How to do corporate #pride


PridePride parades are a big corporate deal. An estimated 150,000 took part in the SF event in 2016.  So it is an opportunity to really enhance your brand. Or it could be just a way to waste money by throwing swag at people who will put it straight in the trash.  As usual planning ahead and being creative dramatically improves your bang for the buck. This blog gives you some ideas and thoughts – our way of spreading the love.

But first… Why are you doing this?

ONLY do this if there is a groundswell of support inside your company for the Pride cause. If it treated as purely corporate marketing then you will fail to get people out at the weekend in sufficient numbers to make a difference. It will back fire. A secondary question is then , “What do you want to achieve?” as this will affect your corporate branding and messaging.  Are you trying to demonstrate to employees and potential recruits your support? Are you simply raising company awareness? Are you trying to get consumers to try your product / service?

Branding

  • you need your corporate shape for brand (for stickers) – think Apple, Slack, Disney, Adobe (below)
  • clever tag line  with “love”
    • Uber “love moves us”
    • Ice cream  “love comes in different flavors”
    • For us it would be  “the elements of love”
    • or the generic  love is love
  • memorable hashtag with your company and pride

Pride media (1)

In the parade

  • you need to look big
    • You need lots of people. Your “parade team” must be 50 at a minimum. So when you are a small company invite family & friends & partners, bribed with t-shirt and possibly a party at the end
    • Everyone wearing the same t-shirts is critical. When you are small all t-shirts should be the same color, but when you have 200+ marching the t-shirts can be the different colors of pride
    • giant balloons on sticks or on backs in the image below
  • you need lots of noise
    • You must have a DJ & speakers on a pickup truck or bus branded with colors and an upbeat playlist; Uptown Funk, Cake by the Ocean, Dynamite etc
    • You need a rabble rouser to get the crowd going and whistles for parade team
  • remember parade team need to walk and carry stuff for 3 hours, plus all the waiting around
  • suncreme for your parade team
  • pace giving out the swag

Ballons pride

Swag

  • needs to make it home, so make it useful
  • must be branded for Pride
  • you will give away A LOT so where are you going to store it so parade team can refill
  • here are some swag ideas with the most effective at the top
    • bag for swag
    • t-shirts
    • water bottle
    • whistles so they can join in with you & take them home
    • mini suncreme or lipbalms
    • stickers
    • sweatbands or headbands
    • wristbands & beads
    • voucher e.g. Apple itunes
  • BAD ideas
    • what ever is in the swag box in the office
    • candy
    • plastic ducks – yes really
    • other bits of plastic rubbish
    • leaflets
    • business cards
  • NEAT ideas, but we didn’t see
    • branded condoms
    • QR codes linking to company website landing page

Planning and Organization

This is a big event with lots to go wrong which will take the fun out of the day for your parade team, which will then reduce the your impact. It needs planning. It is a process. So we have developed a process map for you all to use.  Ping us an email at success@q9elements.com and we will send you a link to access it.

Expect some criticism

On June 25th, 2012, a picture of an Oreo cookie with six layers of frosting in the colors of the rainbow flag was posted on Kraft Nabisco’s Facebook page. The image was accompanied by the captions “June 25 | Pride” and “Proudly support love!” in recognition of LGBT Pride Month in the United States. The Facebook image post was instantly met by polarized opinions between supporters and critics of gay marriage, quickly escalating into a lengthy debate of more than 23,000 comments in the first 24 hours. As of December 11th, 2012, the Facebook post has accumulated more than 297,700 likes, 90,700 shares and 60,400 comments.

oreo-gay-pride-cookie