/ Why is a communications campaign important?
Sharing your values and commitment to safety can have a hugely positive impact for your staff and customers. People want to know that that the place where they work and spend their time takes safety seriously.
The simple act of displaying a poster about your values can have a hugely positive impact. Be sure to include the consequences for unacceptable behaviour. For example, “This is a welcome space for all. Our venue takes harassment very seriously. If your actions are making others feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you will be asked to leave.”
Too often, harassment and assault are not spoken about due to fear of not being believed or seen to be a private matter. Communication campaigns reassure people of your values and inform them of who they can turn to for support.
This creates an environment where everyone feels confident to report incidents. Perpetrators will understand that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, and safety becomes a collective concern.
/ What should this campaign look like?
This might take the form of a poster campaign, publishing your harassment policy on your website and reminding customers of your dedication to safety on your social media channels.
It’s about communicating zero tolerance to all behaviours that make others feel uncomfortable or threatened. Consider writing a public facing summary of your anti-harassment policy, or a code of conduct, for your website; this is easier for service users to digest and can be more visually engaging.
With any campaign, you should ensure the language used is inclusive. Safety campaigns are often written from a women’s safety perspective, which can be exclusionary of trans communities. Use gender-inclusive language and communicate in a way that doesn’t discriminate against a particular sex or gender or perpetuate gender stereotypes. Language is always evolving so, if using gendered language, take the time to learn what is appropriate at that time, it’s always better to ask than assume.