Cultural Competency

The Wakeman Agency’s expertise in effectively communicating with multicultural audiences is informed by two decades of experience working at the intersection of social justice and communications. We have found that as language has evolved, organizations have not kept pace and there is an urgent need for increased cultural fluency across all sectors. We have become a go-to resource for organizations seeking to increase their cultural competency.

We have created two offerings to help organizations develop language and communication practices aligned with their mission and vision. This suite of proprietary tools provides parameters in messaging, industry-specific language and operational architecture for success in communicating with multicultural and diverse audiences that are specific to an organization’s space.

These tools include the Culturally Competent Communications (C³) [SEE·three] Diagnostic and The Lexicon Project™.

Organizations may benefit from these offerings in a variety of scenarios when experiencing the limits of their communications and messaging strategies. For example:

  • In moments of crisis, when an organization finds that its messaging is inadequate to address a rapidly unfolding series of events that implicate its work.
  • As organizations are struggling to craft more compelling internal or external communications without keeping pace with shifts in language.
  • In data collection that reveals a lack of authentic brand engagement with certain audience members.

The Lexicon Project

While the C³ Diagnostic assesses capabilities and processes, the Lexicon Project™ invites organizations into the deep exploration of narrative and language that translate to effective and culturally competent communications. As communications experts, we know the role language plays in advancing systemic bias or creating actions toward equity. Communications strategy should target the development of shared language to build more inclusive and just ecosystems within organizations and industries.

Finding consensus on the language that reflects an organization’s vision and mission, and being able to express that language in a culturally competent manner, is a powerful step when seeking to operationalize systems change. Communication misalignment can thwart the best-intended efforts to systematize an organization’s ethical approach to strategic messaging. The Lexicon Project applies a structured process that evaluates fluency in communications aligned with diverse and multicultural audiences. This is paired with strategic support that deepens leadership and staff skill sets for internal and external communications.

Inside a Lexicon Project:

Read this case study to learn more about our Lexicon work with a key actor in the nonprofit arena dedicated to climate action.

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The Wakeman Agency’s C³ Diagnostic

Culturally Competent Communications (C³) [SEE·three] are those that effectively and authentically foster engagement with an organization’s brand among audiences of diverse identities and experiences. The Wakeman Agency’s C³ Diagnostic is a one-of-a-kind assessment that gauges the current state of an organization’s capacity to communicate in this way. C³ is assessed through a comprehensive audit to identify current strengths, weaknesses, roadblocks and recommended next steps in organizational change. Through a range of measures, the nature and quality of communications practices and infrastructure are examined to determine organizational fitness in support of dynamic and inclusive messaging.

The resulting diagnostic report provides specific recommendations that equip the organization to invest more fully in current strengths and plan out strategies for growth in areas of need. Organized around seven key components of communications cultural competency, the results include visualizations and qualitative and quantitative findings.

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Learn how our Cultural Competency tools can shape your organization’s path toward effective and impactful communications with multicultural audiences.