With the launch of Diversity & Inclusion in 2019, the time was right for a determined group of employees to embark on a journey to LGBT+ Inclusion. JTI’s LGBT+ Employee Network and Corporate Communications Team approached Ignis with a clear mandate: to help bring some Pride to JTI.
This was a bold first step for a tobacco company. Despite having won numerous Top Employer Awards, JTI hadn’t overtly “come out” in support of the LGBT+ community. But neither had its competitors. We knew that to be proud, we had to get loud, and we had to do this in an authentic and meaningful way, that avoided pink-washing and demonstrated the business’ commitment to making a real change. Education was crucial, as was driving empathy from an audience who were not only new to the concept of talking openly about LGBT+ rights at work, but were also now locked down all over the world.
Our overarching goal was to bring Pride to JTI, so that the small minority of LGBT+ employees (many of whom were not “out” at work) felt supported by the business and each other. Based on this, we had 3 key objectives: Awareness Raising, Peer-To-Peer Support, and Business Accountability. With a JTI team based in Switzerland and Brazil, we took to digital platforms to connect with both employees and the wider world.
From February 14th (because #loveislove) to Pride Month in June, our strategy was to leverage various digital channels, including Workplace, Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the JTI website, to become more visible and vocal, dialling up the LGBT+ Inclusion agenda through ongoing comms and content.
Collaborative Spotify playlists, virtual Voga classes, and live DJ sets drove participation and created a sense of community whilst allyship learning modules, interviews with D&I leads, and external comms about JTI’s “365 days of Pride” pledge, demonstrated to everyone both internally and externally that JTI is committed to its LGBT+ employees.
Overall, the launch of PRIDE has positioned JTI as the clear market leader on LGBT+ Inclusion, with competitor activity falling far behind.
The campaign drove internal engagement increase of over 1,000% versus previous month. Externally engagement rates beat platform norms by an average of over 5,000%.