Marketing Info

How Brands Can Support Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on Social

As an Asian American woman working in marketing, I am conflicted about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM).

While I love the idea of ​​celebrating the Asian and Pacific Islander community, it’s hard not to realize that there’s another box to tick on the laundry list of diversity milestones for APAHM organizations. That is, if they remember to accept it at all.

For brands that do push their APAHM plans, I’ll offer this as advice. APAHM is an opportunity for brands to learn about the history of a community that often remains invisible and to recognize those who have little experience. To celebrate APAHM as socially appropriate, you need to be authentic, action-oriented, and recognize that Asian and Pacific Islanders are not a monolith. Or just don’t say anything.

time to reflect, time to educate

APAHM was created to recognize the contribution and influence of Asian and Pacific Islanders to the history and culture of the United States. May was specifically chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese citizen to America in 1843 and the work of Chinese immigrants on the Transcontinental Railroad. This year, APAHM has come at a particularly painful time, following a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes around the world.

In addition to raising awareness of Asian and Pacific Islander history in the Americas, May is also a time for personal reflection. fresh flowers, a product marketing specialist and co-head of Asian@Sprout, shares some of the conflicting feelings she experiences each APAHM.

“I think about the diverse and rich cultures that make up the Asian/Pacific Islander experience, and I also think about the hardships, the hope, and the heartbreak that accompanied the immigration of my ancestors and other Asian Americans. It is a time where I feel a sense of pride and connectedness with people with other Asian identities, but also mourn the culture that was lost by the forced assimilation of my family.”

Jenny Lee Fowler, director of social media strategy at MIT, echoes Florey’s sentiment: “It always seemed like it took a backseat to other awareness months, and now I have mixed feelings about it. I think only one It’s important to really show up for your community (and your entire community), not just for the month, but for the whole year.”

Fowler further explains how APAHM can serve as an opportunity to shed light on a community that often remains invisible. “We talked to one of our professors about how hatred against Asian Americans is nothing new to this country and took an academic approach. Instead of a blank celebratory post, we post content like this to educate people or We are constantly sharing to amplify the voices and stories of those who have not been raised before.”

Above all, marketers need to remember that Asian people are not one stone and each community has its own cultures and heritage worth celebrating. representatives of twitter asian, the business resource group for Asian-identified individuals on Twitter, elaborate further. “It is important to break down the monolithic understanding of what it means to be Asian, and to celebrate the differences that make our community unique. For example, a first-generation Pakistani versus a sixth-generation Korean American will have very different perspectives. Many users are coming to social to learn about their cultural heritage and celebrate with others.”

How to Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Work

As we mentioned in our article What Brands Need to Know About Black History Month, the celebration of Racial Awareness Month begins and ends with what brands do. If brands are serious about using their social platforms to uplift the Asian and Pacific Islander community, here are three things they need to keep in mind:

1. “Let the Community Speak”

Working in higher education, Fowler cites students as a great source of inspiration for socializing. “Our students are amazing and they take it upon themselves to act. [In April], He did a pretty light installation on Killian Court that said ‘Stop Asian Hate’ and I raised it.

Florey gives similar advice. “How can brands elevate Asian creators, activists and leaders in their industry? Are there events or workshops that brands can sponsor to learn not only about the Asian experience, but how to be an affiliate? Something as simple as raising Asian voices, especially on your social channels, or partnering with an AAPI organization is a good place to start. ,

2. Consider Who’s Attending Your Celebrations

A common mistake brands make when accepting APAHM is not to include all countries and ethnicities that have both Asian and Pacific Islander identities.

When most people hear “Asian,” they only think of East Asian people: people of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean descent. In fact, Asia is made up of more than 40 countries and Pacific Islanders are often completely forgotten in APAHM celebrations.

When you say Asian and Pacific Islander, consider which is included. If your brand is posting about APAHM, your social content should reflect the entire spectrum of Asians and Pacific Islanders—not just three countries. Highlight organizations led by Southeast Asian individuals and raise the voice of Pacific Islanders alike. Words have power, and the words you use need to accurately describe who you are representing in your content.

“There is no one way to represent a monolithic Asian experience,” say representatives from Twitter Asian. “Aiming to showcase the unique stories and experiences of individuals from diverse Asian cultures to provide universally related, yet distinctive perspectives. Successful brands and campaigns will highlight diverse excellence without being appropriating or stereotyped.”

3. Don’t Just Post — Act

People of color are tired – and that includes Asian and Pacific Islanders. More specifically, people are tired of the brand’s hollow statements as a way to celebrate Racial Awareness Month.

“Show me some action,” Fowler says. “If you’re really committed to diversity and inclusion, tell me what you’re doing to bring in more people of color or fold in more opportunities for underrepresented people.”

Rather than just posting about Asian nonprofits on your timeline, volunteer your time and resources with that organization as well. Positions that champion Asian and Pacific Islanders in the workplace must reflect equal pay and equal growth opportunities internally.

Representatives from Twitter Asians also emphasize the importance of brands taking action. “Show the community how you are making change for the better, whether it is through inclusive recruitment practices, elevating and giving opportunities to underrepresented voices, donating – anything to show the community you have invested in and are actively taking steps to create meaningful change, rather than capitalizing on the trending moment.”

When brands can back their words with action, Florey says, only then will their endorsement come across as genuine. “If the brand wants to be authentic, then looking inward is a good place to start. Does the brand have employees with an Asian identity? Do they expand the business and take on leadership roles? Donated money to BIPOC-organizations? These are the types of questions I want to see brands engage in if I want to take their statement about being affiliates seriously.”

Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islanders Every Day

When June 1 begins, it’s going to be a lot easier for brands to move from APAHM to the next holiday or awareness month. But your Asian and Pacific Islander employees and customers don’t have those luxuries.

Don’t wait for APAHM to ask how your organization is performing every day for Asian and Pacific Islanders. What are you doing to champion and uplift marginalized voices when they are not in the spotlight? Read on to learn how to integrate DEI into your social strategies and turn your Awareness Month celebrations into real action that supports marginalized communities throughout the year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button