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21 May, Tuesday
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Proakatemian esseepankki

Are the values a good marketing trick or the lead of the action?



Kirjoittanut: Vilma Pekkala - tiimistä Ei tiimiä.

Esseen tyyppi: Akateeminen essee / 3 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

It’s midsummer and a Pride week. Pride is one of the biggest human rights, LGBTQ community and culture events in Finland and all over the world. Pride organizations and communities are founded to stand for everybody, for the reason that no one has to stay alone or face on unequality. It is made to support and fight for gender minority and sexual minority rights as well as parity. Pride week is full of joy, colorful flags and demonstrations as well as standing for world wide human rights and the support is shown by wearing colorful clothes and taking part in the event (Pride Toronto 2021; Pride Helsinki 2021; Abad-Santos 2018). Also the companies is seen to show their support by changing their company logo in rainbow colors and publishing parity and human rights themed content on their social media channels.

Human rights and parity questions are also a very big part of the companies and employers everyday life. The atmosphere in the workplace, real life action as the recruitment process or everyday choices, for example, where to order products or services to stand also for those values. If it is part of the company’s values it should be able to see in everyday life action, choices and decisions. The contradiction happens if the company is standing for human rights during Pride week and changing the colorful logo on the profile pictures and enjoying the benefit of the media slots, but the value is not seen in real life or in the other weeks in the year.

Values are not only words in the company’s website. It is also the action choices and decisions made by the chosen values. Conflict situations have been a lot in the news, since the companies are supporting human rights and parity during the pride week, but it’s not seen anywhere else. It is also quoted with the question, if it’s only the marketing trick or is it the values the company stands for (Alma Media 2019; Zheng 2021). According to Vähämaa (2021) the it increases the market value of the company to be part of supporting human rights themes. Also Abad-Santos (2018) questions what the companies support and where the money goes? Is it for LGBTQ and human rights issues or just straight branding and companies own well being?

The contraction of values and the action increase the untrustful. Poor values also affect employers negatively, increase the gap to customers and decrease the credibility of the leaders and the whole company. And it is something the company is incharge, as we all are. (Lencioni, 2002) To act through the values, because they are not only something to achieve an audience, million likes or the branding budget. It should be the core of the company and lead the action and everyday life decisions.

Nowadays the audience as well as customers require the truth and the value based action more and more from the companies. It is also seen in the reactions which are published in the social media channels. Lappalainen (2022) wrote an article on Helsingin Sanomat Visio about the reactions of multiple influencers about the case, where a big finnish company leaves social media platforms. They justified the decision by the values which are not supporting the social media atmosphere and they want to focus more on presence and real life meetings. Values based action is normally justified and standful. But in this case the action and the values had a conflict. (Lappalainen, 2022; Forsberg & Hanhinen 2022)

The company has given the radical opinion about social media platforms as well as influencers work, which is unbalanced with the action, because the company has asked help and even free advertising space from the influencer’s own platforms as well as still continues the work of paid advertising on social media platforms with influencers. Many resources have seen them unprofessional, disrespectful as well as untrustful, because of the action which hasn’t been on the same line as the values and the reasons they have represented. (Lappalainen, 2022; Forsberg & Hanhinen 2022)

These cases are good reminders of the importance of the company’s values. It’s not words or marketing tactics to use, but it is the core of the company. Values are something which should be seen in the company’s everyday life action, marketing campaigns, social media platforms as well as where they invest. Many, even very big, companies haven’t seen very clearly the importance of the values as well as they are not aware of the disharmony that undecided or unplanned value strategy brings. Also Lencioni (2002) proves that many companies have set up values which are dishonest and contentless as well as they are not aware of the responsibility and affects what those bring.

Nowadays, the customers, people and followers require the values and the supportive action by it. Trending because of trending is not cool any more, but the decisions through the values seems to be. By setting up the values for the company, stop for the moment and think deeper, what are the most important values, you are able to stand with your actions.

Research:

Abad-Santos, Alex. 2018. Vox. How LGBTQ Pride Month became a branded holiday. Read: 25.3.2022. Link: https://www.vox.com/2018/6/25/17476850/pride-month-lgbtq-corporate-explained

Alma Media. 2019. Kauppalehti. Yhdenvertaisuutta tulee edistää työpaikoilla myös Pride-viikon jälkeen. Read: 25.3.2022. Link: https://www.kauppalehti.fi/kumppanisisaltoa/monster/yhdenvertaisuutta-tulee-edistaa-tyopaikoilla-myos-pride-viikon-jalkeen/8f0f9db4-83b5-53af-80b3-22ab72fde351

Forsberg, T., Hanhinen, Hanna. 2022. YLE. Ivana Helsinki lähtee somesta, koska haluaa olla aidosti läsnä – tutkija pitää päätöstä yllättävänä ja uskoo sen vaikuttavan näkyvyyteen. Read: 25.3.2022. Link: https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-12372394

Lappalainen, Elina. 2022. HS Visio. Paola Suhonen kutsui vaikuttajia ”mutu-tuntumalla huutelijoiksi”, vaikka Ivana Helsinki on hyödyntänyt heitä ilmaiseksi jo vuosia. Read: 25.3.2022. Link: https://www.hs.fi/visio/art-2000008706485.html

Lencioni, Patrick, M. Make Your Values Mean Something. Harvard Business Review. Read 25.3.2022. Link: https://hbr.org/2002/07/make-your-values-mean-something

Pride Toronto. 2021 Our Mission. Read: 25.3.2022. Link: https://www.pridetoronto.com/pride-toronto/mission/

Pride Helsinki. 2021. Yhteisön historiaa. Read: 25.3.2022. Link: https://pride.fi/meista/pride-historiaa/

Vähämaa, Sami. 2021. Pride-viikolle osallistuminen voi parantaa yrityksen markkina-arvoa. Demokraatti. Read 25.3.2022. Link: https://demokraatti.fi/pride-viikolle-osallistuminen-voi-parantaa-yrityksen-markkina-arvoa

Zheng, Lily. 2021. Your Rainbow Logo Doesn’t Make You an Ally. Harvard Business Review. Read 25.3.2022. Link: https://hbr.org/2021/06/your-rainbow-logo-doesnt-make-you-an-ally

Picture: fauxels in Pexels

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