It’s Pride Month: Do The WeRQ!

Celebrating Pride month, our guest is Graham Nolan, an agency communications expert and the co-chair of Do The WeRQ, an organization on a mission to increase queer creativity and representation within the advertising industry. Graham shares his own coming-out story and explains why Gen Z’s digital natives are the most DEI-aware cohort ever. We discuss some of the challenges still faced by LGBTQIA+ people working in the industry and Graham shares what lies ahead for Do The WeRQ.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: Coming up in this episode of IN CLEAR FOCUS:

Graham Nolan: This business runs on creativity. We are a creative community. You know, that’s part of what Pride is about. And we’re a very celebratory culture. What word is the hardest word to make fun? Work!

Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, fresh perspectives on the business of advertising, produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello, I’m your host, Adrian Tennant VP of Insights at Bigeye. An audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, we’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States. Thank you for joining us. Each year, it feels like more and more consumer brands and companies are celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community by sponsoring or participating in Pride events. June sees many regular company logos transformed into rainbow-colored versions. Just take a look at LinkedIn for some examples. But what happens after Pride month? How consistently are LGBTQIA+-inclusive initiatives implemented year-round? Earlier this month, Getty Images reported results from its 2021 Visual GPS survey. Getty found that only one-quarter of respondents in the US see LGBTQIA+ people represented regularly in visuals and that when they do, depictions are often narrow and stereotypical. Some advertisers are hesitant about proactively depicting the LGBTQIA+ community in any campaign. Last month, Proctor and Gamble announced findings from a study of marketing and advertising executives in which four out of every five agreed that inauthentic depictions of LGBTQIA+ people could lead to a larger backlash than not including them at all. And the same percentage of advertisers agreed that it is, quote, “Difficult to adequately represent the LGBTQIA+ community because the community is complicated and has many new answers” end quote. Other common experiences for LGBTQIA+ people include microaggressions, such as hearing disparaging remarks about themselves or people like them. And for those who identify as trans or nonbinary, misgendering is all too common. Our guest this week is going to discuss a new organization that’s on a mission to increase queer creativity, representation, and share of voice within the advertising industry. Graham Nolan is a PR communications consultant with two decades of experience advancing meaningful brand conversations, working at the world-famous ad agency Grey, brand experience agency Momentum Worldwide, and StarCom MediaVest Group. Graham has spoken on LGBTQIA+ culture and media behaviors at events including New York Comic Con and South by Southwest. Graham joins us today from his home office in Austin, Texas. Graham, welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS!

Graham Nolan: Thank you so much for having me.

Adrian Tennant: Let’s start with your background. Where did you grow up? And when did you first develop an interest in marketing communications?

Graham Nolan: I grew up in Lorain, Ohio, which a lot of people don’t know because it’s a relatively small city, but, if you’ve heard of Cedar Point, our nation’s home for roller coasters, we’re not far. That’s where it helps people understand where I grew up. In terms of my interest in marketing communications, it actually goes back as far as high school that I know exactly the conversation that led me down the path of marketing and advertising, which is my high school guidance counselor who told me, “You’re testing well, in all the social studies, math, science kind of stuff, but also, you love art. I have the job for you to pursue.” And I was like, “Okay”, because back then in high school, you’re just like, “Will someone please make decisions for me?” And then it turned out to be a really good path. In terms of marketing communications broadly, I went to Ohio University and it was really interesting to be there from 1997 through 2001. Integration was what we talked about – I feel like it must’ve been hot in the industry then as well. But it was all just about being more tactic-neutral. And don’t just sort of think in one way and make sure that everything connects and is consistent. And that actually served me really well because I was studying advertising management and, “Okay, I want to be creative across the board. I want to make sure everything’s always connected.” And then I ended up not working strictly in an advertising role specifically. I worked for advertising agencies as marketing communications and PR expert. So it was like, “Okay, this is just one more area of communications that I have to tie together for these brands.” So I started working for Leo Burnett and for StarCom, so now I’m promoting these brands, which is interesting because no one ever tells you the brands promoting multi-billion dollar brands also need someone to promote their brand. So it was a job I never would have foreseen and I’m like, “Okay, cool.” And then you see where your work is tied to dinner party conversation, really. The appeal of the work became, “So the things that I’m talking about and the people that I’m working with here have an impact on what’s going on in my friends’ lives. And we can talk about this over a beer.” And so I ended up with the right technical skills to do it, and then the passion for it because it tied to life so relevantly.

