Fandom Friday, SCL style: LGBTQ-aware brand resources, Facebook news and summer music festivals done right
Here’s what stopped us mid-scroll the week of June 14-18
Show your Pride, actually
If you read nothing else this week, read, “Marketing still has an LGBTQ inclusion problem—how do we solve it?” by LinkedIn Senior Editor Callie Schweitzer. It articulates how the rainbow-washed logos that have become synonymous with Pride month are meaningless unless coupled with action and worse still, they can undermine the lived realities of the LGBTQ+ community.
Savvy marketers know that consumers see through phoney sales tactics and crave authenticity more than ever. Still, so many brands have failed to make meaningful change when it comes to representation in their advertising, in their boardrooms and in their general business practices for fear of “getting it wrong.”
“Despite the fears, companies can’t afford to bury their heads in the sand,” writes Schweitzer pointing out that one in six U.S. Gen Z adults identifies as LGBTQ. She goes on to list a number of resources for brands including the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s LGBTQ Marketing and Advertising: Best Practices, Twitter’s LGBTQ Creators share advice to brands on connecting during Pride Month, GLAAD and Getty Images LGBTQ Image Guidebook and more.
The battle for earbuds rages on
Facebook is about to make it super easy for podcasters to publish new episodes to their Pages and get the word out via News Feed, The Verge has confirmed. The social media platform even plans to add a nifty feature that will allow listeners to snip clips from their favourite podcast episodes, presumably creating ultra-sharable soundbites. It’s the latest move in the podcast platform wars following an announcement from Apple earlier in the week that its premium podcast subscription service featuring ad-free and exclusive shows is officially live in 170 markets around the globe.
CBC turns off Facebook comments
Meanwhile CBC announced Tuesday that it would be turning off comments on its Facebook news posts for one month in an effort to curb hateful, racist and abusive remarks but also to test whether it affects how many Facebook users see and read their articles.
“The truth is we spend a considerable amount of attention and resources attempting to moderate our Facebook posts. It takes a mental toll on our staff, who must wade into the muck in an effort to keep the conversation healthy for others,” Brodie Fenlon, editor in chief and executive director of daily news at CBC, said in a blog post. “It is not sustainable.”
The experiment will allow the broadcaster to post more stories to Facebook that cover a range topics without worrying that they’ll be overwhelmed by negative comments and attacks. Over the four-week period, CBC will also monitor whether the change impacts how stories reach the reading public.
It stands to reason that more stories covering more topics, including sensitive ones covering social justice issues for instance, could offset any dip in engagement that might result from a lack of comments and subsequent news feed instances.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see whether the public broadcaster turns Facebook comments on again in one month’s time.
Summer music festivals, reimagined
The Calgary Folk Festival just might crack the code on how to host a COVID-aware outdoor concert this summer. Event organizers have decided to go ahead with their July 22-28 music extravaganza featuring Shad, the Cowboy Junkies, Charlotte Cardin and more—with some caveats. Parties of up to four adults and 2 kids will be assigned to a physically distanced 6’ x 8’ tarp where they can enjoy the main stage acts, mask-free. Masks will be required in all other common areas including concessions. Concert-goers are being encouraged to bring their own blankets, food and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy in their designated picnic area.