Multimedia Concerns | Marketing Practices
Diversity is the incorporation of a broad variety of people, viewpoints, identities, etc. Diversity does not solely refer to gender, sexuality, race or ethnicity, etc. However, diversity necessarily means bringing in those who were historically excluded.
In the context of marketing, diversity means representing historically excluded people through photography and storytelling.
Inclusion is engaging people in an activity, program, committee, etc. That is, inclusion is both involving people in a program and enabling people to participate in the program. For example, both admitting a woman to your committee and making her a voting member. Diversity is a variety of people; inclusion is the empowerment of those people.
In the context of marketing, inclusion means enabling traditionally excluded people to participate, to control their likeness, to tell their stories from their own view, to shape marketing policy and practice, and to help to forge the identity of Pacific University, among other things.
In this context, choice is a student’s ability to participate or not. For example, a student may choose to be photographed only as an artist and not photographed as an athlete or a student may choose not to appear in social media marketing. Inclusion anticipates choice.
Coercion is obliging a person to act. In this context, coercion is rarely forcing a student to act, but rather limiting student choice through omission, indifference or carelessness.
For example, contrast when a photographer says to a student, “You need to sign this media release” to when a photographer says, “It is your right to decline participation, but to participate sign this media release.” The first example is coercive because the photographer omits the student’s ability to decline, and so the student may feel obligated to participate. Coercion diminishes choice.
Broadly, identity is the values, beliefs, activities and affiliations that constitute a person. By allowing students to control where, when and how their likeness or story appears, the marketing unit ensures the student determines their own identity.
In the context of marketing, identity is constituted through participation, aesthetic expression, editorial control over their personal narrative (including self-description), and declarations of private value via public relationships to institutions (e.g., serving as the “face” of the student senate).
Ultimately, this document intends to return control to students. In this context, control is the ability for students to select how, when and in what manner their likeness or story is depicted. Control is the capacity to exercise choice, and when students make choices about their own representation, that is self-determination.
All of these best practices move the marketing unit toward a framework of co-creation. That is, the student acts as a contributor to the marketing materials. This is not to say that the student provides labor, per se; but that the student has shared authorship of the final product, as much as the designer, writer or director. It is possible the student may not see the final product, yet by allowing the student to exercise control over their own likeness, they are, in effect, exercising control over the marketing material. Marketing units may overlook student contributions; reframing students as authors prevents such an omission.
When students can control their own representation, there is no risk for misrepresentation. Even under the best circumstances, the marketing unit interprets students. For example, when placing a student on a poster promoting the Black Student Union, the marketing unit is attributing to that student values, beliefs and more. Most plainly, the marketing unit is ascribing membership in the Black Student Union. However, when the student co-creates a poster the marketing unit does not need to interpret or mediate the student’s identity. Rather co-creation ensures the student maintains an authentic identity through their own self-determination.