I’ve been in business a long time, and one thing everyone in business learns is that if you want to succeed, you must create win-win scenarios.
Rivendell Media’s whole business model is based on this idea, and it has served us well for 41 years and counting. The better the job we do, the more dollars go directly to LGBTQ media. This gives LGBTQ media the necessary funds to report on information of concern to the community in order to help gain and protect equal rights for all Americans. There is no downside. It’s a win-win — plus another win!
This axiom also applies to corporations and companies pursuing the LGBTQ market. Advertising directly in LGBTQ owned and operated media provides the funds necessary to cover the LGBTQ community. It is also a win for the advertiser, because it lets their consumers know they are LGBTQ friendly and are asking for their support and business.
However, I want to address those good corporations and companies that support LGBTQ charitable organizations and community groups but don’t take that extra step to make their customers — especially their LGBTQ customers — aware of their good works. “Gaydar” may allow LGBTQ people to spot others like them, but it doesn’t work for identifying LGBTQ friendly companies. All jokes aside, so many of these companies fail to capitalize on their investments with various communities, especially the LGBTQ community.
So let’s look at advertising directly in LGBTQ media. All of these great companies that do good works owe it to themselves to let people know. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the National LGBT Task Force and so many other absolutely great foundational LGBTQ organizations can’t afford a regular presence in our media because their funds go to fulfilling their public interest missions. However, these companies can take their charitable investments and easily bring them to the forefront of LGBTQ consumers’ eyes, minds and wallets.
Corporate advertising in LGBTQ media is crucial to the community since LGBTQ media is totally supported by advertising dollars and, due in part to the global pandemic, is in dire need. Any company could easily take their charitable donation and add some marketing dollars to help themselves while also helping the communities they support. This is a win for the company as well as a win for the charitable organization — AND a win for the LGBTQ consumer. As I said earlier, it’s a win-win plus another win!
We are not talking big dollars here — $100,000 spent in advertising in LGBTQ media goes a long, long way, and the positive ripple created for the company cannot be understated. A mainstream ad with LGBTQ content is great, but it is a very expensive way to reach the LGBTQ community and does not at all financially support the community.  Additionally, LGBTQ inclusive images in mainstream media can be viewed as tokenism. Think about that. Including LGBTQ images in mainstream media has no bearing on whether the company actually supports the community or is just adding inclusive images in advertising campaigns — and there is a BIG difference. 
So, I say to all those great companies that are already investing in LGBTQ organizations, take that investment and add some marketing dollars in a way that truly helps everyone involved. It is easy, economical and beneficial for everyone. It’s a win-win.

About the Author

Todd Evans is President and CEO of Rivendell Media-America’s leading LGBTQ media placement firm- a unique media company that was founded in 1979 and represents 95% of all LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS media in the United States and Canada. Rivendell Media serves as the national advertising representative for over 200 gay, lesbian and HIV/AIDS newspapers, magazines and entertainment guides their websites and standalone digital properties. After working for the company and then taking over in 1994, he has worked on almost every major LGBT media campaign as well as every DTC campaign in the HIV/AIDS market since the FDA allowed them. That experience along with his knowledge of the media provide unique qualifications on what has worked and what is necessary to reach and speak to these audiences. Todd Evans is also a silent partner of Q Syndicate, the leading content provider for gay media and is also publisher of Press Pass Q, the industry newsletter for the gay and lesbian press professional. Todd Evans graduated from Villanova University with a bachelor in Political Science. He currently resides in Mountainside, New Jersey. He can be reached at todd@rivendellmedia.com or 908-232-2021 ext 210.

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