Tag Archives: Facebook

How do you Address a Diverse Audience? Be Bold (but not too Bold)

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.


Know Your Audience: Tips on Developing Relationships with the Help of Social Media from Dana Lewis

As the Interactive Marketing Specialist for Seattle-based Swedish Medical Center, Dana Lewis is sufficiently experienced in social media and knows how to connect with diverse audiences in different places.

At a recent guest lecture at the University of Oregon, Lewis explained some important strategies to build and maintain relationships with your community through social media:

  • Be present. Make yourself known to your community via Twitter, Facebook, livestreams, live chats, videos, etc.
  • Listen. You won’t understand the needs of your community if you don’t take the time to listen to its concerns.
  • Engage. Start conversations. Ask questions. Spend time actively connecting and conversing with your audience.
During the lecture, Lewis recalled a story about severe weather conditions affecting the greater Seattle area last January. Through the use of social media, in this case Facebook, Swedish doctors alerted their patients of potential weather hazards and let them know that Swedish was operating as usual. If Swedish’s communications team wasn’t using social media and actively engaging, listening and being present for its community, it probably wouldn’t have been effective in getting the word out.


You are the biggest obstacle you have. Don’t be afraid to be a part of your community. Jump in.