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Why You Should Screen Your Marketing Communications For Inclusivity

Posted on Categories Marketing Communications, Organizational Change/AlignmentTags

Most of us don’t set out to offend, but are our unconscious biases impeding our ability to see how we are perceived by others?

Your company says it is committed to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and you know that inclusivity is key to making each of your customers and employees feel welcome and comfortable. But, does your company have policies in place that demonstrate that pledge? While most of us don’t set out to create communications that intentionally exclude or offend, we all have unconscious biases that can impede our ability to see how specific words and images might be interpreted by others.

Overcoming these biases in the workplace can be challenging, especially when it comes to communication. Putting processes into place that ensure every piece of internal and external communication reinforces your DEI values is increasingly important. One effective tactic can be to seek diverse perspectives to review and provide feedback on your campaigns. While effective, it can result in fatigue when a select few are repeatedly asked to provide feedback. This can leave the diverse members of your team feeling as if they are expected to “do the work” around inclusion. And, simply requesting that employees speak up, ad-hoc, can also prove problematic if they are uncomfortable raising these issues to their supervisors.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to impanel experts outside of your organization to provide feedback on your campaigns and recommend ways for making your messaging more inclusive. InclusiCheck, for example, offers diverse and certified panels that review everything from social media posts to comprehensive marketing campaigns and provide you with a scorecard, as well as insights and recommended next steps to inform revisions. You can learn more about their process here. Depending on your campaign creation process, you can either contract directly with a service like this or work with an agency that already incorporates this screening and revision into their campaign creation process.

Another way to confirm your campaigns and content are without bias is to use online bias tools. These programs are becoming more available and affordable for those who want to make their writing inclusive and appropriate. Among the available options is Casey, a free tool where you can drop in content to check it for, “offensive language choices, such as gender favoring, polarizing, race-related, religion-inconsiderate, or other unequal phrasing.” Even Microsoft Editor can be used to check your writing for bias and negative connotations these days.

By leveraging unique perspectives and utilizing tools, you will not merely be communicating a commitment to DEI, but also demonstrating it. When DEI is integrated into all that you do, everyday, it becomes an authentic part of who you are as a company and how you operate, making the messages you share more credible and your connections with each of your stakeholders deeper.

Whether you have multiple certified DEI experts in house, choose to outsource the review and revision of communications or employ a new set of AI tools, the end result will be messages that are more inclusive, better received, and more reflective of your true commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

At Savage, we leverage the expert advice of tools like InclusiCheck to ensure our clients’ marketing messages match their DEI commitments. If you’d like to learn more about how these kinds of services can benefit you, contact us. We’d love to support you as you refine your communications efforts to be more consciously inclusive.

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