The Importance of Diversity in Media

Media outlets have gained an incredibly powerful influence over the past 50 years. With the rise of technology, individuals are now able to share their stories and opinions as they are unfolding. As a society, we place a tremendous level of trust on media sources to feed us the information we need in order to make informed and accurate decisions every day. Along with our immediate surroundings, media also shapes our self-image and societal norms. Body image, self-confidence and mental health all stem from what we see or hear on a daily basis. Consequently, it is imperative for inclusivity to be encouraged in common media and marketing strategies.Everyone digests media differently and being able to cater you message to these differences will help you connect with your audience.

How does encouraging diversity impact your business?

Diversity as a whole includes far more than gender, sexual orientation, race, age or disability. It is intersectional. That is, it encompasses all of the previous identifiers, as well as everything in between. Unless your brand strategically only targets select audiences, being able to make your messages relatable and accessible to everyone will change the overall placement of your brand. Far too often, we see examples of big businesses blundering over insensitive advertising or messaging. Creating an effective media strategy is more than simply going through a process filled with mundane tasks. It involves knowing your audience and forming tactics that they will relate to and appreciate, regardless of ability, age or ethnicity.

Diversity brings new perspectives.

The information your company sends to the public is always closely watched. What you say, what you do and who you are as a brand is constantly evaluated. Businesses everywhere have been working to develop a strong diversity and inclusion strategy to ensure they are meeting the needs of their audience. When you are telling a story, you need to focus on how it will be perceived. Actively seeking out answers to difficult questions surrounding diversity will introduce new ways of viewing information. Messages you create have the potential to be offensive to certain groups, and you have no way of knowing unless you seek out what’s important to your audience and surround yourself with people who are different from yourself. Intentionally looking for ways to approach an opinion differently – and challenge what you believe – will help you create a marketing strategy that highlights more than just one sector of your audience.

Representation forms connections.

Why is it important to have content that encompasses more than just one body type, race or sexual identity? We are more likely to identify with someone that looks like us. Breaking this down, if you spend your entire life never seeing someone similar to you succeeding, living a happy life or engaging with the world, you won’t believe that you can either. Marketing is the first line of defense for representation. As strategic communicators, we want everyone to know that they can make a difference. It is up to us to create connections with the pubic, and marketing is not a one-size-fits-all field. Attitudes, values and a number of other subtle cues can shape the way we perceive a message. In 1960, 85% of the United States population was Caucasian. By 2050, Forbes experts predict that this number will decrease to 47%. These statistics tell a very inclusive story – media today is filled with different faces than in the past.

Partnering with an agency that understands the importance of inclusivity, and the value of knowing your audience, will help shape the way your business is viewed. Collective Alternative works to create strong, meaningful relationships between our clients and all of their audiences, making sure that no valuable publics are being forgotten. We want to help your organization reach new heights. Let’s start the conversation today!