Adrian Tennant: You worked in Chicago, New York, and now you live in Austin. All cities with large LGBTQIA+ communities. Graham, when did you first feel comfortable coming out at work?

Graham Nolan: It’s funny. My coworkers felt comfortable with me coming out at work before I realized I was gay – which sounds like a very odd situation. But basically, I didn’t realize until probably a few months after I joined the workforce that I actually was gay. I always knew that there was something different about me. I knew that other people in high school, in a bullying context, usually, called me gay. I was hanging out with people who were very welcoming of gay people. I had LGBTQ friends. I just didn’t realize that was me yet. Bear in mind also that 2001 was the dawn of the metro-sexual. For anyone too young to remember this trend, it was basically just like men can actually dress up and they have to, and it’s clearly like just such a big Capitalist trend in terms of, “We should get men spending money on worrying about their appearance as well.” So if you were a guy that dressed well, there were some people that were just like, “Oh, well, you’re gay.” And I’m like, “Am I?” And then there were some people where it’s like “No, actually it’s really trendy to be straight.” And, when I figured it out, I came out to my friends first. And then by the time that happened, my work friends were part of my social circle as well. And so it just sort of happened organically and they were like, “We kind of guessed maybe, but thank you. And welcome.” And I was very lucky. I knew people at that time whose families really didn’t accept them. I knew people that had real struggles with it. And I did not have those struggles in coming out for which I understand that I’m very privileged and very grateful.

Adrian Tennant: Last year, McKinsey published a report entitled LGBTQIA+ Voices. They conducted a mixed-methods study with 2,000 adults across a number of global organizations. Their research found that people just starting out in their careers are generally less likely than more established professionals to feel comfortable coming out at work. Successful professional relationships like those between creative teams of copywriters and art directors in agencies require that individuals really get to know each other, and if someone doesn’t feel they can be open about their identity, it can be a stressful, sometimes debilitating experience. Graham, did you ever have any misgivings about either coming out in the environments you worked in or observed younger team members struggling?

Graham Nolan: The thing about this as you get older and hopefully get a little bit of wisdom. And just for context, I’m two decades into this business. I’m 42. I have a lot more to learn from people older than me and younger than me. At this point, I have zero misgivings about when I came out or how I’ve come out or the circumstances in which I’ve come out. You start to realize it’s not about you asserting yourself where you should have any sort of negative feelings. Though you will encounter some negativity still in how people respond to that, right? You can’t control other people’s feelings. You can’t control how other people in the world will respond to you. Whether or not they’ll like you, whether or not they’ll take you more or less seriously once they learn something about who you are as a person. My misgivings are that I didn’t understand that back in the day there are microaggressions, that I wish I had spoken up about. I wish I knew what microaggressions were when I was 25 or that I even understood the importance of speaking back on those at the age of 35. How important it is to speak to microaggressions in the moment so there’s no mistake about what just happened and what was said and how perhaps inappropriate that was. Or how perhaps you just need to discuss what was said so that you can sort of course correct for future conversations. So my misgivings are not about my self-expression, but about how I would have dealt with reactions to myself. New talent. It’s really exciting. We keep talking about new talent and next generations in terms of being digital natives and how important that is. They don’t know a life before iPhones, right? You hear calls about how people want change and how young people are changing. But I started because of the digital natives thing to think of them as DEI-natives. This is the first generation where they cannot avoid this discussion. They are the first generation that is growing up with an immersion in this vocabulary of self-respect, of interpersonal dynamics, of systemic dynamics. So it’s really interesting, going back to the question of whether or not I’ve observed younger team members struggling – I haven’t. I suspect a lot of it is people who feel that they’re strong enough to deal with it, but I also think that they will deal with it in new ways, and they will address these microaggressions because they grew up, regardless of whether or not they consider themselves super woke, they know the language. And they know at greater rates what is acceptable and what is professional and what is inclusive. So it’s, it’s really exciting to see that unfold.

