As BET steps into its 40th year, the brand is taking strides to be more inclusive of ALL Black voices. The objective of #29DaysofQueerExcellence, in particular, was to send a very clear message, daily that we see, support, affirm, and actively look to amplify the stories of our Black, queer family.
The #29DaysofQueerExcellence campaign was created to disrupt the traditional narratives that are important but can lean in the direction of cliche when it comes to our celebration of Black History. Our intention is to show that Black history is made every day and that Black Queer History is an important part of that. Black queer history is Black History and Black freedom would be impossible to realize without Black LGBTQ+ people.
In starting #29DaysofQueerExcellence, we wanted to celebrate the beauty, power, and diversity of everyday Black queer artists, activists, entrepreneurs and thought leaders by humanizing their stories and taking beautiful portraits to honor their road to legendary. We strategically centered everyday heroes in the queer community, while highlighting the importance of incorporating Black Queer History into Black History. Our goal was to spark conversation around experiences that led to connection and understanding in 29 days! Through the #BETQueerAF social media franchise, we seek to continue to build community and elevate Black queer voices both online and within the company.
We built out a robust strategy to execute this campaign by leveraging BET & BET HER’s 5 million+ social media followers.
Phase #1: Build relationships with the Black Queer community by highlighting talent recommended by co-workers and close friends.
Tactic #1: Highlight everyday people who are making a BIG impact in the community instead of using celebrities. This tactic allows us to rebuild trust in the Black queer community so our followers can see themselves in each and every person profiled.
Tactic #2: Create a diverse talent roster featuring trans women, trans men, & non-binary folk. Expand on this diversity by profiling social influencers as well as therapists, HIV+ activists, network executives, entrepreneurs, burlesque dancers, media mavens, and non-profit founders.
Phase #2: Daily posting, community management and weekly recaps on various BET & BET Her platforms.
Tactic # 1: We wanted to honor each individual by giving them a full day to be seen on our platform. This tactic helped us generate buzz around #29daysofQueerExcellence every single day in the midst of other BET content.
Tactic #2: Disrupt our normal rule of using short captions. We encouraged each participant to write their narrative in a “Humans of New York” style caption to allow real-estate for their full story and shed light on the work they are doing.
Tactic #3: Repost content on the BET HER Social channels to include the Trans-women profiled in the campaign.
Tactic #4: Every Monday we broadcasted the seven talents profiled on our main feed via IG Story Recap Videos. The stories consisted of a quote card from their narrative and BTS footage from their photoshoot. We also interviewed each person on the importance of being visible, Black queer icons that inspire them, and we gave them a chance to fully elaborate on the work they do and why it is important to the LGBTQ+ community.
Key Feature #1: The most valuable component of this campaign is our team. The #BETQueerAF team is composed of people from the LGBTQ community, who are sensitive and attentive to the needs of our talent. Everything from our language in emails, to being available and accommodating on set, was an experience that made our talent feel loved. Things that should come naturally but, we’re all too aware is not often the case for our subjects. We also sent out a talent directory to encourage our participants to foster coalition building in their respective industries.
Key Feature #2: By highlighting our talent, BET as a Network is able to build relationships with LGBTQ organizations and thought leaders for future content - many of them are featured in the campaign! We have already met with GLAAD, Ballroom Throwbacks, and LOGO TV to discuss the future of collaborations with #BETQueerAF.
The results of this campaign (which concludes on February 29th) have surpassed our goals. We set forth to build community and we did just that! The daily comments on BET are history-making within itself. Everyone, from celebrities to young followers, is proud to see the stories of everyday Black Queer Heros on their timeline (follow #29DaysofQueerExcellence to read). We see daily reposting of the content and we’ve experienced noteworthy engagement with our platform from people of the LGBTQ community who are acknowledging the strides we’re making to be more inclusive.
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