As marketers and public relations practitioners, we’re always interested in understanding how to change public opinion, and there may not be a more dramatic shift than gay rights in America over the past 15 years.
So how did that happen so quickly, at least in historical terms? A study released by a Harvard professor argues that found that “the answer lies in human behavior and demographic realities, as well as a winning strategy by gay rights activists that capitalized on both.”
The lesson: The fight for gay rights was a ground game, and proximity and visibility were the winning tactics. As more gay Americans came out (particularly family members and television characters), the concept of “being gay” became less threatening to mainstream America.
Jeremy Story is a Vice President at GroundFloor Media, where he co-leads the firm’s Crisis Communication & Reputation Management practice. He has more than 20 years experience helping companies ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 100 prepare for, manage, and recover from crisis issues.