Video: Should brands take a stand or stay silent on social issues?

When social or political issues are dominating the public conversation, brands of today are being forced to ask themselves an important question: do we take a stand or stay silent?

In today’s world, the stakes have never been higher. On the one hand, consumers of today want brands to reflect their beliefs and lend their voice to important issues. On the other hand, we’ve all seen what ‘cancel culture’ can do to businesses that don’t get their messaging right.

From major political unrest to complex social issues, these events serve as reminders of the importance of considered and strategic communication.

From a PR standpoint, it’s important to consider a number of factors before deciding what your brand should do.

First and foremost, authenticity is key. Ask yourself why your brand should speak up about an issue. Is it because you genuinely care about the cause and want to lend your voice, or because you want to be seen as such? 

If you do choose to speak out, it’s essential that your words align with your actions and values. If your stance on an issue is at odds with these core elements of your brand identity, you may be seen as virtue signalling and trying to capitalise on a sensitive situation. In most cases, this will do far more damage to your reputation than staying silent.

Another key consideration is whether you are educated on the issue. Have you done your research, listened to what affected communities are saying, and taken the time to truly understand the issue, or are you feeling tempted to jump on the bandwagon? If you do speak out, you want your message to be well-informed and representative of your brand’s beliefs rather than heavily influenced by popular opinion.

Finally, it’s no longer enough to simply lend vocal support to important causes. In the age of social media, consumers are unafraid to hold brands to their word and ensure they practice what they preach. This means that if you choose to support a cause, you must be committed to supporting it long after it has left the news cycle.

In a world where every word and action can be amplified and scrutinised, deciding whether to use your voice in times of social or political crisis can be challenging. Businesses must navigate the fine line between speaking out and staying silent, all while staying true to their core values and beliefs.

Get in touch with Pure Public Relations today to find out how our expert team of creatives can craft a tailored PR campaign for your business.

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