Adrian Tennant: Graham, many of the holding company agencies and larger independents have established Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion councils. DEI is all about treating everyone fairly, breaking down stereotypes, and removing barriers for the marginalized to promote open discussion and enhanced understanding. What’s your take on DEI councils within agencies?

Graham Nolan: So I find that they provide tremendous value and the value increases the more closely they’re tied to business objectives. I’ve been a part of a range of these organizations throughout the different agencies that I’ve worked at, and I’ve seen them range from, “We’re asking you for what we should do in terms of business plans and policies” to “This is a group where everyone can get together if they want to get together over Margaritas.” I found that the margaritas group fell apart very quickly. I find that in general, the drinks culture of our agency life does still have a certain amount of building comradery. But then also it’s just like when so much of the discussion is about finding balances … like “I don’t even get to see my family. Why am I consistently having drinks with my work friends, talking about how I wish I could like go out more and have more of a life?” And I know that’s a little bit of a hot take. Some people disagree with that. But when you get to a place where you’re building something together, of course it works. And of course it works for our industry because we are the industry of building something together.  The affinity group is the group where it’s like, “Hey, if y’all people from a certain group want to get together, you can, you can use company space, you are sanctioned to do that.” And then you’ve got the ERGs that are about “You have a budget, and you are able to meet and put together programming. And we’re specifically like setting up the circumstances for you to exist.” And then you get the BRG the business resource group, which is, “We are asking you to dictate policy and to make sure that your work is intrinsically a part of our culture.” So the closer you get to BRG, not only do I find that those groups are able to create more value in the organization and for clients, but they also just hold together better. The dynamics of the group are better because they’re all trying to fix something. 

Adrian Tennant: What are some of the most common challenges you see these groups facing around Pride month?

Graham Nolan: I find that their biggest challenges, and what I sort of saw across these groups continue to be, scale and the seasonality of getting leadership focus. So, you know, Pride is the season before you have to move on to International Women’s Day, before you have to move on to Black History Month, and you do have to address all those cultural moments and you do have to engage with communities during those times. You’ll only ever have a certain scale of budget probably, which is enough to like focus on Pride, and then it’s hard to activate throughout the year. If you have a company of a thousand people, you might have enough people to have real diversity in terms of who is comfortable being there and speaking to their different perspectives. But a good friend of mine is at an agency that is on the smaller side, and she is a straight woman who had to run their Pride programming because they didn’t have any LGBTQ people who were comfortable or maybe not even present to step up to do this. So I found that scale was the most enduring challenge that any of these groups faced.

Adrian Tennant: Graham, you are the co-chair of a new organization called Do The WeRQ. Can you talk about its mission?

