Is it good PR for companies to jump on the Pride bandwagon?

As many of you will be aware, this June it’s Pride Month.

With Pride events happening up and down the country, and this month being used to celebrate and raise awareness of various LGBTQ+ issues, many companies (and their PR directors!) have decided it’s a good idea for them to jump on the ‘Pride Bandwagon’.

But is this a good PR strategy?

It’s OK if you practice what you preach

If you want to use Pride month to advertise the fact you are a solid supporting member of the cause for LGBTQ+ rights, then that’s great. But if you’re just trading off the name of Pride, then it’s a really bad PR strategy, as you’ll be caught out and called out pretty quickly.

Take, for instance, Victoria’s Secret. On 4th June, they shared a tweet celebrating their LGBTQ associates and customers. As you can read from the comments, it was met with a fairly hostile environment and a pretty huge backlash. This is because even though Victoria’s Secret is saying they support the Pride movement, in reality, they don’t. Just last November, CMO Ed Razek was quizzed about the lack of trans models in their highly famed shows, and his response was, “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.” Victoria’s Secret doesn’t practice what it was preaching, and was instead jumping on the Pride bandwagon to sell its products.

It can come across as insensitive

Sometimes when brands launch their new ‘Pride’ products, it can come across as insensitive and almost belittling of the movement as a whole. Take Marks and Spencer’s for instance, with their LGBT sandwich (lettuce, guacamole, bacon and tomato, FYI). I’m sure someone in a boardroom thought it was a great idea, but in reality, it can be seen as patronising. Furthermore, even though M&S are donating £10,000 to LGBT charities across the UK, it’s seen as a move to make profits and virtue signal rather than actually helping the cause.

On the other hand, every little helps when it comes to raising awareness

It’s important to consider that there’s ‘no such thing as bad publicity’. The more that the Pride flag is visible, the more awareness there will be surrounding issues effecting LGBTQ+ people today. It’s also a good way to show your support for the cause and gain respect for backing certain causes regardless of the motive.