February 2022 IDEA Challenge

Plan Your Inclusive Marketing Calendar

The February 2022 IDEA Challenge is facilitated by Sonia Thompson.

The IDEA Project is a global initiative aimed at developing Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) within coworking and collaborative spaces. Each month, we will host a challenge that assists you in broadening your understanding of IDEA, whilst giving clear actions for you to take to develop IDEA within your space.

Challenge #13 – Plan Your Inclusive Marketing Calendar

Every year we have an opportunity to celebrate milestones and important events. Whether it’s birthdays, anniversaries, or graduations, celebrating people, and their achievements are a way of making them feel seen.

While some brands personalize things and find ways to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays for their customers, increasingly more brands are focusing their energy on finding ways to make the communities their customers are a part of feel seen and like they belong.

A big part of doing that is by celebrating and acknowledging special days and months that have meaning for a particular community. Whether it is Black History Month, Pride Month, or Ramadan, it is smart practice to think about if and how your brand will engage in these established observances of the different communities you serve.

To be clear, there isn’t an expectation that you celebrate every day, week, and month that exists to elevate a group and the issues that concern them.

However, in your quest to engage underrepresented and underserved consumers, it is helpful to proactively think about what your brand’s stance will be, and how you will execute on it.

It is important to note that this exercise isn’t just helpful from a customer experience standpoint. It is also beneficial when thinking about the people on your team. It is just as important for them to feel seen and supported — especially if their participation in practices are an important part of their culture, and or could have an impact on how and when they are present for their work.

Choose what you will celebrate. Consider which groups you want to serve, and what days and observances are important to take part in. There are a number of celebrations based upon race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, abledness, and more. One consideration is for religious holidays. There may be some observances where you choose to go all in with big celebrations, and others that will require something simpler. But choosing in advance and incorporating the dates into your brand planning is an essential first step.

Cultural intelligence. This cannot be skipped. Especially if you and your team want to celebrate a community you are not a part of. Take time to learn the purpose and history behind a celebration, and use that as a foundation for brainstorming what to do. If you find there is a cultural intelligence gap, don’t be afraid to bring on outside help to guide your team on cultural nuances that will help you nail the planning and execution of your celebration.

There are more than a few examples of brands who had to cancel a planned celebration of a community, because it wasn’t received well by the people they intended to honor. Their intentions were in the right place, however your intentions are never the marker of success.

Start early. People can smell a hastily thrown together campaign from a mile away. If you want to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day thoughtfully, don’t wait until the Friday before, or worse yet, the day of to scramble to pull something together.

The more time you give yourself, the better you set yourself up to deliver something the people you are intending to honor will appreciate.

Co-creation. Including people who are part of the communities you are celebrating is always good practice. Not only does it help guide you in producing something that those you are honoring will love, but it also gives you opportunity to use your platform to elevate voices and work of those that don’t always get the shine they deserve.

That could mean partnering with creators and people who are part of the communities you want to serve to create campaigns, special edition products, and programs. It could also mean finding ways to elevate the voices and work of people within the community.

Sometimes brands work with people within their teams to help them design a fitting celebration. For instance, Target and Spotify often work with their internal teams via their employee resource groups to support them in building campaigns. If you do go this route, just be sure that the people on your team are volunteering to take part of this effort (you could also compensate them in some way) — it shouldn’t be an expectation or requirement.


We hope the attached PDF will help guide you as you plan your inclusive marketing calendar for 2022!

Be sure to register for the free IDEA Conversation at the end of the month, where we will discuss what we are learning and practicing, while Sonia Thompson will be available to answer any questions you might have.


This Coworking IDEA challenge was created with support from our friends at the Coworking Alliance Summit.
Alliance Summit organizers contribute a portion of all ticket sales to the Coworking IDEA Project.

Download the PDF
from Inclusive Marketing

February 23rd 2022
9:00 AM Pacific | 12:00 PM Eastern
5:00 PM UK | 6:00 PM CET

Sonia Thompson

Sonia Thompson

Head of Thompson Media
Inclusive Marketing Strategist & Consultant

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