An Open Letter to Allies in Marketing and Communications

Marketers/Communicators that are allies, tell me if this sounds familiar…

You’ve been inspired. Someone or something somewhere tells you to start or ramp up your inclusive marketing/communications journey and you try to rally yourself and/or your team on this. You have great internal team discussions on the need to dedicate more time to this journey. You/your team maybe invest in some training, do some more reading on the subject, maybe engage with an external firm. Your organization invests in a public action plan to continue on this growth and overall, which furthers you to start investing even more time on becoming an inclusive marketer/communicator, because it truly matters to you, and it’s important for yourself and your own growth.

Then, after some time, certain realities in how you’re used to working set in. Constraints from the organization you’re a part of are looming its head. Your own job description, your own capacity, systemic realities in your organization – they are all very real and they are all becoming barriers.

You know that doing things inclusively – and continuing to learn and grow in this space – takes more time than what you used to do, but you haven’t been given more time at your job. Your job title, and your compensation has stayed the same. Your colleagues, your organization, and how they work has barely changed. Things are not moving fast enough, and you’re left feeling like you’re carrying a burden. You start to get fatigued, frustrated, and overwhelmed. You’ve been doing it off the side of your desk for months, maybe even longer, but why? If everyone is telling you that this work is so important, why does it feel like you’re not given any time or resources to do it? Why does it feel like you’re being punished for wanting to advocate for inclusion?

If this at all sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I’ve spoken to countless allies that get stuck here and often give up, because it’s the hardest part. So I’ll tell you this; if you still have the energy – and I really hope you do – the answer is simple, but implementing it is super hard.

The answer is this: demand more. Demand more time, demand more resources, demand more education, demand more than “it’s always how we’ve done things”, demand prioritizing equity over comfort, and demand as much commitment internally from your organization that they are vocalizing externally.

And lastly – most importantly – do not apologize for demanding the time needed to do things right. You deserve it. Your Chief Diversity officer deserves it. Your ERGs deserve it. Every marginalized person in your organization deserves it.

Please, please don’t give up.

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