The Mother of All PR Campaigns

May 8, 2024

“Mother’s Day is awfully close…” warns an email promo from Postable, a greeting card app, delivering a healthy dose of guilt and anxiety straight into my inbox. 

“Save 20% on flowers for all the mother figures in your life,” offers DoorDash, in a bid for inclusivity that just happens to boost its bottom line. Yes, your favorite cat lady aunt counts!

“Opt out of Mother’s Day emails,” Etsy empathetically offers those of us who may be grieving a mother either through loss or estrangement.

As Mother’s Day approaches, these epistolary messages inundate our lives with a tsunami of focus group-vetted emotions. Our inboxes are flooded with sometimes tasteful, other times tone-deaf promotional emails, reminding us of the complex and diverse experiences surrounding motherhood. From gentle nudges to send greeting cards and bouquets of bargain basement floral discounts to empathetic opt-out options, the best of these emails highlight the importance of inclusivity and understanding in our communications — while the worst may throw digital salt on a primordial wound.

This time of year is particularly poignant for so many of us, including myself. My personal journey, having been reunited with my biological mother at the age of 37, just months before the mother who raised me passed away, has taught me the power of connection and the importance of honoring women through every stage of our lives. This experience reminds me that, in our professional communications, we must never lose sight of the humanity of our audience. Each person has a story, emotions and challenges that we must acknowledge and respect.

As a part of the Bospar team, I am fortunate to belong to an organization that understands and champions this notion. Our robust work-from-home (WFH) policy, established long before Covid made it fashionable, is a testament to the progressive approach Bospar takes in supporting its staff members. Through this policy, I’ve been able to maintain a healthy work-life balance while navigating personal challenges, such as fertility issues and caregiving for my elder family members. By fostering an environment of empathy and understanding, Bospar truly demonstrates its commitment to honoring the diverse experiences and needs of its team.

For so many of my team members who are mothers, WFH is not a luxury or a nice-to-have perk, it’s a crucial component of growing and thriving in their careers and personal lives. Without wasting hours on commuting and scrambling for daycare options, they can dedicate more time to fostering family life and priorities. This ethos translates into the work we do for our clients.

As communications professionals, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to create impactful campaigns emphasizing women’s bodily autonomy and work-life balance. By harnessing our storytelling expertise, we can amplify the voices of those affected by reproductive rights restrictions and drive positive change for women.

Through our work with clients who are subject matter experts (SMEs), we have been able to highlight the varied experiences of women and mothers at every stage of the journey.

We worked with Claire Thomas, chief diversity and inclusion officer for Hitachi Vantara, to develop an article for Fast Company on the once-taboo topic that is key to creating a more inclusive workplace: infertility support. The op-ed counseled that comprehensive reproductive support—from benefits to culture – can help both attract top talent and retain happy, productive employees.

A survey we co-developed with our client HRC Fertility found that three in five Gen Z are concerned about their future fertility. This set off a cascade of coverage, including a poignant piece we placed in Essence Magazine: 3 In 5 Members Of Gen Z Are Concerned About Their Future Fertility. The article leveraged HRC Fertility’s data to delve into how the demographic is being proactive about their reproductive choices and considering their options sooner than previous generations.

When the “lazy girl job” trend was sweeping through TikTok, we leveraged the buzz to create a think piece for Doug Dennerline, CEO of performance enablement platform Betterworks. We emphasized that behind the superficial term is a concept that demands our attention. As Doug opined, “On the surface, the name may convey a lack of ambition or effort, but don’t let the term mislead you. This trend is about efficiency, flexibility, and creating healthy boundaries. Leaders who ignore this trend do so at their own risk.” The byline, which ran in Fast Company, argued that far from being about laziness, the trend was more about work-life balance and preventing burnout – an issue that can be particularly crucial to women as we are so often mothers and caretakers by default or choice.

With that in mind, here are some key strategies for crafting inclusive and impactful Mother’s Day messaging for clients and thought leaders in your organization:

By incorporating these strategies into your Mother’s Day public relations campaigns, and throughout the year, you can create authentic, compassionate messaging that resonates with your audience and contributes to a more equitable and inclusive professional landscape. 

Let’s use this Mother’s Day to celebrate the resilience of women everywhere and advocate for positive change within the PR industry and beyond.

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About the author

Carole Barrow is public relations and content Vice President at Bospar, specializing in tech clients spanning diverse sectors, including proptech, fintech, HR tech, SaaS, cybersecurity, AI, lifestyle, hospitality and nonprofit organizations. With over 15 years in communications and PR, Carole has an unwavering passion for amplifying underrepresented voices and advocating for gender equality within the industry. Carole has directed media relations and PR efforts for San Francisco Pride over the past two years, further solidifying her dedication to ensuring that marginalized communities have a platform to be heard. Her previous roles as a journalist and magazine editor have equipped her to craft compelling narratives and secure impactful media coverage.