In recent years, many businesses have felt more and more pressure to chime in on sensitive topics and social causes. But oftentimes, it can feel challenging and nerve-racking to take a public stance as a brand.
So how do you speak up about a topic your leadership and/or team are passionate about without jeopardizing your brand’s reputation? And what if you want to speak up, but you’re not quite sure what to say?
In some cases, it may seem like a lose-lose situation. Staying quiet poses the risk that some people will make assumptions about where you stand (which can be especially harmful to your brand if your audience wants to see you speak up). But on the other hand, voicing your opinion ineffectively or too often can potentially offend those who feel differently (especially if the masses dub your opinion as a “hot take”).
Here’s the good news: Deciding when to speak up and what to say can actually create a positive opportunity for your business and your community—as long as you know how to do it right…
Conversations are the root of change.
Speaking up on sensitive topics and social causes can be challenging, but it’s also become expected in many industries. As a business, you have a platform to spark conversation and your followers want to see you use it, especially if your brand is a leader in its industry.
When speaking up about an issue, it is important to first do your research so you’re well informed prior to making any public statements or taking a stance on an issue. Once you’re informed and know what you want to say, you can help create real change by making your voice heard in a positive way.
It’s impossible to speak out on EVERY issue, which is why you have to decide which topics you and your team feel should be addressed and why. It’s important to be sensitive and empathetic when approaching these conversations, but it’s also important to be confident and authentic in how your company presents itself. It’s a fine line, but one that’s worth considering if your company stands for implementing positive change.
Show off your brand values!
Consumers want to know who they’re investing in and are usually looking for businesses they can align themselves with based on core values or personal beliefs.
Speaking up on select issues and topics can help demonstrate your brand’s commitment to its own values (and often its customers’). By addressing topics such as diversity, inclusion, and equity, companies outwardly show that they care about their team members and customers, especially if the issue or topic in question affects them directly.
Remember that if you’re mindful in what you say and how you say it, you can provide valuable insight that helps your audience and community better understand your brand’s mission and the people behind it—all while helping you understand your audience on a deeper level, too. When done right, this can be a powerful tool for boosting your brand loyalty and awareness in a competitive online marketplace.
Take the opportunity to educate, listen, and understand.
Sometimes there isn’t a right thing to say, you just need to show your support. If you feel the topic or issue isn’t something you’re comfortable with or educated enough to speak on, you can start by engaging with other brands who are speaking up online and sharing credible resources to help educate yourself, your audience, and others in your community.
More often than not, people just want to be heard. You may not be able to fully relate or understand someone else’s viewpoint, but you CAN make the conscious decision to actively listen and learn from what they share.
Listening to others with an open mind can open you up to so many different perspectives and help you (and anyone you share it with) become more empathetic towards those who are most affected by the subject matter.
Need help navigating sensitive topics & social causes?
That’s where we come in! With nearly 40 years of experience helping brands in all industries thrive, we know exactly what it takes to improve your customer experience and help generate positive word-of-mouth, while still speaking up on issues you care about.
If you’re looking for an experienced marketing agency to help you authentically manage and enhance your brand’s reputation, let’s chat to see how we can help you next!
*Information in this article is not intended to serve as a ready-to-implement brand strategy. When determining what or how to say something as a public-facing brand, always consult with a dedicated marketing partner who’s familiar with your company values, goals, and audience.
Our decades of experience in full-service marketing has generated continued growth for hundreds of brands across all industries. From research and strategy to design and development, Asen’s here to help you thrive.