On June 30, 2010, Mashable launched Social Media Day as a way to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication. In its short life, social media has redefined how people interact, communicate, and share with family, friends, and the world.
Today, social media is the heart of global communication. Since 2006 Social Media Club has existed to host conversations around the globe that explore key issues facing our society as technologies transform the way we connect, communicate, collaborate and relate to each other.
While every day is essentially Social Media Day in the lives of our members and social media professionals around the globe, June 30th, 2020 marks the eleventh-annual official global celebration.
Fostering diversity of opinion and perspective within our global and local communities has long been part of our mission and values. 2020 has brought about some of the most unprecedented crises of our time. Crises that have stress tested the mission and values of every single organization on the planet.
Given the state of affairs in 2020, to us, this felt like the year to really dive deeper into amplifying diversity and inclusion in our programming by shining a light on those who are leading by example.
Step 1: LISTEN
“More specifically, corporate communications divisions and PR firms need to do a gut check. If you have no mid-career black employees who are on a path to senior leadership or senior black employees who aren’t on the path to the C-suite, then it’s time for you to create a plan. Now. Period.This is a perfect time. Recent events offer a framework and context to change the culture of your corporation.”– Neil Foote in PRNews
Step 2: LEARN
“There is ample evidence that diverse and inclusive companies are more likely to make better, bolder decisions—a critical capability in the crisis. For example, diverse teams have been shown to be better able to radically innovate and anticipate shifts in consumer needs and consumption patterns.”
Step 3: SHARE
As social media professionals, we – the Social Media Club – make a commitment to unite beside and take action to amplify diversity and inclusion in the social media industry.
Here are a few preliminary steps by which we can expand to amplify diversity & inclusion in social media:
- Invite BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals to join the board of leaders and membership of digital media professional organizations.
- Support, recommend, and hire more BIPOC and LGBTQ+ men and women in entry-level, mid-senior and C-suite social media positions.
- Host and promote training, mentorship, and professional development programming, including keynote presentations and hands-on workshops by and for up-and-coming BIPOC and LGBTQ+ leaders.
- Support, recommend and share more creative voices from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people as industry thought leading experts, artists, consultants.
Together, these values represent who we are and what we’ve always been about, but there’s more we need to do. We’ve learned that it’s easy to appear diverse, but to not actually be that diverse. We’ve also learned that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable having these important conversations, because it should be.
Looking back on the first half of 2020, we’ve seen entire industries rapidly shift in response to the pandemic, and many of our members have already faced or are currently facing professional & economic uncertainty. Some people may have recently lost their jobs, while some industries and workers are busier now more than ever.
Working parents have adjusted (and continue adjusting) to working from home with the entire family in tow, simultaneously trying to manage their children’s education, while battling chronic Zoom fatigue. More and more families are being impacted by the coronavirus every day. In late May and most of June, social tensions reached a new climax with the tragic killing of George Floyd and subsequent civil protests and social unrest. People are spending more time on social media now more than ever, and bear witness to these growing challenges every single day.
For those who are fortunate enough to be working from the safety of their own homes, everyone is working in crisis communications.
Looking ahead to the second half of 2020 and beyond, we remain optimistic about what the future holds. The harsh reality of our global society’s growing challenges will remain constant and uncertain at times, but we firmly believe that we can overcome these formidable challenges and that we will someday look back on this difficult time with greater clarity and purpose — join us and lets shape the future together!