Does this sound like you?
- You worked on your DEI messaging and held focus group with current employees to determine key elements.
- You analyzed the transcripts and crafted your language with key phrases.
- You invested in a video production crew and carefully managed all aspects of shooting.
- You selected several great spokespeople and provided them with scripts and talking points.
- You worked in conjunction with your marketing department and drew on their expertise.
And you don’t understand why the message isn’t resonating with and attracting more diverse candidates.
It’s hard to develop DEI messaging that will make a difference. And even though traditional marketing is defined by communicating a key message to a target audience, DEI doesn’t follow traditional marketing rules. The “right way” to do marketing is the “wrong way” to approach DEI.
The issue is credibility.
Diverse candidates start out as a skeptical audience, and with good reason. Traditionally, the workplace has not been a welcoming environment. And the BLM, MeToo and other social awareness movements have generated fabricated and insincere wokeness. Antennae can be high looking for performative efforts.
Avoid these 3 common mistakes that will doom your campaign:
1) Don’t script your employees. Your employees are not professional actors and cannot deliver scripted words so they sound like spontaneous conversation. Don’t ask them to. And unless you have the script created by a professional speechwriter who understands the difference between written and spoken language, you will have a stilted script to begin with. Watching an employee read prepared remarks can evoke images of hostages being forced to deliver a statement they don’t believe. Even if your core message is excellent, you will miss the mark.
2) Don’t use professional actors or stock photos. If you want to convey an authentic and credible commitment to DEI, you can’t start by misrepresenting your employees. Employees don’t need to be young, attractive, athletic, dynamic, or have star power, they just need to be real.
3) Don’t create highly produced content. Everyone can tell the difference between informal video captured on a phone or webcam, and a professionally lit, mic’d and staged video. Informal video can be very high quality, but it has an authenticity to it that creates instant credibility. As soon as your output starts to feel manufactured and commercialized, you have diminished the message you wanted to convey. Don’t mistake informal video for poor quality video.
So, how do you deliver a message that will resonate? Informal video is the best medium because you can convey both explicit and implicit messages. You can communicate things in video that aren’t possible in text and pictures. And informal video is economical to produce so you can address a full range of topics in short, digestible clips.
Download our Idea Sheet for DEI topics and see the six content areas that help you communicate your commitment.