More Than Words

Crafting your plan for inclusion and the conversations that you have about it — and bringing momentum to your mission + message while you do it.

Comprehensive. Cohesive. Collaborative.

“NICE WORDS IN YOUR DIVERSITY STATEMENT. BUT WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?”

>> BE KNOWN FOR LEADING AN ANTI-OPPRESSIVE BUSINESS SO YOU CAN ATTRACT CUSTOMERS, STAFF AND GET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY <<

You have been thinking beyond the “black square” post on Instagram for a while now and you have bigger goals for inclusion in your business.

You want to be a leader in your industry, a beacon of hope and a competitive employer for diverse talent. You don’t want to just make a statement, you want to walk your talk every day of the year and welcome people who don’t feel safe everywhere to connect with your brand.

Avoid Looking Like A Bandwagon Jumper When Your Message Shares How You Walk The Talk

How do we talk to people around gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, ability and the very real social justice issues we are facing as a society?

Your business has a lot of layers and so do identities, and you need to be able to talk to people and recognize that they’re coming from a lot of different places.

It can be intimidating to take the first step but when you realize it’s something you have to keep doing it can feel overwhelming.

The problems in the world, in your industry, in the lives of your clients and your customers are so big and it’s a lot to wrap your brain around as a separate entity to manage.

Make DEI something you don’t have to think about because it’s fused with everything else you do in your corporation.

I can help get you there.

Sound familiar?:

  • You’ve made changes (and want to keep making positive changes) but you haven’t figured out how to TELL people about it. It’s not woven into your marketing or communications plan.
  • You want to prioritize diverse hires and attract customers who share your values, but so far you’re not sure how to take it beyond “BIPOC encouraged to apply” and uploading some stock photos featuring POC to your website.
  • You have a vision for inclusivity, but you don’t know how to weave it in at a practical content and marketing level
  • You’ve made statements on social media about how you care about things and the comments are supportive but people are saying, “OK that’s great but what are you actually doing?”
  • You’re doing good work — but you’re missing the boat on brand journalism opportunities and you’re not getting to do the impact storytelling of your brand effectively. It’s not happening because there’s this disconnection between the work that you’re doing and they way you’re communicating
  • When the press interviews you, you talk about the great initiatives you have in place but you haven’t got it written down anywhere.
  • You want to learn more but you’re afraid of messing up, you’re worried about being shamed and you are a little apprehensive about what doing this work could look like.

I get it. These are problems we can fix

Together we can:

  • Start planning how you are going to share about your efforts so people know you aren’t just talking about it, you’re living it.
  • Move beyond creating the image of inclusion and look at what is going to meaningfully engage diverse communities
  • Create strategies, not just initiatives. Initiatives are part of strategies, but they aren’t strategies themselves. Just like ingredients aren’t salad. Salad is the art of putting ingredients together. Your strategy pulls together all the initiatives into something that makes sense.
  • Learn how to transform your content and marketing and infuse your mission into everything you do.
  • Invite people along for the journey of your inclusion story by bringing them behind the scenes so they know what you mean when you say everyone is welcome.
  • Leverage opportunities to share about the work that you do so your community is in the loop about your progress and can cheer you on.

You can learn in a gentle, educational and supportive learning environment. You could be exploring a sandbox that feels like a low stakes place to fail and talk through problems. This work could have a growth mindset focus with a view to building justice and unifying your team towards a common goal: to be more inclusive.

More Than Words brings together the practice of building an inclusive business and learning how to talk about it in your marketing and internal communications.

>>> What More Than Words Looks Like <<<

6 bi-weekly zoom calls (every 2 weeks) with your leadership team or organizational diversity champions who are stoked to be part of this mission. Even Bill from accounting. How much time we spend together depends on the size of your team. We will do one or two 90 minute blocks to work through the material together. There will be six 6 calls, with time to work on what we discuss in between. Want a slower and steadier pace? We can do one call a month for 6 months instead.

Inclusion audit. We will look at what you have done, what your communication about it has been so far, what worked and what didn’t. We figure out where we are starting from so we can move forward.

Inclusion strategy development. We will clarify your values around inclusion and take stock of what you want to do, what you want to implement, what you want to augment and what shifts you want to make internally so your statement is a map, not just a signpost.

Inclusion style guide. We are going to standardize how you talk about what you do and who you serve in your internal and external communication. We’re going to strategize about how you are going to activate your whole team to spread the good news into every other part of your organization. We will craft a content plan so you know what to talk about when.

Language Launch Plan. We plan the roll out of your new language and messaging, and what all that can look like on each channel. We look at who, what, where, when and how to dial in on better dialogue.

Communications advisory support as part of implementation. — I am there to support you in figuring out how the work of inclusion fits with your communication, how to integrate the things you’ve considered with what you’re already doing, facilitating that brainstorming process and the strategic planning that will help get you there.

>>> Experience and Perspective You Can Trust <<<

I take an intersectional approach to my work and work with clients to consider– how do we talk to people around gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic class, and ability.

I worked with the Canadian federal government for over a decade on ways to integrate Indigenous practices into service delivery, how to recruit and retain diverse employees and contractors, and how to get stakeholders to the table to do diversity work.

I have experience crafting marketing, content and messaging strategy and information products that help people understand the experiences of marginalized people.

My work is not centred so much around educating you about your legal obligations but more around strategizing with you around how you can be more welcoming, supportive and empathetic and how to talk about that practice.

I help clients move beyond the performative singing of Kumbaya and onto the business of getting the right people around the campfire. I have experience with inclusivity at the government level and marketing experience to help you integrate your strategy into your message.

My gift is putting things into plain language and making the work you do make sense to a variety of stakeholders so people will be inspired to get on board. I am firmly planted between diversity and inclusion and communications, so you can learn how to bring the right people together and then how to talk about it.

At the end of our work together everyone on the team — from HR to marketing and everyone in between — can talk about your spirit (and acts!) of inclusion through a cohesive message.

That’s the message that will tell customers where you stand. It’s the message that will tell prospective staff where you stand. It’s the message that will call people to you who share your values. We need to talk about change in an accessible way so people know what you’re about.

When you go to the effort of doing the work, there’s a moment that you’re so proud of what you’ve accomplished and the direction you’re headed, it’s natural to want to talk about it. When your message is as important as diversity and increasing social justice in the world, it’s best to approach it with a plan.

>> Let’s work together so we can BE about it and TALK about it… put it all together with More Than Words <<

Request more information from alison@alisontedford.com.