EP28 P is for performative

What is ‘performative’?

Is all marketing/communications automatically performative if you’re setting out to announce what you’re doing to people?

No, it doesn’t have to be. Not when it’s backed up by the right action.

In this curated episode of conversations with 3 BIPOC leaders, we break down some of the realities we all need to come to grips with as individuals, and the actions we can take to move the needle forward to change.

First, we speak to Ben Borne, Indigenous marketing leader, and founder of Symmetry PR

We talk about how Canadians can centre Indigenous voices especially when something horrific like the residential school system becomes fully understood by mainstream society. Ben talks about how it all begins with vulnerability – what he’s appreciated more than anything else, is ‘witnessing the vulnerability of people who are willing to go there’. 

At the root of it is the question ‘how are we going to advance our interpersonal relationships, to learn and to be better?’ 

Next we talk to Darian Kovacs, Indigeneous marketing leader, host of “Marketing News Canada” and founder of Jelly Marketing.

We discuss how it’s never too late for brands to come to the table. Darian encourages brands to overcome fear and or paralysis by analysis, which stops people from doing something to support change.

And we round the episode out with our chat with Leo Nupolu Johnson, DEI advisor to non-profits, educator, and founder of Empowerment Squared.

We talk about the context of charitable partnerships and the need for organizations to start asking themselves if they are in a position of power to be advocates for the communities that the funders want to help. 

If you’re a leader in an organization, think about two things with everything you do, whether it’s a policy update, a change to your hiring form, or hiring of somebody who oversees diversity:

  1. Is your action intended to build trust?
  2. Is it actually building trust? (Do people now have more trust? Do people have more knowledge?) 

If you’re doing that, that’s your gauge to know that it’s not performative. If people are feeling safer, more comfortable, more supported, then you do you!

For those battling with the boundaries of coming off as performative, if you are looking for a short primer, with real actions you can take, from leaders, find 25 minutes to listen to this episode.

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