Top of the Month: Pride in London's rainbow campaign leads to pot of PR gold

There were rainbows all over London this July, but it wasn't the weather - Pride in London secured more than three times as many corporate partners as last year.

Pride: the big day (© Michele Ghidoni)
Pride: the big day (© Michele Ghidoni)

Comms director James Holt told PRWeek that employer support was "incredibly powerful", adding: "For many people who carry the weight of shame and fear, the support at Pride helps us stand a little taller and more confident."

The fraught political climate "played a part in mobilising a more activist base", Holt said. London Mayor Sadiq Khan had been "very supportive" of the festival, he added, while the colourful 'Love happens here' campaign by WCRS helped to give the festival pride of place in the capital.

The 50th anniversary of the beginning of decriminalisation of sex between men lent a special significance to the event this year.

While there have been criticisms that the festival has become overly corporate, and some provocative posters were (quickly) withdrawn following a backlash, these are part and parcel of the event hitting the big time.

Since 2013, the festival has been run by a community interest company made up of volunteers. Its co-chairs, Alison Camps and Michael Salter-Church, are marketing and public affairs professionals in their day jobs. Holt works for US-based public-affairs agency Mercury, and his deputy is in marketing at the Marine Stewardship Council. They can certainly take pride in their efforts.

Read next: Videos, playlists, giveaways... and rainbows galore: Brands tap into Pride 2017

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