Jul 27, 2020

By Kelby Clark
"We have preached for decades that our audience's voice matters, and we really just want to help them use it.”

Since late last year, MTV News and Logo have been working together to create and distribute each other’s editorial, video, and social content. The partnership was conceived for the sake of efficiency and collaboration, but events over the last few months have reinforced why the brands work so well together. 

“We're in a very specific time across culture and entertainment. Whether we’re covering protests or covering Pride Month, we’re showing how important our brand power is,” explains Terron Moore, VP and editorial director of MTV News and Logo. “MTV and Logo, in their own ways, both have legacies with audiences that aren't always considered, including young people and LGBTQ+ communities. Both brands share good instincts when speaking to our audiences … When we join and initiate conversations, we do so with respect and we put everything in the right context.”

Empowering Communities Through Content

In response to the global protests, the two brands collaborated to publish “How to Protest Safely,” a social guide that outlined what protestors should bring to rallies, what to do if conflicts arise, and how to socially distance. MTV News and Logo shared it across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It was also amplified across other brand channels, including VH1, as well as dedicated show channels like RuPaul’s Drag Race and Wild ‘N Out.

 

Virginia Lowman, social media manager for MTV News, says it was critical that the guide is engaging, accessible, and additive. “MTV News is a place where young people know that the content was written with them in mind. We take them seriously. We want to offer them something that will increase their wisdom.”

According to Moore, the guide is a prime example of how the team often approaches content from a desire to help. “If our audience is going to be out there, we want to make sure that they have tools to protest safely,” says Moore. “We have preached for decades that our audience's voice matters, and we really just want to help them use it.”

 

The focus on empowering audiences is also the idea behind the news outlet’s editorial series Need to Know, hosted by Dometi Pongo and Yoonj Kim. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, Need to Know aired segments including “How To Be An Effective Ally,” “The Effect Negative Protest Coverage Has On Voting,” and “What Does It Mean to Defund the Police?” 

MTV News’ Sound On, a roundtable video series with celebrity guest panelists, also amplifies marginalized voices and spotlights issues that are central to their communities. An episode focused on LGBTQ+ representation in the media was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award earlier this year. Decoded, a series and is hosted by Franchesca Ramsey, returned on Tuesday with the first in a series of planned episodes that discuss police violence.

"Our team really is a reflection of the world, and I think that shows in the content that we create."

Virginia Lowman

Social Media Manager at MTV News

“Our team really is a reflection of the world, and I think that shows in the content that we create,” says Lowman, who credits Moore and other MTV leaders for making a conscious effort to build a diverse and inclusive news team. “At the end of the day, people are looking for content that they see themselves in. And I think we're reaping the rewards of that.”

Evolving With Audiences

Zach O'Connor, social media manager at Logo, notes that Logo has grown and developed as a brand to be more inclusive and show the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. 

"We try to tell as many stories as possible to connect to our audience, so they feel like they're being seen,” says O’Connor. “There are so many facets and amazing things about the LGBTQ+ community, which presents many opportunities to reflect particular and sometimes underrepresented communities.”

 

Logo continues to tell these stories despite limitations caused by the pandemic. With Logo 30, for example, which debuted during June to celebrate Pride Month, the brand replaced in-person interviews with video submissions.

It also was the exclusive streaming partner for Pride Live’s third annual Stonewall Day on June 26, before the brand marked its 15th anniversary on June 30. Celebrity guests—including former President Barack Obama, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, and Ellen Degeneres—commemorated the 50th anniversary of the NYC Pride March and the Stonewall riots. In addition, Logo will air a recorded version of the 31st annual GLAAD Media Awards on August 3 after the event is live-streamed on July 30.

“Logo can be a really fun and campy brand, but we are versatile enough to be really serious and community based,” says O’Connor. “I hope that five years from now, we can look back on Logo's 20th anniversary and say, ‘Wow, we’ve continued to evolve in a way that fits our audience and fits the future of media.”

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