If developing a more diverse ad agency team is your goal, starting with the work will make achieving that goal a little bit easier. It is your first step toward improving diversity recruiting and advancement at your agency.
Writing at TheDrum, Donavan Triplett, a senior planner at McGarrah Jessee, shared his thoughts on making creative work more diverse.
Look at existing work. Could you eliminate or rethink stereotypes? Set a goal for reducing use of stereotypes.
Consciously seek diversity in talent casting. Don’t just ask for ethnically diverse models. Think about how diverse casting can serve the client’s objectives from the beginning of a project. Back up recommendations with customer research.
Include diversity in your comps. You can steer clients toward more diverse imagery by suggesting it from the start. At least initiate the discussion.
Use research to become better diversity strategists. Conduct research on clients’ customers to gain a better understanding of how diverse the customer base is, and how to deliver diverse messaging that truly appeals to customer wants and needs. Don’t make assumptions based on limited knowledge or inherent biases. Your goal is to remove stereotypical thinking.
Hold diversity critiques. Include non-advertising people in creative reviews and critiques. Invite ethnically diverse friends and business associates to comment on work. Outsiders will see potential messaging problems before your creative team may (the team may be too close to the creative work to be objective).
Understand diversity. Conduct and share diversity research with the entire agency. Hold lunch & learns; invite clients and prospects to attend. Develop content around what you discussed and learned.
The more you include diversity thinking in your work, the more you raise the consciousness of employees and colleagues. Diversity thinking becomes a habit rather than something you have to consider on a checklist. As it becomes second nature, your entire culture will embrace diversity as a practice and value.