Graham Nolan: Absolutely. I love talking about its mission and I talk about the mission frequently. So the mission, which has been the same since our founding, is to increase queer creativity, representation, and share of voice within the advertising industry. Before I dig into what that looks like, we always find that it helps to give a reference in terms of organizations that people already know as established, So for example, a lot of people sort of understand what we are when we tell them we are the LGBTQIA+ equivalent of the 3% Movement for the advancement of women in the advertising industry and the ADCOLOR organization for the advancement of people of color in the industry. That’s where people start to go like, “Okay, cool. I have an idea of where you’re headed towards.” Those organizations have made huge strides. We talk about them all the time in a heroic context because they are making so much change possible and they’ve set forth models for what change looks like. The other organization that helps people sort of understand where we fit in things is to talk about GLAAD. So GLAAD monitors where we show up in the media, as LGBTQ people, across various forms of entertainment and “We are X percent of the population, but we’re only showing up as speaking characters on Y percent of television shows.” So GLAAD looks at what shows up. And then as far as advertising conversations, so if you go to any conference where they would have a panel on LGBTQ representation, all you could really speak to was “Okay, thank you, GLAAD, you’ve armed us with this information that is representative of the fact that this is how we showed up.” And then this is where we have to get a little bit more speculative. So maybe there was an ad that you’re discussing on a panel and it was designed for the lesbian community and maybe it doesn’t hit the mark and everyone sort of goes, “Well, you can tell that they didn’t have a lesbian in the room for that ad. “They never would have said that”, and “We don’t talk like that and that’s not how it happens.” So then, you know, “Go out and hire those lesbians and let them be a voice in the room and, you know, get to it.” And everyone agrees and they’re not wrong. But … was there a lesbian in the room? What are the mechanics of this? Did she speak up very vocally and were her ideas heard, but somewhere along the production process, they sort of get lost or we hit a wall when we get to clients or actually, she chose herself, not to speak up because either she is not out or she is out, but doesn’t think that she’s going to have a good reception to it. So she purposely chooses not to give this idea or this insight. I think about this all the time. If I were in a focus group for families, because we’re talking about selling minivans to families, if I was polyamorous, could I talk about that? But I ended up spending an hour explaining what polyamory was before we got to the whole thing about the minivans and would that be worth it for the brand? So there’s this whole disparity of understanding in terms of what is happening within the creative process. And we’re talking at big agencies, at small agencies, at the growing number of agencies that are springing up within platforms and within brands as in-house, what’s happening with the freelance sector. Consulting is very important for this. Sometimes people are just like, well, “Now it’s time for the gay thing. So we’ll bring in the gay consultant.” What is this process? And we recognize the need to examine that within the entirety of the community. So the mission, when we say it’s to bring queer creativity, representation, and share voice to life, it is to find out first and foremost how these things are even surfaced in the current environment. So we can figure out the ways to amplify them for the benefit of business. This business runs on creativity and it sure is not helped if the people from one of the most creative cultures in the world, their ideas, aren’t making it through to the final product and what’s on screen. So that’s what we’re exploring. And that’s what we’re trying to heighten.

Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a short break. We’ll be right back after this message.

Adrian Tennant: How do you identify?

Voices: Female, male, genderfluid, cisgender, genderqueer, nonbinary, transfeminine.

Adrian Tennant: Society is constantly changing and evolving. To understand how Americans feel about gender identity and expression, Bigeye undertook a national study involving over 2000 adult consumers. Over half of those aged 18 to 39 believe that traditional binary labels of male and female are outdated and instead see gender as a spectrum. Our exclusive report, Gender: Beyond The Binary reveals how beliefs across different generations influence the purchase of toys, clothes, and consumer packaged goods. To download the full report, go to  

Voices: Nonconforming, transgender, two-spirit, transmasculine, genderfluid.

Adrian Tennant: Gender: Beyond The Binary. 

Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. I’m talking with Graham Nolan, marcomms professional and co-chair of Do The WeRQ, a new organization that’s on a mission to increase queer creativity, representation, and share a voice within the advertising industry. Anybody looking at the transcript for this interview might be wondering about the spelling of WeRQ. Could you explain?

