Engaging with empathy

Across our global offices, The Marketing Store is recognizing World Mental Health Day by sharing mental health resources, promoting wellness practices, and most importantly, holding space for open and honest conversations about the importance of mental health awareness.

As marketers, we have a tremendous opportunity – and frankly, tremendous responsibility – to carry this mental health conversation beyond the ‘walls’ of our virtual office, and into the stories, campaigns, and ideas that we create and share with the world. 

As content creators we know that content which celebrates the human experience is the most engaging, impactful way to build connection and inspire action. But we can’t simply celebrate the “good” parts of the human experience. Being human is messy. Being human is uncertain and imperfect and disappointing and, if you’re truly living, it’s HARD. 

(Don’t take my word for it – just turn on the news.)

Advertisers strive to share diverse perspectives in creative work by showcasing different backgrounds, genders, races, thoughts, and lived experiences. In the same way we prioritize this diversity of people in our work, we must place equal, if not more, emphasis on illustrating the diversity of emotion that comprises our shared human experience. 

As marketers, we are storytellers. The media we create is a mirror that reflects our values back at us, as well as into the world. True engagement and true innovation require us to stop sharing stories that exclusively value success, strength, and happiness – but instead, share those that honor and applaud the full range of human emotion: the messy, vulnerable, universal truths that highlight our common humanity. 

Empathetic storytelling empowers advertisers, and the consumers we serve, to show up authentically and to feel our own emotional truth. Only when we create this space for curiosity and compassion can engagement, creativity, and innovation can truly thrive.

In an increasingly divided world, amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic, economic crisis, and social justice reckoning, mental health awareness conversations are critical in both our workplaces and our broader communities.

The diverse narratives and conversations we share are essential to building a collective awareness that will foster courage, compassion, and most importantly, connection. 

As the media continues to shape our most fundamental values and beliefs about the world, advertisers have the responsibility to amplify voices and stories that reflect diversity of people, diversity of thought, and diversity of emotion.  

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