Telling Stories About Equity Often Forces Groups to Turn Inward, Says Communications Expert
Once a brand manager at Procter & Gamble, Eric Rigaud now helps organizations document their work to become more equitable. To do more meaningful work, Rigaud eventually joined with Eric Liley — a marketing veteran of Gannett, Showtime, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America — to launch Buoyant Partners, a multicultural marketing and communications firm.
Buoyant ran its first racial-equity campaign in 2016, when the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers commissioned it to tell the story of “Putting Racism on the Table,” a series of sessions in which D.C. area nonprofit leaders grappled with ideas regarding white privilege, implicit bias, and philanthropy’s role addressing racism. Rigaud and Liley aimed to create visually driven stories with the punch and sophistication of Fortune 500 marketing, but they discovered storytelling for nonprofits required more to achieve the same result. Preproduction interviews became long, very personal conversations. For the leaders, Rigaud realized, the equity work was not simply another priority item in a strategic plan. “They saw it as something that has to be baked into the DNA of all the work for it to stick,” he says. “It has to be more than just something done externally. You have to do the internal work.”
Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy