Hispanic Public Relations, news,
analysis, opinions and
other musings ...

Hispanic Public Relations Blog

Archive for the ‘language’ Category

How Well Do You Really Know Your Audience?

This is a follow up to our blog “Should I Reach Out to Hispanics in English? Spanish? Or Both?”.  If you read that entry, you’ll know that asking that question first is not the best approach.  The focus has to be on the target audience/customer.  They will dictate the language and the discussion.  Your job is to find a way to be a part of that discussion.

How do you do that?  First, you need to get to know your target audience better.
So, if you think you know your audience/customer well, can you answer these questions?
  1. What does your target audience like about your brand/company?
  2. Where and when are they having discussions about your brand/company?
  3. How does your audience engage your brand/company?
  4. What do they do if they dislike something about your brand/company?
  5. What are the five hottest topics of discussion?
  6. How do they make decisions?
  7. Do you know who influences them?
  8. After you’ve answered those questions, THEN ask if they are having the discussions in English, Spanish … or both.

Should I Reach Out to Hispanics in English? Spanish? Or Both?

And the answer is….. It’s the WRONG question!  There is much debate today about language in reaching Latinos.  There are many that say Spanish is still very relevant and important.  There are others that say that (given the new Census data showing 50% of US Latinos were born in the US) English is the best way moving forward.  While we understand the importance of language and think there is merit to both sides of the debate, we think focusing on language first is the wrong approach.

There are similar discussions about social media and what tools are the best to reach Latinos.  We get asked what social media services we provide and what can we do for a particular client.  Again, the focus here is backwards.

The first questions shouldn’t be about language or social media tools or tactics.  The first question should look at audience and who the organization is trying to reach.  Who are they?  What is the makeup of the audience?  Where do they discuss the client/brand?  What do they say? What do they want? Who are the influencers?

These are some of the important questions.  Until an organization can answer these questions, it will be difficult – if not impossible – to know whether English, Spanish or both will be most effective.  It will be difficult to understand what communications platforms will be best suited to interact with the audience/client/customer.  And it will be difficult to know what messages will resonate.

Anyone can create a Facebook page, a blog and a Twitter account.  But if you don’t know who you’re talking to or who is influencing the discussion, how can those platforms (or any) be effective?

The next time someone asks you which language, stop the discussion and ask them about the audience they are targeting.  If they can’t answer that question, it’s time to take a step back and help them answer the questions above.

Are You Shifting Marketing and PR Plans Based on Hispanic Demographic Trends?

Posted originally on May 26th, 2010, by BurrellesLuce Insider

by Colleen Flood*

Hola, como estan todos?  Es un placer de estar aqui. Estan todos disfrutando la conferencia?

This is similiar to how David Henry, founder and president of Telenoticias and co-author of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations: Understanding and Targeting America’s Largest Minority, started the session “A Sleeping Giant” at the PRSA Counselors Academy Conference, which BurrellesLuce sponsored, this past weekend. Henry switched back to communicating in English and asked if we understood what he had just said. Only one or two hands went up in the group. He then related this to what Hispanics understand when they are marketed to in English.

The current marketplace in the U.S. is comprised of a diverse group. There has been boom over the past few years and by 2050, it is estimated that 30 percent of the population will be Hispanic. This is a population with a purchasing power that is progressing 50 percent faster than non-Hispanic groups. (In fact, BurrellesLuce first began writing about these trends in a 2007 newsletter entitled, “Top Five Tips for Reaching the Growing Hispanic Market.”)


The New American News Consumer, And Where Hispanics Fit In

Almost all of America is now switching between multiple platforms to get their daily news, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.  For those of us in Hispanic PR, the study reveals intriguing differences between the Hispanic and general market when it comes to news consumption, especially in regard to the Internet and network news, and Hispanics’ continuing interest in bilingual news content.

The Pew report confirms what many of us in communication have been saying: Americans are now accessing news content everywhere and anytime they want it, switching between their mobile phone, online media, television, print and radio to get their news. Ninety-two percent of Americans are now getting their daily news from a mix of online and offline sources, half using between four and six platforms a day.

In the general market, local TV has edged out network TV as the most popular news platform, with 78 percent of Americans getting at least some of their news from local TV.  Among Hispanics, network news has a slight edge over local news.  This may be due in part to the audience’s greater interest in international news from Latin America, a beat better covered by network news.


Effectively Engaging The Hispanic Market

Every year, there are a few occasions that seem to offer easy opportunities to connect with Hispanics, such as Cinco de Mayo, Three Kings’ Day or Hispanic Heritage Month.  Advertisers new to the Hispanic market might think they can win new customers by appearing at cultural events or doing Spanish-language promotions around these occasions.

However, without a solid Hispanic marketing plan, promotions at cultural events are unlikely to win Hispanic consumers’ long-term loyalty.  A company needs to be committed to Hispanic marketing before planning a Cinco de Mayo event. Otherwise, such promotions will likely be seen as either meaningless or opportunistic.

Although there’s no magic formula for success with Hispanics, there are a few criteria by which one can assess if a company has committed itself to the Hispanic market.  Companies that have met all of these criteria are much more likely to find long-term success with Hispanic customers.


The Growing Appeal Of Spanish-Language Radio

For more than 40 years, 96.3 FM WQXR was known as New York City’s home for classical music.   Owned by the New York Times, the station had a powerful signal, reaching listeners from the city to the suburbs of New Jersey and Connecticut.

Then on October 9, 2009, 96.3’s listeners awoke to X96.3 FM playing rhythmic Spanish hits.  Univision Radio, had bought the 96.3 frequency for its new WXNY and given WQXR their former and less powerful frequency, 105.9.

These kinds of changes are happening in other major cities across the country, and they are a sign of the growing power of Spanish-language radio in America.  New Spanish stations are popping up all across the nation, with audiences that include bilingual Hispanics of every age and generation.  Hispanics spend more time listening to radio than non-Hispanics and see it as an important tool for keeping up with news.


Hispanic 101 (Part 9): Hispanic Young Adults

In addition to being the largest minority group in the U.S., Hispanics are the youngest as well.  The median age for Hispanics in the U.S. is 27, and Hispanic children are one of the fastest-growing demographics  in the country.

A recent study from the Pew Hispanic Center shows that today’s Hispanic youth maintain strong links to their family’s roots and language, yet also place a high priority on success in America.

The Pew Center looked at Hispanic youth ages 16-25 and found a significant change had occurred over the last decade.  In 1995, half of Latino youth were immigrants.  Now, second-generation Americans, U.S.-born children of immigrant parents, are the largest percentage of Latino youth.  They now make up 37 percent, while foreign-born immigrants make up 34 percent.  Third-generation and higher youth, the children of American parents, make up the smaller group, 29 percent.


Factors In Hispanics’ Use Of Mobile Technology

Hispanics are more active than the general population in almost every category of mobile phone activity, whether it’s talking, texting,  downloading, or browsing the Web.  Compared to the general market, Hispanics use more minutes and own more phones despite having generally lower incomes.  It’s been found that 87% of Hispanic households have multiple mobile phones, and use them more than any other form of personal or handheld technologies on the market today.

Age is one important factor in explaining the high use of mobile among Hispanics.  Hispanics are the youngest segment of the American population, with an average age nine years younger than the average for Americans overall (27.2 versus 36.2.).  Currently, 58% of America’s K-12 grade students are non-white minorities, and of that group, the largest minority is Hispanics.

Besides age, another important factor is the strong presence of mobile technology in Latin America.  40% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. is foreign-born, and in most Latin American nations, as in much of the world, mobile phones are becoming more common than landline phones.


An Interview with Kim Sundy, General Mills – Part One

This is the first in a series of discussions with public relations and corporate communications professionals and executives who are having a major impact on shaping and influencing Hispanic public relations.  Our objective is to give them a platform to share their views, experiences, achievements and outlooks while providing useful information to our blog followers.   Hispanic PR is changing rapidly and having “insights for today’s leaders” will go a long way to helping all of us approach and address the importance of the Hispanic market.   We hope you find this series helpful and interesting and that you too will share this blog with your business associates and friends.

Kimberly Bow Sundy, manager of PR and multicultural marketing for General Mills, is our inaugural interview discussion who will give us good insight into the company’s Hispanic outreach.  Kim provides an overview of General Mills history in multicultural outreach, their approach, successes, how they measure results and her views on the future of Hispanic PR.  Kim’s discussion is divided into three blog posts; the following is part one.

TeleNoticias:  Kim, thanks for agreeing to leadoff our series.  To start, can you talk about your role and   the importance of Hispanic Marketing at General Mills?  For which areas are you responsible?

Kim Sundy: I have a twofold function here at General Mills. I am responsible for our external communications with communities of color, so I manage all external public relations with the African-American and Hispanic communities.  Beyond that, I also manage our external relationships from a community relations perspective.

I am the day-to-day contact for big nationally influencing organizations like National Council of La Raza, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Congressional Black Caucus Institute, and the National Urban League.  I manage our external relations with both influencers and consumers.


Health Communications In The Hispanic Market

Hispanic health has been in the news recently as General Mills has started the second year of their Hispanic nutrition program, Mente Sana en Cuerpo Sano (Sound Mind in Sound Body).  The program provides practical advice to Hispanic families looking to eat healthy, while preserving their food traditions.  Meanwhile, Oldways, a national food issues think tank, is celebrating Latino Nutrition Month until October 15th, with bilingual nutrition materials and a “Latin American Food Pyramid.”

Oldways and General Mills have tailored their messages to fit the Hispanic culture.  Other companies that want to reach out to Hispanics on health issues similarly should keep in mind cultural and social factors.  It’s important to be aware of the key role Hispanic women play in family health, and the challenges to eating healthy, such as the high prices of organic and fresh produce.  Likewise, companies promoting adult exercise need to consider the time commitments of Hispanic families.

Some studies have suggested that Hispanic women think of themselves as responsible for the health of their family.  In a study done by Accent Marketing of women’s opinions on health, Hispanic women spoke about their health using the word “we” rather than “me.”  They put their own health in the context of their children and husband, and the common challenges facing them all.