All it takes is a glance at the top companies in any industry to understand the importance of diversity and multiculturalism in the everyday office place. Especially in a city as tech-oriented as San Francisco, where Bay Area PR firms such Fineman PR and Mosaico have sprung up to help businesses continue leading the new generation into an inclusive workplace.
After all, no B2C company succeeds these days without a capable public relations firm first – you all sell consumer goods, right? Given how the makeup of the American mainland is changing, the US will soon be the most ethnically diverse nation ever, in all likelihood. Since it is an observed and compiled fact that organizations that take this seriously function better in multicultural environments – where they’re selling their products and services, after all – the following handful of components make up an effective toolbox for multicultural communications.
1. Sensitivity to a Multitude of Different Cultures
In conveying the messages of your business, you want to be aware of the breakdown of the target demographic. You public is comprised, of course, of human beings who expect and deserve a sense of fair-mindedness first, and sensitivity to their particular cultural perceptions next. This is conveyed by displayed behaviors, attitudes and behaviors of the organization’s policies and liaisons.
2. Open Communication Networks
The hallmark of this is symmetry; as a business, you obviously want you consumers to know that you value them and owe some of your success to their past continued patronage; having two-way communication protocols in place helps speed up the process of product/service optimization as you hear their complaints, and work to fix them when they’re significant. This is an almost certain path to a long-term relationship.
3. Diversity in the Office
It’s simple: if there are two good companies selling the same product, but one of them has a more diverse office environment, the public responds to that one – all other choices being equal. Multicultural public relations is an excellent path to reaching new customers far and wide; so that when they gravitate towards your services, the competence and diversity of your office provides the staying power crucial to your success.
4. Dependent Relationship
A business is a dynamic entity, and although there seems to be a barrier between it and the consumer public, a relationship of interdependence actually fosters the best results. This is precisely the kind of thing that a multicultural public relations firm excels at – communicating the company’s issues to the consumer, and relaying the consumers desires back to the company they support.
5. Resolving Conflicts that Arise
Of course, here, the value of a multicultural public relations firm is worth its weight in gold. Compromise after negotiations is a tried –and-true means of conflict resolution, because it maintains the good relationship between the company, PR firm and the public – since all the terms are agreeable. A multicultural PR team has the ability to mediate effectively across cultural barriers so that the messages received and given are not lost in translation.
Some of the behind-the-scenes issues may consist of awareness with respect to how your background has influenced perceptions of you; cultural diversity in the office aids this process tremendously, so that when the business presents its face to a multicultural public, there’s an invaluable understanding of these issues.
Article by Wendy Dessler. Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.