inauguration

Going forward, diversity will be key in messaging and in leadership.
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Headshot of Leah Pilcer-Pitman

Being woken up by the dull, white noise of helicopters overhead seems to be the new norm these days in D.C. On Inauguration Day, my mind was wandering many unknowns, wondering about the “what ifs” had lockdown and a pandemic not been lurking in the background. For what seemed to be a frozen moment in time, snow fell for just a few minutes while shortly, then opened to a beautiful, blue lit, sky. The angst, the many unknowns, subsided for just a minute.

I didn’t get to attend the ceremony. I did the next best thing any digital millennial marketer could have done: I hopped onto my Beyonce Peloton ride, scrolled Twitter for live updates, and streamed the inauguration events on my iPad.

Growing up as the daughter of a Central American immigrant mother, and granddaughter to two Holocaust survivors, influences my view on marketing—not to mention how I see leadership in this country. This day has truly impacted how marketing leaders, after a deep breath, are thinking about their strategies moving forward.

Marketers should look to stay on the forefront in these key categories:

Digital

After a completely digital inauguration stream, marketers need to somehow find the time, resources and ability to read, scroll and type as fast as humanly possible. But crafting the right message and voice to express something genuine is another craft. Crafting a digital message means your words matter; they require you to hold clout. How is your messaging going to matter? How can you use more than just words? The inaugural program resonated due to the colorful mediums. It engaged our senses through incorporating mainstream artists, an activist poet, traditional music, thoughtful speeches, prayer and song. It represented so many and was truly inspiring.

Messaging

During the recent weeks of political unrest, messaging took on new complexities as marketers had to navigate whether messaging on campaigns should continue or pause. Marketers will now think about larger implications in messaging that relates to corporate social responsibility, social advocacy, human rights and political agendas. Brands have the opportunity to take a stance on subjects that maybe previously would have been seen as walking the line of sensitive subjects. What stood out is how many participants took a stance and were brave. As a marketer, it taught me how much brands have the ability and responsibility to affect their consumer.

Diversity

With Madam Vice President Kamala Harris, brands have an entirely new market of consumers to be thinking about—knowing that little boys and girls everywhere are seeing a face that is now recognizable and relatable. Implementing diversity and inclusion in your workplace isn’t just a check box, but needs to be a thoughtful program that truly encompasses our new leadership and audience. 

We can only hope this is the foreword for what is to come. The glass ceiling has been broken—in fact, it’s been shattered. So with that, I’ll rock the Converse and pearls following a day that will go down in history.