Graham Nolan: I can explain and you know what? It’s sort of funny. I’m surprised how many people don’t ever question it. Which is really funny because people love to have that kind of conversation and it’s not a common spelling. The naming was how I met co-founder and co-chair Kate Wolf – because I went to a friend named Bevan who works at Grey, and Bevan said, “I know Kate and you two should meet anyways, but let’s get this naming together.” We had already talked about something very action-oriented. And so, you know, “We got to do the work”, something along those lines, and then Kate’s like, “Well, let’s do the work. And then this is the capitalization (WERQ) because we are ‘Q’. Uh? We are queer.” We are, which by the way, I find that within the community and then outside of the community, people are still like “Is that okay to say?” Because it was a word that we’ve taken back and it’s also by textbook a definition that’s evolving the term that’s supposed to be like anything that is not heteronormative. So it’s supposed to be most all-encompassing of the others. One of the things about the name specifically is that when I would tell straight friends that that was the name of the organization, they go “Do the Work” and then they take a pause and they go, “Do the WeRQ.” Yeah. That was the reaction that we wanted because one, it symbolizes the way that once something becomes part of queer culture and by the way, usually started with queer people of color who, you know, who create, and then it becomes part of wider queer culture. And then it becomes part of straight culture to the point where straight people do go “Yeah. Yaaas!” Everyone makes fun of that and memes and stuff like that. But the fact that they’re responding to the name in that way tells our story, right? Like the cultural impact that we have is outsized compared to the impact that we have within the advertising world right now. Also, it drives home the fact that we are a creative community. We changed the spelling on everything. We make everything kind of fun. There’s a lot of struggle and protests we have to do, but we also make things a lot of fun because that’s part of what Pride is about. And we’re a very celebratory culture. What word is the hardest word to make fun? Work! So it’s sort of funny, there ended up being a lot of natural layers to that spelling and the significance of how that shaped up.

Adrian Tennant: The website lists seven values reflective of the organization’s commitment to helping agencies and talent do the work necessary for real inclusion versus rhetoric. Graham, could you walk us through them?

Graham Nolan: I can. I want to preface with one of the most important ways in which we built all these values because I’ve seen corporate values that are a list of adjectives that sit on a plaque or it’s like a screensaver or a mouse pad. But one of the things about corporate values that has always struck me is that they’re not very action-oriented and they’re left to a lot of interpretation. So it was very important for us to spell out our values with an example of the action that might come to life as a result of one of those, versus a description of, any of these, I just want to share an example of what we mean by some of them. So, Fulfilled Creativity. This is like the core of what we’ve talked about here, which is that when I can be myself, I can make my best contribution to business because I can contribute the best ideas. But what this might look like is, in action: “I finally comfortably shared my story of adopting a child with my partner to inspire a new strategy for our family-oriented client pitch.” So again, like more important that you can picture that room. You might even have just put a face to that person. That’s pretty cool. Okay, cool. So, Active Transparency: “I was honest about my struggle to our diversity partner and it sparked a new office policy.” Rival Collaboration – I love this one, because we’re not going to change anything unless we’re working together at the scale that we need to, with people that we consider our competitors in every other way. The example for this is: “I was empowered to connect with people outside my own agency and the immediate community at a purposeful plan meeting, where we launched a website to raise money for homeless, LGBTQ youth.” So, the other values are Confident Discomfort, Determined Education. “When I got someone’s pronoun wrong, I apologized and read up on gender identity and I never got it wrong after that.” Enduring Ambition, and Define Boundaries. So: “At my annual review, I brought up to my supervisor that we had no LGBTQ representation and rules on the accounts team higher than Account Supervisor, and those suits weren’t connected to queer agency mentors.” You can talk about these values and sort of leave them as sort of an open-ended thing, but we have very keen ideas and how they should transform into behavioral change. Because if you’re not seeing behavioral change, we’re just going to have the same conversation every year about how things should be better. What does that look like?

Adrian Tennant: Graham, to what extent, if at all, do you think some clients’ hesitation to engage with LGBTQIA+ audiences is based on a lack of personal connections with the communities, culture, values, and identities versus say more political reasons such as not wanting to be considered liberal or progressive?

