The Economist's Pride & Prejudice event and campaign
2017 Finalist

The Economist's Pride & Prejudice event and campaign

The Economist

London, United Kingdom

Category Events to Build a News Brand

Overview of this campaign

The Economist has a rich history of championing individual rights and advocating for positive change, including LGBT rights. Since our first cover article on the subject called for the legalisation of same-sex marriage back in 1996 titled "Let them wed", gay rights have advanced tremendously across the world. But one area in which LGBT rights still faces a large challenge is in the workplace. What is the cost of LGBT discrimination in the workplace?

We set out to understand this by bringing together leaders from the worlds of business, politics, and civil society to examine LGBT business issues. The discussion took place live, digitally and via the largest social media event that The Economist has ever produced. The campaign was called Pride and Prejudice.

Through the entire integrated campaign, we wanted to address the following questions in front of an engaged live and digital audience:

  • What is the outlook for LGBT rights in different parts of the world?
  • What are the economic, business, social and human costs of discrimination?
  • Why should LGBT rights matter to business?
  • Where is the next front in the battle for LGBT acceptance?

We also wanted to raise the profile of The Economist and convey to our fans and potential fans that we have a viewpoint on LGBT rights.

Our first step was to have our sister organisation, The Economist Intelligence Unit, conduct a global survey of executives aimed at providing a credible barometer of corporate attitudes around inclusion, as well as a better understanding of the drivers of sentiment and change around LGBT inclusion in the workplace. The findings, housed on a content hub, formed a baseline for truly understanding the challenges and opportunities around LGBT equality and inclusion.

Our events team invited leaders from business, government and sports to take part in a 24-hour 3-city live event in Hong Kong, London and New York.

Results for this campaign

The event started in Hong Kong on the morning of 3 March and then moved to London and New York through the day. The event encouraged fresh thinking among policymakers and industry leaders on the LGBT and its impact on business. Speakers came from the World Bank, CIA, Arsenal Football Club, HSBC, Grindr, NBA, Qantas, and others. 

We brought the live event to our 40 million social fans/followers through a global social conversation. We did this through (1) user engagement; (2) on the day social interaction; (3) campaign followup.

The content engagement programme ran before, during and after the event and was designed to create an event atmosphere online. The program included Facebook Q&As with event speakers, user generated content competitions on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, a dedicated Facebook Event Page for those interested in LGBT issues, Twitter polls, online debates and general content engagement around LGBT issues on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. 

We beat all expectations. A total of 1,000 attendees from more than 30 countries came to the physical events. We had three sponsors – IBM, AXA, Standard Chartered.

Pride and Prejudice was The Economist's most successful social media engagement programme:

  • Reached 17,000,000 users through The Economist's social media channels
  • Generated 145,000 social media interactions, including likes, comments and shares, across our channels
  • Saw 1,338,000 views on video content, and 191k livestream views
  • Facebook event page recorded a reach of 1,000,000
  • #EconPride, trended on Twitter
  • Generated 10,000 additional registrations on, and 100 new Economist subscriptions
  • Helped to drive traffic to The Economist's website, recording 26,000 clicks through in total

This was a bold effort to drive progress and bring about meaningful change on a topic that had never been addressed by a commercial events business before.


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