and when people and businesses encourage me to celebrate Gay Pride Month, I do so eagerly. Just not always sure how. I don’t own a flag. I have a bracelet, somewhere.
One of my new mentees with Asheville Elevate (a program for startups) is in the business of “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion.” She is educating people out of systemic racism by attempting to change policies, procedures and practices. I want to celebrate her efforts. I want to advocate. I’m just not sure how.
I use the word celebrate in my brand strategy practice quite a bit. It’s a lovely word. A wholesome and humane word. While I fear it is much overused in advocacy, it’s a good action verb in brand strategy. It’s a do word. Just as branding is about (organized) doing, celebrating is also about doing. Happy, healthy, communal doing.
A good brand strategy makes it easy for employees and consumers to act on behalf of a brand. It gives them a roadmap. That’s what advocacy must do. Provide a roadmap. Roadmap is an apt descriptor because much of advocacy today takes place at parades and outdoor demonstrations. Secondarily, with the dreaded letter-to-one’s-congressman.
All advocates want celebrants – but they need to prime the pump with “doing” tactics. Strategy sans tactics is an impoverished business. Celebrate by doing.