Championing Equality and Sparking Brand Connection for PR in Southeast Asia

March 8, 2024
  |  by 
Bud Communications

International Women's Day (IWD), a yearly reminder of the progress still needed towards true gender equality, is upon us. This year's theme, "Inspire Inclusion," highlights the economic and social benefits of empowering women and fostering inclusivity. Bud Communications as a PR agency, is firmly committed to this cause, recognising it as a fundamental pillar of our brand identity.

Simply "talking the talk" is no longer enough. Consumers and clients increasingly seek to partner with organisations that embody meaningful values and actively contribute to positive change. For PR agencies in Southeast Asia, taking a strong stance on gender equality presents a unique opportunity to not only strengthen their brand image but also contribute to building a more equitable future for the region.

Building an Authentic Brand of Advocacy

Building an authentic brand starts internally. At Bud Communications, we've taken concrete steps to ensure our commitment to gender equality goes beyond mere words. We actively cultivate a work environment characterised by equal opportunities, fair pay practices, and leadership development programs that empower individuals of all genders. This dedication is reflected in our employee demographics, with women making up the majority of our "buddies," as we affectionately call our employees. This diverse pool of talent brings a wealth of perspectives and experiences that enrich our work and allows us to connect with clients from various backgrounds on a deeper level.

Authenticity goes beyond internal practices. Bud Communications actively participates in industry events and conferences focused on diversity and inclusion. These platforms allow us to share our experiences, learn from others, and advocate for the importance of gender equality within the PR landscape. We've also established partnerships with NGOs and civil society groups championing women's rights in Southeast Asia. By collaborating on campaigns and initiatives, we amplify their voices, raise awareness around critical issues, and contribute to collective action.

Gaining Insights from The Leaders in the Industry

In Southeast Asia, several PR agencies showcased their creativity in supporting International Women's Day. IPG Mediabrands (SEA) commemorated International Women's Day by collaborating with KFC to replace the Colonel Sanders logo with his wife's, Claudia, for a day. Highlighting women's contributions, they also shared stories of female KFC staff and encouraged the public to share their own using #KFCIWD. This initiative showcases how PR agencies in Southeast Asia are using their platform to promote gender equality.

Iris Singapore took a unique approach to International Women's Day by launching "The Conscious Calendar." This campaign involved 13 male employees taking on "office housework" tasks typically associated with women, such as buying birthday cakes and decorating. By encouraging men to actively participate in these everyday tasks, the agency aims to combat unconscious gender biases and promote a more balanced workplace environment.

In Thailand, AINAID partnered with PERSONNA to launch their "I Got You, Girl" campaign. This initiative tackles the issue of women inadvertently hindering each other's success. Through a questionnaire and short film, the campaign encourages women to become better allies by offering support and avoiding negativity.

These examples showcase the diverse approaches agencies can take to become active advocates. By drawing inspiration from such successful initiatives, PR agencies in Southeast Asia can tailor their advocacy efforts to their specific resources and expertise.

Exploring the Advantages of Advocacy Efforts

Fostering a powerful brand means more than just marketing—it’s about sparking real change in the social environment. Right now, PR agencies in Southeast Asia are stepping up to the plate by actively championing gender equality. They are rolling up their sleeves and diving into the realm of gender equality, both within their own teams and in the wider community. By embracing initiatives that promote inclusivity and fairness, agencies are building their brand by shaping a brighter, more equal future for everyone.

Moreover, embracing this opportunity is not just a moral imperative; it's a strategic decision. By demonstrating a genuine commitment to gender equality, PR agencies can attract and retain top talent, resonate with socially conscious clients, and contribute to positive societal change and International Women's Day serves as a powerful reminder. It's time for PR agencies in Southeast Asia to step up, embrace their voices, and become active advocates for positive change. By doing so, we can collectively build a future where the power of communication translates into a more equitable and inclusive society for all.