Iain Anderson, Cicero Group‘s executive chairman and committee member at LGBT+ PR networking group InterComms, discusses whether PR is inclusive enough and how communicators can help support the LGBT+ community.
What inspired you to go into PR?
I was a journalist and a political adviser, so PR was just an obvious step. I love being in the heart of the news debate and PR is just about that for me.
How welcoming is the PR industry to the LGBT+ community?
I think the PR sector looks superficially welcoming – like other creative industries – but I think it needs to do much more to support LGBT+ people on an ongoing basis with mentoring and opportunities.
How would you rate diversity in the industry?
I think the sector needs to do more. There is a straitjacket of conformity sometimes – whether it be the black t-shirt or the suit – which can be off-putting for some. More visible action from industry leaders and talent teams is vital now. We are at a good point, but more needs to happen. I’m interested in people’s ideas first and foremost.
As a communicator, how effectively do you feel brands and other organisations communicate with the LGBT+ community? Can some brands be cynical with their attempts to appeal to the community?
Like most LGBT+ people, I hate ‘rainbow-wash’ brands jumping on the bandwagon with ZERO commitment to supporting LGBT+ employees or customers. But I really want to encourage firms that want to do the right thing and are a little afraid about how to do it. Let’s not call them out for using the wrong words sometimes. Let’s help them get it right as professional communicators.
What does Pride Month and the Pride celebration mean to you?
It’s a visible and tangible celebration of acceptance – no exceptions. Over my life seeing Pride grow has been fantastic.