IPGLBT Brunch and Learn
On Friday, October 26, some members of the McCannQ team joined IPGLBT at the Initiative office for a panel called Connecting with LGBTQ+ Audiences Authentically in Media. The panel featured Rich Ferraro (Chief Communications officer at GLAAD), Cheryl Overton (President of Egami Group), Joseph Palmer (Vice President of Ad Sales at Rivendell Media), Stephen Cook (Associate Director of Client Management at Initiative), and Erin Rech (Head of Digital at Initiative).
A major focus of the panel discussion, led by Ferraro and Overton, is the imperative forintersectional thinking about the LGBTQ audience. Meaning: the LGBTQ community is not a monolith. Apart from being made up of multiple groups (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, and increasingly others such as intersex, asexual, and more), these identities intersect with racial, ethnic, gender, income and other demographic factors.
Ferraro and Overton in particular also highlighted the need for diverse representation within teams, and with advertising in particular, throughout the partner/vendor processes as well. It’s not enough to simply speak to minority communities, but attention needs to be paid to actively employing them and seeking out their skill sets outside of LGBTQ work.
It’s also worth noting that two of the panelists were not LGBTQ-ally identified, showing that non-LGBTQ people have a major stake in genuine attention and understanding towards the LGBTQ community. The panel was highly aware of its generally homogenous makeup in terms of diversity (it was mostly white), and readily acknowledged the effort needed to change the representation in these types of discussions from the future.