Marketers are trendsetters with the platforms and channels that they use.
As the world becomes more diverse there is now a challenge in how this is reflected in our language. By leading the charge with how we thoughtfully communicate on behalf of brands, marketers can help speak a more inclusive future into existence.
Here are 6 Tips to Guide Your Journey Toward Inclusive Language
1. Don’t assume you know your audience
It’s likely your audience includes a wide range of cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic,and sexual traits and backgrounds. Avoid broadly characterizing or pigeonholing the people you’re communicating with or talking about, even if you market to a very
specific cohort. Embedding these practices can help your organization and its marketing avoid offensive language and move towards aware and proactive language.
2. Embrace differences instead of ignoring them
Inclusivity is not about ignoring the things that make us different. It’s about preventing these identity traits and characteristics from becoming barriers in the way we communicate and connect as human beings.
3. Highlight narratives, not singular traits
Representation should be authentic and contextual. Avoid tokenizing someone by highlighting their race, gender, or identity if it’s not relevant to the story you’re telling.
4. Check for stereotypes
They are deeply ingrained and pervasive in language. Even seemingly positive associations (i.e., “Women are so organized!”) can be problematic because they put people in boxes and carry preconceived biases.
5. Use person-first and gender-neutral language
No one wants to be defined by their traits. When we say something like, “A disabled person,” we’re doing just that, even if unintentionally. Adopting person-first language — “a person who is disabled” — is a small but meaningful adjustment. You can also
use neutral pronouns (they, them) if you don’t know someone’s preference.
6. Learn from and fix mistakes (perfection is not the goal)
Perfection is not the goal. When mistakes happen, learn from them. Be transparent with your audience. Honest contrition and continual growth are the key signs of genuine commitment.
Common Exclusionary Language & Inclusive Alternatives
There are no definitive rules or static guidelines around inclusive language. Specific recommendations are fluid — subject to evolve along with our understanding of language and how it impacts different audiences. With that said, these are some common examples
of non-inclusive language and corresponding situational alternatives, you might consider.
Original article here