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BlogDiversity & Inclusion as Marketers

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Diversity & Inclusion as Marketers

Diversity & Inclusion: It matters to us. Here’s how we do it.

When our creative director, Sarah Pauls, was interviewing with AMPERAGE, she asked about our vision for the future. Our answer:

“To be a legacy company of good people, doing meaningful work with impact for clients who do good in the world.”

Those are not empty words; the roots of that vision run deep. It’s reflected in our nearly three decades of history, in our Core Values, our mission and our culture. It’s why we are intentional about diversity and inclusion — both inside and outside our doors.

So it’s also reflected in the clients we work with and the types of work we do for them. Industries like healthcare, education and nonprofit. Marketing campaigns that educate, inform and move people to action in their best interest.

To us, that’s what it means to Move the Needle.

Our Values in Action

Our healthcare work especially illustrates this commitment. To name a few:

  • A pandemic campaign for the Iowa Hospital Association to encourage Iowans, especially in rural areas, to find a location to be vaccinated.
  • Similarly, a campaign for Linn County Public Health helped it reach a small, niche audience — young Black men — and encourage them to seek vaccination for flu and COVID. In just one month, the county exceeded the state vaccination rate for young Black men.
  • For Iowa Immunizes and its partner, Iowa Public Health, we’ve done a series of public health campaigns:
    • A geofencing campaign to encourage young people to choose vaccinations.
    • A campaign encouraging young gay men to get the Mpox vaccine.
    • A general vaccine confidence campaign.
    • And a campaign to boost civic engagement.
We support diversity and inclusion efforts outside of the healthcare arena as well.
  • A brand awareness campaign for Rivermont Collegiate college-prep school in the Quad Cities that, among other aims, educated the public on the diversity of the student body and inclusiveness of the organization.
  • ACLU website.A campaign for ACLU Iowa to build empathy for transgender kids and their families in Iowa, like Ben. Our team was so moved by the stories of trans kids, we held a micro-giving fundraiser with proceeds going to One Iowa, which funded the ACLU campaign.
  • Our work over the years has included educating seniors on fraud and scams for the Iowa Insurance Division; supporting the inclusive work opportunities provided by Goodwill of the Heartland; sharing the stories of Iowans helping Iowans from all walks of life for the Iowa Food Bank Association; and many, many instances of fundraising counsel for nonprofits that work to support and grow diverse communities.

There are many more clients and projects we could share, as well as our approach to the work. For example, we aim to reflect the diversity of the audiences our clients want to reach and to ensure the images and words employed in marketing are inclusive.

Walking the Talk

As a small company in a big world, we recognize that we have work to do to broaden our own perspectives. As good people (those Core Values again), we want our team to be welcoming to all, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, world views or socioeconomic status.

So we’ve outlined our diversity & inclusion commitments, and we’re educating ourselves with training for things like unconscious bias and inclusive communication. And we are reassessing our hiring process as well.

Do we get it right all the time? We’re human, so we have and will stumble sometimes. But as good people, we are trying, and we are committed to putting in the work to evolve and grow.

Annette Schulte is Vice President of Content at AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising and facilitates the AMPERAGE Diversity & Inclusion workgroup.

Written by:

Annette is well-versed in creative content having spent 30 years in marketing, communications and news. She spent those years coaching writers and designers, managing life cycles of content products, and planning, editing and writing all types of content. She brings intention and strategy to marketing, combining client goals with best practices and smart tactics to achieve success. She will ask you lots of questions and genuinely listens to the answers — in this way, getting to the heart of your story. Annette believes in the of power of authentic storytelling for making connections with audiences and earning their trust. A graduate of the University of Iowa journalism school and proud alum of The Daily Iowan student newspaper, Annette began her first career at Iowa’s second-largest newspaper, The Gazette. Numerous roles there included an R&D position as Content Ninja, in which she was privileged to spend a year exploring the potential of social media and digital content. When she left the news business, Annette was the longtime newspaper’s first female managing editor. Her second career in marketing quickly blossomed, with marketing leadership roles in the B2B and nonprofit sectors before joining AMPERAGE. Annette finds creative spark in simple things. She loves to read and is not snobby about the genre. She loves to cook and bake gluten-free foods that actually taste good for her husband and daughter with celiac (and then she posts about it on Instagram at #lifewithceliac). She and her husband have made an empty-nester hobby out of learning about and enjoying good wine.