Published On: 04/03/20242.3 min read

If like me you thought International Women’s Day (IWD) was a relatively modern phenomenon, also like me, you’d be wrong.

IWD International Womens Day Consumer PR

The annual focal point for gender equality has gained momentum in the public consciousness in recent years. Largely thanks to social media, with celebrities and influencers posting supportive comments. But its roots date back to 1911. It was designated an official United Nations observance almost 50 years ago. It is Instagram and TikTok though that have made it a ‘moment’ that brands are increasingly tapping into.

However, it is essential for brands to remember that the day is not just an opportunity for a public relations boost. Celebrating and supporting women should go beyond the confines of a marketing strategy. Its commendable for companies to join the conversation and champion gender equality. But its crucial to approach the matter with authenticity, respect, and a genuine commitment to positive change.

Here are a few considerations for brands looking to engage on International Women’s Day:
  • Be authentic: Authenticity is the cornerstone of any meaningful engagement. Ensure that your commitment to women’s empowerment extends beyond a one-day campaign. The public can easily detect insincerity, and using IWD soley for PR purposes can backfire. Rather than just making statements, showcase tangible actions your brand is taking to promote gender equality. Action speaks louder than words.
  • Avoid stereotypes: Be mindful of perpetuating stereotypes in your PR materials. Celebrate the diversity of women and avoid reducing them to clichéd roles or characteristics. Showcasing genuine stories and achievements can be more impactful than relying on outdated tropes.
  • Inclusivity matters: Ensure that your campaign is inclusive and intersectional. Recognise the challenges faced by women of different backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities, and orientations. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and strive for a campaign that resonates with a diverse audience.
  • Listen and learn: Before crafting your campaign, take the time to listen to the voices of women. Understand their concerns, aspirations, and experiences. This will not only guide your messaging but also demonstrate a commitment to understanding the real issues at hand.

Remember, IWD is an opportunity to contribute to an important conversation on gender equality. Approach it with sincerity, respect, and a commitment to making a positive impact, and your brand can play a meaningful role in fostering change beyond just a PR opportunity. Or, if you don’t have a genuine contribution, then step aside on 8 March and focus your energy on calendar dates where you can play a more credible role.

If you’re thinking about targeting women as part of your overall comms campaigns and need some inspiration, I’d love to hear from you at Elinor.Tyler@stormcom.co.uk.