Graham Nolan: This is really interesting. This specific question’s got some near-and-dear-to-my-heart value because the time that I did co-present at South by Southwest, the conversation was about how the booming volume of LGBTQ advocacy in social media spaces was being reflected in real life spaces, right? So we got all of our stats together and we prepared all this stuff where it’s “If there are this many more comments and this many more likes, how is it changing into real-life behavior?” And the presentation format that we had was a group discussion. So we presented for 10 minutes and then everyone talked back to us and we moderated the discussion and it just came down to the simplest thing, which is: when you know people in the community, it changes. So it’s less important that a brand puts up a flag, it’s less important that I put up a flag, then the fact that someone from high school can see me grocery shopping and goes like, “Okay, I know a queer person. The grocery shop? That’s cool.” So they just sort of see us as people and that’s the difference. And that’s why I think some of the people who aren’t quite there yet, but throw up “I have a gay cousin.” It’s like, “Okay – because you’ve started to understand that queer people exist in your world and you’re probably as good to your cousin as you can be”, right? I do think that there is probably disconnection that there’s probably – I can’t speak to anyone’s specific personal lives, but – that there’s probably a gap in understanding and that more connection to the community on a personal level can probably help with that. The complications of all this are really nuanced. There’s a Forbes article that listed that “Marketers are aware they do not have the cultural expertise to effectively target this consumer population and believe that it’s better to stay out of the game than to play it poorly.” So, you know, it’s all about this fear is the core of the disparity in terms of including us. But the fear comes from so many different places, it’s really hard to pinpoint. I do think that some people don’t know us personally or worse, because of personal interactions maybe they assume that they know us, or that they can know us all by knowing one of us. Speaking to the stats, I think some people are afraid of getting it wrong in the large number of ways you can get it wrong  I think that the more that we can find personal understanding, reflective of that South by Southwest panel and what everyone told me and what I heard loud and clear from the 80 people in that room is: “The more you know us, however you know, us, the better path that we’ll be on.” I also want to directly address – and this is where I feel the heat turned up a little bit – I want to directly address the point of you mentioning that people are afraid of one of the ways they can get wrong is like they’ll be viewed in a political lens. I find it troubling that so many people, even not in the LGBTQ perspective, in anything – we’re talking gun control, we’re talking reproductive rights – that everyone is so quick to go, “But the work isn’t political.” We brag so much about the degree to which our industry is so connected to culture, and “We know culture, and we are tied to every part of human behavior, but not politics,” but you know, “The work isn’t political.” This is the large-scale version of the person who says, “I’m not into politics,” which only means that they have the privilege of not having politics affect them so they can continue to act politically and vote for whomever they want, and reap the benefits of whom they vote for, then let that not affect their interpersonal relationships. To pretend our work is not at all connected to politics is a real problem because we do we play off of political dynamics and political beliefs and the insights that we generate to connect with people. We have to understand political behaviors and we have to understand political viewpoints in order to speak to people in an authentic way. I think that when we say that we’re not operating political;y as a business is that we hope that people aren’t operating with personal politics as a decision in their policy-making, that they are trying to create a space where people of different political beliefs and of political actions can still work together in the same place. And make no mistake, it is still good when people who have different political backgrounds work together because this industry has always created things where people who are not from a specific community, we’re still able to help make something for that community because they brought outsider perspective. And as long as it’s a collaborative process where everyone has an equal voice, you are able to do that. So yes, let’s keep the tension of the fact that we’re all different people, but let us never pretend that these decisions that we’re not making are political. And I think we’re at the end of the “We don’t get into politics” era because it’s another thing where consumers will decide for us. They will tell you, “I see that as political, by the way.” And then you go, “Well, I didn’t intend it to be political, so it’s not political.” Well, if there’s one thing that Black Lives Matter gave us as a speaking point, loud and clear, was the intent does not matter as much as impact. So as marketers continue to move forward with the best intent they’ve ever had probably, they will still have impact that if people view it as political, then guess what? It was political and it doesn’t matter what your intent was. So let’s talk about how politics are a part of how we create.

Adrian Tennant: Graham, I know it’s early days, but what do you hope the future holds for Do The WeRQ?

