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What you can learn not to do from Barilla Pasta's mistakes...

With recent events such as the chairman of Barilla Pasta noting "I would never do [a commercial] with a homosexual couple, not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role... If [gays] don't like it, they can go eat another brand." This new training course is something Guido Barilla should be thinking about. The LGBT community is a loyal group and must be marketed to in an authentic way to ensure maximum success or the repercussion can be devastating to sales.

The last twelve months have been a big year for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) equality. The overturn of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the defeat of California’s Proposition 8 on June 26, 2013, which legalized same-sex marriage in California, were events of historical proportions. However, nothing illustrates more clearly the importance of being authentic in your LGBT marketing efforts than Guido Barilla's recent announcement that if gays don't like his brand they can eat another.

Marriage equality has been opening doors to various forms of marketing and is inspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders alike to gain prominence and market share in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. The question that remains to be answered is what is the ideal method to gain support from the LGBT community to create a loyal consumer base for your business or brand? We know not to follow Guido Barilla's lead.

Luckily for entrepreneurs and business leaders, Jenn T. Grace has released a 10-part online training course on how to best approach the LGBT community in your every day communications and marketing. The program explores how to build solid professional and personal relationships with members of the community as well as the best marketing strategies to optimize your business relations. Jenn provides instruction that is warm and personable so that those watching the videos do not feel like they are being lectured but rather being spoken to by a friend. The course materials are genuine, funny, and peppered with candor that guides the viewer in drawing out their exact blueprint for marketing their business. “I’ve found that people respond well to my materials because I am conversational and really help them become better communicators because they aren’t filled with anxiety over what they may have said wrong in the past,” says Grace. She does not punish you for mistakes that you have made in the past when interacting with the LGBT community, but rather treats them as learning experiences to perfect your strategies. For more information on this course visit www.authenticgaymarketing.com.

Jenn T. Grace, entrepreneur and CEO of Gay Business & Marketing (www.jenntgrace.com), is a prominent leader in the LGBT community who reaches out to businesses in order to teach them how to best market themselves to the community. Her company is an online mecca and educational outlet for anyone who wants to know anything about the LGBT community. She utilizes mediums such as blogging, podcasting and hosting monthly webinars. Her blog posts are plentiful, very informative, and explore the sphere of being LGBT very intricately. If you have a question about anything related to LGBT, chances are she has already answered it. She looks forward to prospective interactions with business leaders and anyone else who is interested in learning more about the LGBT community. She is also available for speaking engagements, various workshops, and media appearances to share her in-depth knowledge and dissemination of business advice.

Gay Business & Marketing is a Certified LGBTBE (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Business Enterprise) through the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. For more information please e-mail Victoria Abashkin at press@jenntgrace.com or by phone at (860) 281-1583.

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