Lesson Two - Brands and businesses must approach Black History Month with purpose
A powerful campaign is backed by purpose and a genuine desire to support Black communities and the diversity within them. Without it, the principle of Black History Month is lost.
WHAT BLACK HISTORY MAKERS SAY:
“Before embarking on a Black History Month campaign, a business should reflect on five questions: Why is it important that we amplify it? Do we believe in its principles? Does our organisation align with its principles? Are we prepared to make changes? What will happen if we don’t support it? Only then should an organisation proceed.” - Greg Bunbury
“Anyone trying to do anything around Black History Month needs to link it to some wider initiative, charity or supportive organisation. The topline stuff is great, but there's only so much representation and ‘aspiration porn’ can do to benefit people.” - Chanté Joseph
“Think about how you can support other organisations if you don’t think there is much you can do yourself. There are so many charities doing great things who can always benefit from your help. Not necessarily financially, but holistically through other skills and resources your organisation can provide.” - Rhammel O’Dwyer-Afflick
“Black History Month isn’t just about posting Black faces everywhere. Do something that can actually make a difference, not just change up the colour of your Instagram feed. If you’re only trying to stay relevant during October, just sit it out.” - Khalia Ismain
WHEN IT’S DONE RIGHT
A content series featuring black influencers and content creators with their partners talking about their love and experiences. The content features couples from the LGBTQ+ community, really exploring black love in all of its forms.
WHEN IT MISSES THE MARK
ROYAL MAIL BLACK POSTBOXES
Royal Mail painted four post boxes across the country to honour Black Britons. Each box names a significant figure in the British black community: footballer Walter Tull and artist Yinka Shonibare, Sir Lenny Henry and nursing pioneer Mary Seacole.
Upon the bumpy landing of the campaign, people were quick to point out that the campaign planning lacked the right voices to represent it.
WHAT WE SAY
“In every way that Bumble got it right, Royal Mail got it so wrong. From watching the Bumble content, it’s so clear that a serious level of consideration had gone into it - from who they used, to where they were shot, to the editing, it’s all great. That level of detail clearly was not thought through for Royal Mail - first of all, black post boxes, really? Then, only four out of 115,500 - come on! There were black decision makers in the room when the Bumble content was thought of and being built out. It’s since come out that 0% of the board and executive leadership team at Royal Mail is black and it really shows here.” - Lornette Harley, Client Consultant