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What to Learn From “Football Is Gay” and Other Content Examples This Week

“Football is gay. Football is accepting. Football is for everyone.” The NFL’s big statement on inclusivity lands side by side with news from Google about a better skin-color scale that recognizes the diversity of human beings. And in other good news from the week, communications pros say companies value their work more than they did before the pandemic.

Let’s break these stories down.

Communications moves up in organizational importance

Eighty percent of organizations have put greater value on communications in the past year, according to the fourth annual JOTW Strategic Comms Survey.

The survey of 300 comm pros also found their challenges have shifted. Too many priorities (40%) and cutting through the noise (37%) led the list of challenges this year, while budget and ROI topped the list in the previous period studied.

Measurement experienced an uptick, according to the survey creators, with 60% saying they measure always or often and 30% saying they measure some of the time.

On the topic of brands weighing in on social issues, 43% of those surveyed said brands should take a stand on social issues often or always, while only one in five (21%) say brands should do the same on political issues.

WHY IT MATTERS: Though the survey is not specific to content marketing, we think the findings illustrate what’s happening across the board in communication-related roles. It’s great to see more companies place more importance on communications. Perhaps that’s the reason budget and ROI were no longer top challenges.

The 2021 challenges indicate an opportunity for organizations to take the time to revisit their priorities, pick the top one to three, and then brainstorm to figure out ways to stand out from all that noise.

Good news for communicators. Brands value comms more than they did pre-pandemic, according to #JOTW and @SwordandScript #survey. Read about this and other good #ContentMarketing news via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

Skin comes in more than six colors

The six-color scale for skin tones may soon be a thing of the past. Google is investigating an alternative scale for classifying skin tones – one that isn’t biased against people of color, according to a recent Search & Performance Marketing Daily article.

Since the 1970s, most tech companies have used the six-color Fitzpatrick Skin Type scale, which has four categories for white, one for black, and one for brown skin. However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says FST is a poor representation of skin color range in diverse populations.

Google is collaborating with scientific and medical experts and communities of color on the project and says the alternative measures could be useful in its product developments.

WHY IT MATTERS: A better skin color scale can help visual content creators illustrate the diversity of their audiences. And it likely will inform other content creation tools too. That’s critical for all brand creators who want their audiences to see themselves in the content, whether in a photo, an illustration, or text.

.@Google’s working on replacing a skin-color scale that doesn’t represent human #diversity. That’s great news for #ContentMarketing pros who care about representing their audiences, says @CMIContent via @lauriesullivan. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

Touchdown for NFL video

The NFL turned a support message for one player into a groundbreaking statement told through video.

Las Vegas Raiders player Carl Nassib recently shared publicly that he is gay, becoming the first active NFL player to do so. A week later, the NFL published this video with “Football is gay,” as the opening line:

The video runs through a list of things football is before concluding with this line: “Football is everything. Football is for everyone.” The concluding image is the NFL logo in rainbow colors followed by a promotion of the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth.

 WHY IT MATTERS: The NFL didn’t produce a video to laud Carl’s announcement. Instead, it smartly took the opportunity to take a stand on the topic of acceptance and inclusion. We also like the simplicity of the video, which simply shows white text on a black background while a soundtrack of crowds cheering underscores the message.

The NFL certainly has top-notch video production talent (and the budget) to go as big as they want. But the simplicity of this video fits the message well. It’s a great reminder that you don’t need a big video budget to produce high-impact videos.

The dramatic @NFL video declaring #FootballIsGay shows that great #video doesn’t require a big production budget, says @CMIContent via @72andSunny @TrevorProject. #WeeklyWrap Share on X
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute