What's the 'B' in DEIB and What It Means for Your Public Media Sponsorship

What's the 'B' in DEIB

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been a focus of many companies for the last few years. Whether in their hiring practices, career paths, or marketing efforts, businesses have come to recognize that they must give equal opportunities to all people, regardless of identity, abilities, culture, or ethnicity. Essentially, you can boil it down to the basic premise of fairness. So, where does the B come in?  

The B in DEIB stands for belonging. Brené Brown described the subtle yet critical difference the best. "Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn't require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are." 

How, though, does a business impart that feeling in their marketing? The answer is to support programming that offers something for everyone, is accessible by anyone, and clearly communicates what you are for and against. The goal is to create a sense of community, of connection. A public media sponsorship is an ideal way to impart what your brand stands for without "selling" the concept.  

DEIB in Marketing  

When your company's goal is to build effective brand recognition, you must first project authenticity and trustworthiness. Putting your beliefs into action inspires trust that you aren't just giving lip service to your stated mission. By supporting programming that engages a variety of backgrounds and lifestyles inclusively and authentically, your audience will remember your brand as one they can identify with and respect. There are few methods of marketing that make such a resounding impact. 

Shared goals and interests create a sense of community and belonging, particularly critical for purpose-driven businesses. Public radio listeners consider themselves a community where people feel a sense of comfort, connection, and contribution. In other words, belonging in action. A public media sponsorship is a strategic, cause-driven marketing method that shows audiences that you have similar ideals and beliefs in a personal and impactful way.  

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private non-profit organization seeking to ensure high-quality, educational programming is available to the public, clearly states its position on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Public media's mission is to "inform, educate, and enlighten" the public. Its goal is to encourage the development of programming that reflects the needs of diverse, unserved, and underserved audiences. In practical terms, it creates a safe space where everyone is heard, seen, and offered the same opportunities to learn, enjoy, and share ideas.   

Public Radio Invests in DEIB 

In early 2022, NPR announced a $1 million grant to support its ongoing work to support inclusion and diversity among its workers and in its journalism. From the hosts to the guests to the programming on radio segments,  podcasts, videos, and web postings, NPR consistently works to expand its platform for underrepresented voices. When your business invests in a public media sponsorship, you are sending a message that you are interested in elevating those voices because you believe everyone should have a seat at the table because they belong there.  

The "public" in public media indicates it is intended to be for everyone, and by funding it, your brand helps ensure that everyone is equally represented in public media programming, listenership, and viewership. Your sponsorship dollars work to support inclusive content that tells every person they belong. Digital programming like "Where We Come From" highlights immigrant communities of color. "Oye: The Lab for Latinx Creators," "It's Been a Minute," "Code Switch," "The Limit," and "Throughline" are all podcasts that explore diverse voices and experiences.  

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging: Your Sponsorship Helps Make It a Reality 

Everyone wants to see themselves represented. Small children want dolls that look like them, their friends, and their family members. Young adults want to see themselves represented by leaders of similar ethnicities and backgrounds who have faced similar obstacles before overcoming them to reach their goals. DEIB in marketing helps to do this. It shows your potential customers that you recognize that our collective histories are vital to what comprises the diverse voices of our country.  

Public media is accessible to everyone. DEIB is in its mission and is exemplified repeatedly by creating platforms for communities of color, immigrant voices, people with unique abilities – where we can learn from those whose lives may have started differently than our own. By sponsoring public media, you not only elevate those voices but the public's perception of your brand.  

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