Gender-Responsive Communication: What Brands Should Know

Gender-Responsive Communication: What Brands Should Know

Gender-responsive communication has become important in daily life and in the workplace. Language choices produce an inclusive and positive environment. The safe space equalizes all genders and promotes empowerment through communication.

The social construct of gender will differ per person depending on the place, time, religion, environment, and culture. Today, people categorize themselves more diversely than simply male and female. For example, the LGBTQ+ community feels that self-proclamation is empowering. Making room for everyone’s preference forms the feeling that everyone is equal and valued.

In daily communications practice and in marketing and advertising, it is helpful to use the 3 P’s (Presence, Perspective, and Personality)[1]

  • Presence: Who is featured in the communication? Allow a different variety of people of ages and gender to communicate the message
  • Perspective: From whose perspective is the story being told? How? Include all gender perspectives respectfully and equally.
  • Personality: Lastly, the last ‘P’ refers to the personality of each individual. Showcase the differences through the depth of these characters.

Beyond increased awareness, everyone should be encouraged to take meaningful steps to reduce inequalities. Communication is a two-way conversation. Thus giving/receiving feedback, learning, sharing, and adapting is part of the process. It is advised to use gender-neutral terms. Asking people their preferred pronouns or title is encouraged. Avoid using gender-biased words, for instance, say ‘chairperson’ over chairmen/women, ‘business owners’ over businessmen/women, and so on.

Gender-biased terms Gender-neutral terms
Businessman / Businesswoman Business owners
Salesman / Saleswoman Salesperson
Chairman / Chairwoman Chairperson, chair
Mankind Humanity
Congressman / Congresswoman Member of Congress

Pacharee Pantoomano

Pacharee Pantoomano, Chief Consultant of Brandnow.asia, shares, “When it comes to PR and marketing guidelines for brands, we recommend avoiding gender stereotyping. Be mindful of the kind and types of content distributed. The new best practice includes demonstrating gender diversity and balance in internal and external communications with a positive focus highlighting inclusivity.

About Brand Now
Brandnow.asia is an agency and consultancy serving start-ups, unicorns, disruptors, and blue-chip brands in Thailand and ASEAN. We are part of the PRN network with 30+ partners that span the globe. Our work focus is on strategy and brand communication with services ranging from public relations, marketing, internal communications, and direct marketing to event management. Some of our B2B clients are Grohe, Merck, Tealium, and Electrolux. Our B2C clients include Grab, Lalamove, adidas, Ksher, and Wechat Pay.

[1] For further information, please visit: https://www.unicef.org/media/67561/file/Promoting-Positive-Gender-Roles-in-Marketing-and-Advertising.pdf

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