PR positioning: 5 ways to appeal to the disability market

by | Jun 15, 2021 | Public Relations

About one in five people in the U.S. have a disability. Companies can do well if they target their marketing and public relations efforts to this growing market.

Some ways to do this are highlighted below, and there are options to improve and enhance your public relations efforts in this area, too.

People with disabilities include all types

People with disabilities are siblings, coworkers, parents, friends, and lovers. Just like all of us, they have graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, and many other reasons to have celebrations. People often want to buy them nice things for special occasions, so how about targeting this growing market for your next holiday advertising campaign?

Be real

Every time an advertisement includes someone with a disability, the community notices. But in some cases, it’s an actor pretending they have a disability. This annoys people with disabilities as well as their loved ones and organizations that give them support.

The most successful marketing efforts include a real person with a disability, as well as their story.

To make sure the disability is accurately represented in your advertisement content, it’s a good idea to check with nonprofit organizations that provide support to those with disabilities. Also, it’s wise to partner with agencies that work with models and actors with disabilities.

Go where they are

This might seem obvious, but you might be surprised how many organizations sponsor a disability-focused meeting or conference and think that will bring traffic.

To engage with people with disabilities, start by finding organizations that have relationships with this demographic that are influential in your area. You need to find organizations that serve people with disabilities that want to grow a connection with your enterprise beyond a financial contribution.

Create a disability-inclusive workforce

Many companies include people with disabilities in their workforce in their headquarters. This team should support senior leadership and offer resources, vision, and guidelines to include disabled people throughout the company at all locations.

Remember including them in digital content

Your online content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities. For instance, podcasts should have transcripts, and website images should always include alt text. Plus, marketing videos need audio for the visually impaired and closed captioning for those with hearing challenges.

Online accessibility is now a separate field with awards, conferences, and scholars. It’s helpful for companies to partner with an accessibility consulting company to ensure all best practices are melded into advertising campaigns.

Market your support

Be sure your company’s brand is inclusive by including real people with disabilities in your advertisements. Statistics find that about 20 percent of Americans have a disability, but a third of us know someone with one.

When you have a person in a wheelchair in your marketing efforts, you’re sending a direct message to this community, and it will pay off. Remember, this doesn’t cost you extra, it’s the right thing to do and will help your company financially and enhance your brand.

Summary

There are simple steps your company can take to market better to people with disabilities. When your advertising speaks to this large and growing group, your company is more inclusive, which will always help your bottom line.

However, remember there are many disabled communities; one way to think of them is to break that community into targeted communities for your advertising efforts.

The CDC uses these categories to identify the various disabled communities:

  • Mobility
  • Cognition
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Independent living
  • Self-care

Your marketing team can think more specifically about how to target these groups. That way, your ads will speak to them better and will provide a better return on investment.

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Larry Alton
Larry Alton is a freelance tech and computer writer

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