How your company should celebrate Pride in 7 easy steps

You want to show you’re an ally and celebrate Pride - but you don’t know what you can and can’t say these days? Not to worry, this blog will point your brand in the right direction so you can make a statement louder than the rainbow, literally! 


Make is all about your company


Pride is a momentous occasion for the queer community but more importantly, it gives your company a chance to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community and just how progressive you are. 


Remember to make it all about your company and how you love and support the community. We’ve all heard the story of Pride starting as a protest numerous times. But it’s not like that anymore, you can definitely make it a party. 


Pride month is in June, so you’ll want to focus your effort there


Since your company is so pro-LGBTQ, you’ll have probably dreamed up a campaign months in advance. Just in case you haven’t - don’t worry too much. The whole month of June is dedicated to Pride so you can probably leave it till late May to round up a few members of staff and think of something. 


Speaking of June, a whole month does seem a long time to dedicate to just one group of people, and things are great now, so after June is finished you can probably drop it till next year. 


Remember to turn your logo rainbow


Oh and you must remember to turn your logo rainbow - how else will people know you support gay people? Nobody will know more than you, but you might come up against some stigma because you made the brave decision to support people’s human rights and turn your fortune 500 company's logo rainbow. Not to worry, one of your juniors can look out for any negative comments and you can totally own those homophobes on Twitter! 


Omg, rainbows!


We’re preaching to the choir here, but we thought we’d just remind you that each colour of the rainbow flag stands for something deeply significant to the LGBTQ community. Don’t worry about the recently added blue, pink, white, brown and black stripes though - they’re just extras and they might spoil the aesthetic of your design.

There’s too many flags these days to keep up with, right? And let’s be honest - those rainbow colours can be a little garish. So if it clashes with your aesthetic, don’t be afraid to exchange them for something a little more muted.


Make sure you’re not wasting any of that campaign money


Pride month is a great time to raise money for charities that do important work to help the queer community. Don’t worry about paying any queer community members you consult with to create your campaign. 


Also, be sure to only donate to LGBTQ+ charities during June - they’ve got it made for the rest of the year after then. 


Speaking of money, what are you selling?


Whether it’s a tote or a T-shirt, you better be slapping a rainbow on something - bonus points if it’s only suitable for cis-white gay men. After all, that’s what Pride is all about. If you’re feeling really generous, you could even come up with a witty promo code to punt your Pride collection and consider it an act of charity. 


And finally, be sure to draft your self-congratulatory LinkedIn post about all of your hard work. 


Although you’ve already done enough, it’s important to speak out to let other companies know that they should be doing more to support the community during Pride month. We suggest an emotive LinkedIn post that’ll really do some numbers. 


Of course, after all this work, Pride month is coming to an end - so don’t forget to flip the switch and turn that logo back to regular colours before the shareholders have a heart attack. You’re a hero - take a day off will you? And start planning next year's kiki!


Okay, you can relax now - this post was written by a living, breathing gay person. 


Pride month is both joyful and exhausting. On the one hand, the sun is out, everything is covered in rainbows and for a brief moment - the world's attention is drawn to causes that actually matter to me and my community. On the other, it’s a month of seeing brands slap a rainbow on their website and post all over social media about Pride while lobbying governments in countries where it’s still illegal to be queer. Then there’s the inevitable, ‘why do you need a whole month’ discourse followed by, ‘when’s straight Pride?’ It’s a real mixed bag. 


As a ‘token gay’ employee at many previous workplaces, I’ve been the driving force behind one or two Pride campaigns, helping brands walk the tricky tightrope of being the ally they so badly want to be and one caption away from being cancelled. Along the way I’ve seen it all. 


‘Do we really need the ‘extra’ colours in the flag?’

‘Do you think they’d post for free?’ 

‘Katie, what’s a good charity we can donate to?’

‘Can we just say LGBT? The rest of the acronym is too confusing!’ 


Of course, I’m being facetious here in this blog - but don’t let that put you off participating in Pride month. As long as your intentions are genuine, you usually can’t go wrong.

If you’re at a total loss as to whether your campaign idea is a winner or completely tone deaf, perhaps keep your ear to the ground and donate the budget you would have spent to charity. Nobody will notice and you’ll have made a real difference. And there’s always next year!


Spotted a particularly cringeworthy corporate Pride take? We’d want to hear all about it. We’d love to talk shop over a virtual coffee. And for more Story Shop musings, you’d better sign up to our newsletter.

Here's looking at Brew, kid.


Story Shop, a Glasgow-based marketing and PR agency, has launched its own coffee.

The Story Shop Blend, roasted by Glasgow’s Dear Green Coffee Roasters, is available to buy on Story Shop’s website. Coffee lovers got to enjoy a first sip when it was on batch brew at US V. Them Coffee in the Gallowgate earlier this month.  

The agency officially launched just days before the first lockdown in March by a husband and wife, Gregor and Scarlett Hollerin.

Having faced the sleep deprivation of starting a business during a pandemic, combined with having their first baby, Miles, in October, the couple have worked with Dear Green to create the perfect blend to get them through these challenging times - and now they want everyone to try it.

Coffee has been a vital part of the company’s story, as it worked with Dear Green founder, Lisa Lawson, to help the annual Glasgow Coffee Festival take to the streets for the first time ever in October.

Before lockdown, the company planned every element of their business in two of their favourite local coffee shops: Black Pine Coffee and Kelvin Pocket. Now, when not in lockdown, they’re in an office, at the Glasgow Collective in the Gallowgate, Dear Green Coffee Roasters are their next-door neighbours.

The coffee’s cover was designed by Story Shop’s first two employees, Storytellers  Lara-Louisa Winnington-Ingram (who applied after seeing the job advert on Black Pine Coffee’s Instagram feed) and Katie McKenzie.

The Story Shop blend by Dear Green Coffee Roasters is made from washed AMACA beans, grown by a collective of women in El Tambo, Colombia, and natural Odaco beans grown by the Shantawene community in Ethiopia.

This vibrant coffee tastes of Golden Delicious, Opal Fruits and marmalade. All we know is that it's delicious and has a flavour that sticks with you and is perfect to enjoy while reading, watching or listening to a good story.

Lisa Lawson, founder of Dear Green, said: “It’s been great working with the team at Story Shop on this coffee. It’s delicious, unique and super fruity.”

It's already received rave reviews from Glasgow Live editor Gillian Loney, who gave the coffee five stars (hopefully that's out of five).

The company’s first-ever client was world record-breaking rowers Broar. Their campaign helped raise more than £200K for Feedback Madagascar and Children 1st.  After trying the coffee, middle brother Jamie said: "If we had this coffee on board, we'd have rowed even faster."

The company used this initial campaign as a launching pad to work with ambitious organisations with a purpose in food and drink, health and wellness, tech, education and property. At the start of the pandemic, Story Shop helped another Scottish world record-breaker, Mark Beaumont, raise £230K for NHS Charities Together.

Story Shop co-founder Gregor Hollerin said: “As a reward for those of you who've read this far down in our blog post, I'll let you in on a little secret. We're not really pivoting to coffee. There's actually a very limited amount of coffee available to buy because the hassle of wrestling with Royal Mail to send out coffee would be far too time-consuming and divert us from our important client work.

"The main reason for doing this is that we wanted to create a unique gift for everyone that's helped or supported us during our first year of business. It's quite nerve-wracking to start a business but we are so glad we did - we have amazing clients who we genuinely believe in, an incredibly talented team and we're part of a great community of partners who we work with on projects. If you helped us in any way, but didn't receive a coffee, we reserve the right to blame Covid."