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Considering a diversity or inclusion campaign? Read this first!

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A message of diversity is sweeping the country and Canadian brands and organizations are taking a leading role in incorporating messages of inclusion and acceptance into their campaigns.

A few examples:

To celebrate 100 years in Canada, Harley-Davidson launched its new "Common Ground" campaign to show how the Harley lifestyle can be embraced by any person, regardless of age or cultural background.

Chevrolet Canada launched a new platform called " Canadian Dream" featuring a video that captures a cross-country road trip made in a Chevy Suburban that captures a diverse range of Canadians along the way and a website that features individual stories.

Canadian Tire recently announced a $50 million commitment over five years to Jumpstart Charities, in order to give Canadian kids with disabilities greater access to sport and play.

IKEA's new Canadian platform, "Beautiful Possibilities", features a spot showing the world through the eyes of a young girl and showcases IKEA values including equality, acceptance and inclusiveness to help the brand connect with the "many" as it continues to expand across the country.

Perhaps your cause is well positioned to tackle these very issues. As PUBLIC Inc.'s Steve Steck counsels in this opinion piece, "As marketers, we work to shape thinking, change perceptions and drive pro-social actions. Yet too often we inadvertently lead with our own biases, work alone in our silos and quickly churn out creative pieces that at best garner some sense of awareness."

Here are a few of Steve's lessons you can learn from when tackling these complex issues:

Know your audience intimately - be it the people you are communicating to, on behalf of or in partnership with.

Balance the tension in "hot button" issues - by giving space and attention to that which can provoke opposed to that which can repel.

Draw from real experiences - by ensuring the voices that need to be heard and represented are there with you at the table from the outset.

Question your instincts - and challenge yourself to collaborate with many so that you have a chance to speak for all.

Establish an attainable goal - or else the hard and honest conversations that need to be had by everyone dissolve into nothing more than lip service.

Learn from the experience - and strive to do better the next time out on behalf of those who deserve your professional best.

Want to talk more about how to best position challenging social good issues? Companies & Causes Canada is coming up on October 11th. If you haven't registered yet, join us! We have a great group already registered and would love to add you to the list.

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