Graham Nolan: I love having future discussions about this. What you will see from us in the relatively immediate future is that we will have done a lot of work to crack the code on what is happening within agencies and within culture. And we’ll be able to give advice and guidance and consultants on that. So that question of like, “What did happen in the room when someone queer spoke up about a queer-focused campaign?” We will address that directly. Without those insights, I don’t like to be super-speculative, but I can tell you what we’re looking to explore, and we hope to connect with people that we wouldn’t have met otherwise still, that is the power of community. If you were to have to ask us in two words, what we are, it is platform and community. That is what growth looks like for us. So we want to keep connecting with more people we wouldn’t have met otherwise and to have other people meet in those ways. Because that’s how magical things happen. I hope and know we’ll produce data solutions, database solutions, and experiential solutions for how to crystallize this community and make sure that we can all come together and the various ways that we need to. I hope that and know that we will provide a ton of resources for people who know what they want to create and enable a lot of people to do what they love. And I want to say that in a very specific way. I’m a cynic. My friends do not consider me a cuddly guy. So when I talk about people doing what they love, that is not a refrigerator magnet. This is a volunteer-based organization. I have conversations all week. Kate has conversations all the time with “What do you do?” And “What do you want to contribute? Okay. You want to contribute in that way.” We’re working on this program, do what you love for this movement, for this mission. And when you tell people what the mission is, they go, “Oh, I know what my role would be in that.” Specifically, to say, “People doing what they love is the dream” is not a Care Bears Movie poster slogan. It is the reality of how we grow and make an impact in this business. And I hope that five years from now, the conversation is different at its core, at its very foundation. That we’ll no longer have to assume what specific behavioral challenges that we face. That we’re no longer in a position to have to be speculative. We will know our challenges with greater clarity and what greater industry to be in, to know your problems, and then to have creative people jump in and fix them once they know what the problems are? Like, wow! Advertising is specifically the position that we’re in to self-repair once we know what the real issue is once it’s communicated. I actually hope that it puts us in a position where we grow by leaps and bounds because we’ve finally stopped having to assume what was happening.

Adrian Tennant: If IN CLEAR FOCUS listeners would like to learn more about you, your work, or want to get involved with Do The WeRQ, where can they find you?

Graham Nolan: I will honestly talk to anyone directly about Do The WeRQ, and so if you think you might want to take part, you can email me directly at and that’s the way to make that happen. The speed with which I’ll get back and maybe like a little bit hindered, but I will get back and we can have a conversation about how to connect. If you just want to find out more and you want to get involved in some of our amazing online digital programming, we’re having some cool discussions during Pride and beyond, the newsletter launches soon, if you want to connect to all those things, you can go to but also finding out about our activities is as simple as following us on LinkedIn, on Twitter, and Instagram, we are @DoTheWeRQ, which again, WeRQ is spelled WERQ.

Adrian Tennant: Graham. thank you very much for being our guest this week on IN CLEAR FOCUS.

Graham Nolan: Thank you for having me and happy pride.

Adrian Tennant: Coming up next time on IN CLEAR FOCUS:

Melanie Deziel: It’s really not your job to tell your audience what to think or how to feel. It’s your job to collect information on their behalf. And present it in a way that they can make an informed decision on their own. That type of mindset being of service to your audience allows you to provide something that is much more valuable.

Adrian Tennant: That’s an interview with Melanie Deziel, an award-winning branded content creator, and the author of the bestselling book, The Content Fuel Framework: How To Generate Unlimited Story Ideas. That’s next week on IN CLEAR FOCUS. Thanks to my guest this week, Graham Nolan, co-chair of Do The WeRQ. You’ll find a transcript with links to the resources we discussed today on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at under “Insights”. Just click on the button marked “Podcast”. And if you’d like to ask about something, you heard have suggestions for a guest or a topic you’d like us to cover please email us at We’d love to hear from you. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, YouTube, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next week, goodbye.

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