ST. LOUIS—Celebrating its first anniversary, Fleishman-Hillard’s FH Out Front gay and lesbian communications practice is expanding into the United Kingdom and creating a partnership to provide worldwide communications support for the seventh quadrennial Gay Games to be held in Chicago in July of 2006.
“The growth and success of FH Out Front clearly indicates that gay and lesbian communications programs are increasingly important to companies, organizations, and coalitions that want to influence an issue, address a corporate reputation challenge, or promote a product,” says Fleishman-Hillard chairman and chief executive John Graham. “Our vision is to be the global leader in gay and lesbian communications, and after just one year we are well on our way.”
FH Out Front launched its U.K. practice earlier this month with the release of a corporate image survey conducted by U.K. polling firm Populous, which found that while companies are becoming more focused on this market, the public believes firms could do more to attract gay and lesbian employees, and to target the ‘pink pound’ through their marketing and PR campaigns.
“Open any of the major gay and lesbian magazines, and you will see advertisements from many of the leading mainstream brands,” declared Eddy Evans, of FH Out Front in London. “Our poll results show that top executives and the public agree that firms need to do more to communicate with the gay and lesbian market, because direct outreach has a positive influence on how those companies are viewed. A separate U.S. poll conducted for FH Out Front last year produced similar results. A majority of those polled would not mind if a company they supported marketed to gays and lesbians.”
FH Out Front also is working with Gay Games VII by providing media and communications services through a team of more than two dozen professionals in 16 offices around the world.
“We were very pleased to have Fleishman-Hillard among the growing list of corporate supporters for the Chicago games,” said Brian McGuinness, executive director of Gay Games VII. “We recognize the value of communications to the overall success of the Games.”