NEW YORK, September 24, 2020 – BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), a leading global communications agency, today launched the BCW Polycultural Consulting Unit that helps clients understand, connect with and move diverse stakeholder audiences through nuanced, hyper-resonant, precisely deployed communications and campaigns that are culturally relevant and promote inclusion and diversity in the workplace and beyond.
“Through the BCW Polycultural Consulting Unit we can help clients engage in pointed, meaningful conversations with diverse target audiences in the way they want to engage and using the right language, imagery and messaging,” said Donna Imperato, Global CEO, BCW. “With 2020 marking the first year in America where the youngest generation is ‘majority-minority,’ it is critical for clients to reach these audiences now to establish long, meaningful and trusted relationships.”
The BCW Polycultural Consulting Unit goes beyond general market, multicultural or cross-cultural planning to consider an audience’s multidimensional and sometimes fluid markers of identity, highly differentiated life experiences, and specific views on racial and societal issues. BCW categorized these indicators into three key pillars of identity to map points of connection, universal insights and shared human truths between client and stakeholders. Those pillars include:
- Cultural Heritage, including race, ethnicity, traditions and language;
- Cultural Status, which considers lifestyle, sexual orientation, education and class/income, among other factors, and;
- Cultural Zeitgeist, which accounts for factors associated with a moment in time, such as art, economics, fashion, pop culture and vernacular, etc.
Insights gained from this audience analysis are then applied across three sets of offerings which range from research and strategy to internal and external communications programs:
- Research & Strategy, including primary culture and audience studies; diverse audience immersions; cultural trendspotting; message testing and optimization; and creative and cultural risk assessments.
- Internal Engagement, which includes developing programs supporting BCW’s IDEA Framework:
- Inclusion: Focus on inclusive actions and behaviors, consciously managing bias and bias interrupting, integrated in the client work
- Diversity: Mirror the marketplace of stakeholders you serve, including considerations for ethnicity/race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, veteran status, caregiving, disabilities, thinking style and all intersections
- Equity: Consider and provide what different groups need by ensuring policies and practices provide an equal opportunity regardless of diversity dimension
- Accessibility: Ensure policies and practices are equitable, including recruiting and talent initiatives and taking into consideration differently abled individuals, both physical/non-physical
Internal Engagement also includes internal audits and strategy against the IDEA Framework; bias interrupter design thinking workshops; engagement strategies for underrepresented employee segments; IDEA ‘Actions & Impact’ Leadership and Inclusion Council Workshops.
- External Engagement, including polycultural brand marketing campaigns; segment-specific marketing communications campaigns; corporate reputation and thought leadership initiatives and related issues; and strategic counsel on racial injustice and Black Lives Matter issues.
“We are looking at a new ‘general market’ on the rise in this country, one that is inherently diverse and culturally fluid,” said Kristin Hooper, BCW Polycultural Consulting Unit lead. “This audience not only demands to be seen, heard, represented and respected - it is also on the front lines of fighting for racial and societal justice. Brands and organizations that overlook connecting with polycultural America now risk losing their relevance with an audience that is only going to continue to grow.”
“Identity is a very personal and sometimes complex mix of variables that matter greatly to individuals,” Imperato added. “The BCW Polycultural Consulting Unit is about helping clients navigate this complexity to meet target audiences where they are and in ways that are relevant and will resonate. BCW’s core driving force is to move people. The formalization of this unit ensures that our clients are equipped to reach all kinds of people.”