We’ve all become increasingly aware of Pride Month in recent years. Some know the history that started with the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, and others just know that June is a time to show your, or your organization’s, support for the LGBTQ community.
As awareness has grown and as support for LGBTQ causes has grown, so has the criticism for those that embark on virtue signaling or simply showing the rainbow colors without truly embracing LGBTQ employees, customers, clients or the community in any meaningful way.
With this in mind – and wanting to always expand our understanding of how organizations can advance equity in little and big ways – I went looking for local companies doing Pride Month well. Fortunately, an example was right in front of me, as I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring Ginger Barnes, the vice president of operations at Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery, and Hotel Tango has produced super-cool Pride bottles every June for six years.
The rainbow Pride bottles have a cool new design each year, which means some customers come looking for them every year and collect each new issue. Other than the cool, collectible design, I asked Ginger why HT first started what has become a tradition.
“It’s consistent with our belief system. And being located in Fletcher Place, in a progressive neighborhood, we’ve always hired diverse employees and lived by our mantra of HT For All,” Ginger said.
Each year, the Pride bottles have graced some sort of fabulous Vodka, Bourbon or Orangecello, and the profits have gone toward a different charitable cause each year. Recently, HT decided to direct all of their charitable work to military-related causes, consistent with their brand and beliefs and went looking for an LGBTQ-military-related cause. They were pleased to find the Modern Military Association of America, committed to advancing fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community.
Ginger says, “Our Pride Month campaigns have been successful every year, and I like it so much, I keep a collection of all the bottles on my bar shelf at home.”
HT’s Pride efforts have all the elements of a strong PR campaign: On-brand focus, great product, benefiting a relevant cause.
If you’re trying to cut back on alcohol as we emerge from a life-altering pandemic, consider giving an HT Pride bottle to a friend, or using it as décor. We can all take pride in supporting great people, organizations and causes in our community.
Jennifer Dzwonar, APR, Fellow PRSA