An Email Subject Line that Called for Action Against Racial Inequality
The changes that have occurred since the May 25 death of George Floyd have been ground-breaking. On Juneteenth, the AP Stylebook changed to capitalize Black when it’s used in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense. Statues that glorified white supremacy have come down. Millions of dollars have been pledged to fight racial inequality at every level. School Boards are rethinking how they’re using local police. These changes are certainly overdue. One viral email from a Goldman Sachs managing director demonstrates that every person and business needs to address racial inequality. Content is such a big part of your marketing strategy, it pays to take a deeper look into your own emails, blog posts and other marketing material.
A Private Correspondence Turns Viral
Frederick Baba, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, sent out an email to a few colleagues explaining his experiences as a Black man growing up in the United States. The subject line was simple, “How it’s going…” The email was widely forwarded around the bank. It’s being reported that practically all 38,000 Goldman Sachs employees saw the letter. It has since been posted as an Op-Ed piece at Bloomberg.com. The email describes a personal account of racial discrimination by Chicago police and provides context for other incidents around the country. Baba concludes his email with actionable points that the finance community can practice in support of racial equality and show solidarity for the movement, instead of just showing empathy.
How Can Your Business Content Be More Diverse and Inclusive?
Baba’s email is a great example of relevant content that is sharable. Although he wasn’t writing to a customer base, his internal email has brought a lot of awareness to the Goldman Sachs brand. He’s addressing diversity in a way that goes beyond it being a buzzword. Many times, the office talks about being inclusive and diverse, but the managers never go beyond talk. Or, diversity becomes a checklist of making sure each picture includes a person of color, an older person, etc. Diversity goes much deeper than that. It’s no longer about lip-service; lasting, positive actions must follow.
When it comes to writing content for your website, inclusive language is not just important, it’s essential. This style of writing avoids discriminating by not using slang or bias in your content. It’s a shift in how you create job descriptions and marketing material to be impartial and to remember that not everyone is like you. The Conscious Style Guide is a great place to get resources to avoid ageism, sexism, racism and other -isms that have been the norm for generations. Inclusive language makes everyone feel welcome. If you are in the healthcare industry, here is a great resource to help guide your communications using inclusive language.
The Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion
The advantages of having a diverse workplace are immeasurable. Diverse teams tend to be more creative and are better equipped to find more efficient solutions to business challenges because of their collective and varied experiences. Community relations improve with a diverse workforce that is integrated and committed to the communities in which they operate. A diverse team brings local market information to reach different demographics. Beyond all the benefits though, inclusivity is quite simply, the right thing to do.
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