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Digital Marketing During a Civil Rights Movement

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

There are a lot of creatives and small business owners who have been asking about how to marketing their businesses during a civil rights movement.

Life (and marketing) as we know it has changed. Now that many have begun to realize the extent of white supremacy that's engrained in our system - we have to continue to look inwards at ourselves, the role our privilege plays in our daily lives and how we can continually show up in our brands for BIPOC.

Posting a blackout square isn't enough - it isn't even the beginning. If you are white, you're going to need to do a lot of unlearning and education to grow your anti-racist toolkit. Click here to check out a variety of books, social media accounts and articles to get you started. Here are a few helpful tips for white folks as they move forward with marketing and strategic planning.

Shut up & listen - also known as de-centering around your own personal narrative

Some of the greatest work that you all can do as business owners is listening to black folks around you speaking of their experiences. Follow and support black owned businesses. Listen to their prospectives and how you can support them. Read black-written educational resources.

There is much you will never know or experience by being white, therefore you need to hold space daily to educate and inform yourself on the ways in which racism

Conduct a personal audit

Everyone is at a different place in their unlearning and anti-racist work. That's okay. If only a single week of protesting could dismantle and bring awareness to 400+ years of systematic white supremacy. The fact of the matter is white people benefit from white privilege every single day in every single way, and there are a lot of things that you might

Another great tool to understand where you are at and some of the violence that you might unknowingly commit every single day is Layla F. Saad's Me and White Supremacy. You can find this workbook in a variety of bookstores. If you're struggling to find it please don't hesitate to reach out.

Who is your target audience?

Next, who is your target audience and how did they react to the Black Lives Matter protests? Are they supporting? Are they doing the work they need to do? Or are they discussing how problematic looting was, that "all lives matter" or even just staying silent? Your brand has to be openly anti-racist moving forward - but reposting "I hate you if you're not in support of defunding the police" to an audience that heartily supports the police isn't going to help anyone. Perhaps finding resources of why people should rethink the police system, why people are asking for the police to be defunded, and general baseline educations on the policing system makes the most sense.

Pause all previously scheduled content and releases

Business is not as usual. It can not go on like nothing has happened. Reassess all of your launches and figure out how you can do better. Have you held space to elevate black owned brands on your platform? Are you seeing more opportunities for diversity and inclusion? Is it possible to fundraise and donate all profits during the first week of your release (or do a raffle with a few other brands)? This is hardly an exhaustive list, but when in doubt, assess your level of privilege and see the opportunities you and your business have - and create courses of action based on your capabilities.

Questions? Please don't hesitate to reach out to me at: hello(at)sigilmarketing(dot)com.

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