Today, Vox Media announced the expansion of Language, Please, a living resource for thoughtfully covering social, cultural, and identity-related topics. With funding from the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge, Language, Please will continue to deepen its existing guidance on topics related to class and social standing; race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; disabilities, neurodiversity, and chronic illness; and more.
In addition, Language, Please has launched a new section geared toward advertisers and marketers seeking research-based guidance on best practices for connecting with diverse communities. As the basis for this new section, Vox Media conducted a survey of 2,000 US adults over the age of 18 representing the US online population, in collaboration with The Circus, an insight and data storytelling firm. Consumers were surveyed about their attitudes toward DEI initiatives as a whole and in marketing specifically. The survey’s findings indicate broad support for DEI initiatives in marketing, with 69% of individuals surveyed across age groups and political leanings supporting such efforts, but paradoxically also indicating distrust towards brands’ DEI efforts. The findings are the foundation for several new resources to help marketers navigate cultivating authentic communication with consumers across demographics:
- What the Data Says: DEI Efforts Are More Relevant Than Ever…When Done Right. A white paper that distills the findings of Vox Media’s consumer research into attitudes on DEI initiatives, particularly from marketers and advertisers.
- Yes, And: A New Framework for DEI in Marketing. Building on the paradox that consumers are both supportive of DEI efforts in marketing but distrustful of brands’ DEI marketing, this resource presents a series of key questions marketers should be asking themselves as they incorporate DEI into their programs.
- The “New Mainstream” Training Deck. This slide deck explores the unique interests and preferences of various audience segments, to help marketers and advertisers better understand their needs and craft thoughtful approaches.
- 10 Mindful Actions to Improve Marketing, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts. This resource outlines steps to keep in mind in the process of incorporating a DEI lens into the RFP creative and response process.
- Marketing Glossary. Find definitions and greater context around key terms used in marketing and advertising, including explanations of how understanding of these terms continues to evolve.
You can view Language, Please’s expansion here.
This project is led by Tanya Pai, Vox’s director of newsroom standards & ethics, who oversees the development of new style guidance and editorial tools, and helps coordinate education-focused partnerships with journalistic and academic organizations. Pai will collaborate with individuals across Vox Media’s editorial, communications, marketing, and revenue teams, as well as the project’s Advisory Council.
“Language, Please received an overwhelmingly positive response from journalists, storytellers, and professionals in other fields like government, who made it clear the project filled a critical need by providing guidance on complex topics relating to identity,” said Pai. “We are excited to expand this project by incorporating new categories based on user feedback, and to bring the tool to new audiences in the advertising and marketing industries.”
“Vox Media is committed to ensuring that our advertising and marketing solutions are thoughtful and inclusive,” said Vox Media’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jackie Cinguina. “In our internal conversations about the importance of connecting meaningfully with diverse constituencies, it became clear that expanding Language, Please’s guidance to include advertising and marketing could allow for the tool to become indispensable in helping the industry communicate more authentically and effectively to consumers across the country.”
“Google News Initiative aims to collaborate with publishers and journalists to build a more diverse and inclusive news ecosystem. We have been partners of ‘Language, Please since its inception because we believe that providing resources that help journalists, storytellers, and creators make informed decisions about the language they use in their writing, will help make reliable, diverse, and inclusive content and information accessible to everyone on the internet. We are delighted to see this project grow and expand its resources into more areas” Sarah Tran, Google News Initiative.
Language, Please included contributions from more than 75 individuals, and the writing and subject matter was heavily informed by editors, writers, producers, DEI+ leaders, and others across Vox Media; as well as the Language, Please Advisory Council, which comprises the following individuals:
- Sewell Chan, Editor-in-Chief, The Texas Tribune
- Dr. Bethany Grace Howe, Board Member, National Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists
- Martin Reynolds, Co-Executive Director, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
- Lauren Williams, CEO and Co-Founder, Capital B
- Jack Jenkins, National Reporter, Religion News Service
- Jacqueline Cinguina, Chief Marketing Officer, Vox Media
The 2022 launch of Language, Please, supported by funding from the Google News Initiative, included style guidance, editorial tools, and a directory of inclusivity readers that provided necessary context to help US newsrooms make informed decisions about language usage. The project, which received an Anthem Award and Webby nomination, was established by Vox Media and created in consultation with leaders from across the media industry. You can read more about the first iteration of Language, Please here.
About Vox Media
Vox Media is the leading modern media company, reaching audiences everywhere they are. Known for editorial properties including Vox, SB Nation, New York Magazine, The Dodo, and The Verge, the company’s portfolio features the most relevant, respected, and engaging editorial properties and voices. The company is also home to award-winning storytelling businesses such as Vox Media Studios and the Vox Media Podcast Network, as well as innovative technologies that support the entire media industry, including the Concert advertising marketplace. Vox Media proves that quality can scale.
About Google News Initiative
The Google News Initiative (GNI) is a global effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age. In partnership with news publishers around the world, the GNI aims to foster new thinking in online journalism and aid the development of new publishing business models. In turn, the GNI is committed to sharing knowledge generated from its work with the wider industry. For more information, visit https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/about/.