AAPI Heritage Month Marketing Campaign Ideas for 2021
A pandemic began in 2020, which may have impeded any plans you had for the year, but it’s always important to look at the bright side and make light of the things you might have experienced. 2020 may not have gone the way any of us expected or hoped to, but it never makes it okay to target Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The recent murders of 6 Asian-American women in Georgia are a testament that the United States is dealing with two viruses: Covid-19 and racism. You and your business or nonprofit can drive positive change with educational and inspiring AAPI Heritage Month marketing campaigns this May. Continue reading for insights from our marketing team.
The rhetoric surrounding the Asian community since the beginning of the pandemic has emboldened xenophobic persons across the United States. As human beings and as Americans, we have a duty to stand for the AAPI community and act with empathy. Hate has no home in our communities, and through our actions, we can make a difference. Making a difference can be as simple as launching a meaningful AAPI Heritage Month marketing campaign that shares educational resources with your audiences.
During the course of 2020 and leading into 2021, the AAPI community has experienced a 1,900% increase in anti-Asian sentiment hate crimes in New York alone. Stop AAPI Hate reported 3,795 incidents from March 2020 to February 2021. The report also states that businesses were the primary sites of discrimination.
Here are a few ways to support the AAPI community through your business and marketing initiatives during AAPI Heritage Month and beyond.
Marketing Campaigns and Initiatives to Support the AAPI Community
1. Use your social media platforms to raise awareness and create conversations surrounding the recent attacks on the AAPI community. Some people might not understand the significance of the increase in assaults. If you see or hear something harmful, speak up (safely of course). Here are some resources to share online:
- Stop AAPI Hate – Their website allows you to report crimes you have witnessed or experienced in your native language. Their resources are also available in multiple languages to be accessible to those whose first language is not English.
- Hollaback! Together We Have the Power to End Harassment – If you see something, say something. Hollaback provides virtual training on how to intervene and deescalate situations when you see them. They also have a free downloadable bystander guide.
2. If you’re planning an AAPI Heritage Month marketing campaign for social media or your company’s website, hire AAPI artists. Amplify their voices and community through sharing their work. If you’re looking for a place to gather resources for your business, we’ve got you covered.
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Asian Pacific Heritage Month is a great resource if you are a business looking to educate yourself and gather resources. They also have a great audio/visual section with different topics of interest!
- I Still Believe – Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is an artist based in NYC. She has created free and downloadable posters for use in protests and rallies.
3. Showcasing AAPI-owned brands and products is another great way to amplify Asian American and Pacific Islander voices. A lot of companies are partnering with AAPI-owned businesses to create product collaborations and proceeds of the collaboration will go to organizations that support and provide resources to the AAPI community.
If that’s a little out of your realm, showcase AAPI-owned brands and businesses in your area. Reach out to small business owners and provide them with a safe space to sell their products or services.
- #StopAsianHate – Various keychain brands collaborated with designer Philip Lim and Ruba Abu-Nimah, the current Creative Director of Tiffany & Co., to create a custom keychain. All proceeds are donated to the GoFundMe AAPI Fund.
Activism & Community Involvement
Do not be afraid to use your voice. As a citizen or business owner, you have more influence than you might realize. Through your actions, words, and buying power, you can directly support the AAPI community.
1. Don’t forget to call your local representative. Your elected officials work for you. Let them know that you stand with the AAPI community and against gun violence. Your support goes a long way and the community needs your help to protect them. We have included a resource for voting rights in various Asian languages here.
- Voter Hotline – A resource where voters can get answers to questions they might have about voting.
- Find Your Representative – Government resource that allows you to find your representative based on your zip code or address.
2. Support local and online AAPI-owned businesses. A lot of Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses have been closing throughout the pandemic. Some people have stopped supporting their businesses due to misplaced fear over COVID-19, racism, and xenophobia.
- Asian-owned sustainable businesses – A source list of Asian-owned brands, ranging from clothing and accessories to home and health. Resources are also provided.
- 179 AAPI Owned Businesses – Ellevest has made it easy to support businesses owned by Asian American and Pacific Islander women — from products you use in your daily life to services photography and career consulting. This list covers any product or service you might ever need.
3. No one should have to live in fear of being attacked for their race, ethnicity, or heritage. Too often, we lose members of our community to hateful actions taken by others. The murders in Georgia have left people without a mother, daughter, father, son, or friend.
Organizations such as the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund seek to mobilize the AAPI community by encouraging civic participation. Consider donating your time, money, or resources to an organization that resonates with you.
- AAPI Civic Engagement Fund – Donating to the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund will go towards efforts to empower AAPI voices and communities in order to make a change through policies and increase voter registration.
- Stop AAPI Hate – Your donation will allow the Stop AAPI Hate Organization to continue its mission of tracking and responding to incidents reported through their website.
- Heart of Dinner – The assaults on the AAPI community have greatly affected the elder population. Heart of Dinner provides the more vulnerable population with culturally familiar meals, fresh produce, and bulk ingredients.
Educational Resources for AAPI Heritage Month Marketing Campaigns
If you aren’t sure where to start planning for your AAPI Heritage Month marketing campaign or want to learn more about the AAPI community, here are some places to begin. Don’t forget, no one likes performative allyship. AAPI hate didn’t just begin in 2021 and activism doesn’t end when the media stops reporting about it.
Make a commitment to continuous learning and recognizing the history of anti-AAPI sentiments that led us to the tragedies of today. If you or anyone you know is a part of the AAPI community, check in with them. Listen and learn from their stories and experiences, and take action.
1. AAPI History and Heritage
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- How One Woman’s Story Led to the Creation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- ‘I Will Not Stand Silent.’ 10 Asian Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality
2. Organizations and Non-Profits
- Hate is a virus – A nonprofit organization that is focused on dismantling hate and racism. The organization raises money to support BIPOC organizations across the United States. They also have free downloadable graphics that can be used to share across social media platforms.
- Compassion in Oakland – A volunteer organization that is focused on protecting the elder community in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood by providing chaperones to help them feel safer.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC works to gather resources and bystander intervention training and increase media diversity.
Make a Difference and Support AAPI-Owned Businesses
Turn your words into actions this year. The advancements in technology make it easier to become involved. There are so many ways to support AAPI-owned businesses and the AAPI community.
Consumers across generations expect companies and corporations to take a stance on social issues. Pledge to help AAPI communities through your marketing campaigns — and remember, celebrate and support AAPI people every month, not just in May.
About The Postcard Agency
The Postcard Agency connects businesses and nonprofit organizations with their target audiences through dynamic marketing and public relations strategies. Crafty and creative, the Miami and San Antonio-based agency reinvigorates local and national brands with imaginative and results-driven campaigns. A winner of the Gold dotCOMM Award for website design, the digital marketing and public relations agency has also been named a Top Marketing Agency and a Top B2B Company and Marketing Agency by Clutch, an acclaimed ratings and reviews platform. Jonathan Ochart, CEO of The Postcard Agency, regularly shares marketing and public relations insights for business leaders with the media, including NBC, AARP, Texas CEO Magazine and Voyage Magazine.