Trick or Treat Down Diversity Street

Halloween. Arguably, the most diverse celebration of the year. The famous holiday dates back to the 16th century, stemming from an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. Samhain occurs every year during the time of harvest in the British Aisles; a time that was also believed to join the worlds of both the living and the dead.

As years went on, and as American culture was shaped, the traditions of modern-day Halloween began to take shape. We all know that each year, people spend their days and countless hours planning their costume, and making sure that no one else steals their costume idea. But where did this tradition come from? Again, it dates back to the festival of Samhain, when masks and costumes were worn to mimic the dead, in hopes of warding them off, should they come to life on the night of Halloween. The ancient Celtic customs transferred into our culture, making the holiday diverse–a combination of both Celtic and American culture, thus forming our modern traditions.

In communication, diversity is an element that often goes overlooked. Without acknowledging the diversity among your publics, you cannot effectively communicate with them. You must communicate with them based on their individual differences if you wish to effectively connect with them, such as you would on Halloween. In public relations we act as advocates for those we represent and provide a voice for them in the free marketplace of ideas. Driving those forces with diversity will help you provide a voice for all, eliminating the possibility of something I like to call “accidental exclusion.”

Think of every day as Halloween. Every day is a day where everybody is different and/or unique in some way, because every costume, monster, or fairy, has his or her own story. Stories are an ancient form of communication that have drastically shaped cultures around the world. The application of this principle to real practice will help you to understand the stories of people within your public; by understanding their story and other elements of diversity, you will be able to understand and reach out to them with your message.

Trick or Treat Down Diversity Street! Whatever your festivity of choice may be, whether it be trick or treating or attending costume parties, keep in mind that you are taking a stroll down diversity street. Everyone is different, and everyone will communicate in a different way. I challenge you to communicate with everyone based on their costumes, just for fun, and just for practice.

Halloween is diversity. It is a day where it is OK to be completely different from the world around you. Remember that on this very day, on all Hallow’s eve, when witches cast spells and monsters come out, you are actually just celebrating diversity.

How do you communicate diverse ideas?  How can we as future public relations practitioners utilize this concept to improve our communication and advocacy skills?

This is a guest post from Vice President of Advocacy, Adam Aisner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.