It’s crucial for any public relations practitioner to understand how to successfully communicate with a diverse audience. The gay and lesbian community is one such group that is loyal and powerful, but it’s a demographic that is highly underserved.
To help understand the needs of the gay and lesbian community, PR agency Fleishman-Hillard has reached out to PR professionals looking to communicate with the gay and lesbian community with its “Out Front Blog.” The blog seeks to foster discussion about communications issues affecting the LGBT community and address the challenges associated with reaching this audience.
Nonprofit media campaigner, Luke Montgomery and his “FCKH8” campaign, is one inspiring example of effectively reaching out to the LGBT community. Montgomery’s campaign seeks to raise money and awareness about bullying and hate by using a series of videos featuring gays, lesbians and straight allies to bluntly oppose hatred against the LGBT community.
Montgomery’s campaign and videos aren’t for the faint of heart or the easily offended. They contain crass language, which can catch the viewer off guard and could be potentially off-putting, but the risks seem to have come with a number of benefits, including more than 180,000 Facebook likes, more than 41,000 Twitter followers and thousands of views for each of the videos.
Generally and professionally speaking, I don’t condone using foul language to appeal to an audience. However, this campaign has been highly effective in reaching its intended audience by being provocative and standing out. The main take-away from Montgomery’s campaign is to raise awareness about discrimination and bullying against gay and lesbian individuals, which is an important cause in the gay community as seen with other campaigns such as the “It Gets Better Project.”
Ultimately, building relationships and successfully communicating with a diverse audience requires the knowledge and understanding of the issues, desires and goals of that community. Sometimes, taking a provocative approach results in success.