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Culture training for strategic marketing : Case study of a Juneteenth block party
Juneteenth, the annual cultural celebration also known in the African American community as Emancipation Day, was made a national holiday in 2021. Today, the holiday that commemorates 19th June, 1865, the date when news of emancipation and the end of slavery finally reached enslaved peoples in the farthest reaches of America’s south-western states, is challenging companies and organisations to figure out how best to honour this shiny new and momentous holiday. And while many organisations struggle to get smart about this ‘new’ holiday, organisations that seek to understand the cultural ethos of the celebration — and their part in it — have demonstrated success. To better understand a successful campaign, this case study will examine how an event and training model with a block party theme succeeded in ‘getting Juneteenth right’ to create an informative, engaging and inspiring workplace initiative. The brand and shopper marketing agency extended the implementation of its agency-wide diversity, equity and inclusion reorientation strategy to include its Juneteenth celebration. Taking this cultureforward approach, the agency sought to educate, inform and enlist its own employees in a uniquely authentic way to build cross-cultural knowledge to strategy, creative, media and retail marketing for its list of Fortune 500 clients, including EJ Gallo, Procter & Gamble and White Castle.
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Valerie L. Williams-Sanchez is a graduate of St. John’s University, Queens, New York, and the Vice President of Multicultural Intelligence and Relevance at Blue Chip, Chicago. With more than 20 years of media, marketing and communications experience, she is Blue Chip’s subject matter expert, multicultural strategist, marketplace guide, and lead industry voice in the critical area of cultural relevance, for which she puts theory into practice. She is also the author of Blue Chip’s 7-point Multicultural Lens, the agency’s framework and tool that supports thorough, relevant, and above all, consistent multicultural consideration in all areas of agency work.