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

Hispanic Public Relations Blog

Archive for the ‘Spanish’ Category

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 Power of Radio in the Hispanic Market

Spanish-language radio is an essential tool for connecting with the Hispanic market (see our previous blog post). It’s listened to by both English and Spanish-preferring Hispanics, and Arbitron reports have shown Spanish-preferring Hispanics tend to have a stronger personal connection to radio than any other medium.  Latinos value radio not only for entertainment but also for the education and support it provides their community.

Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, a marketing strategist with nearly 30 years experience with the Hispanic market, said, “Radio is the lifeblood of the [Latino] consumer and the culture…The communicators that are part of that medium [are] not just DJs, they are part of the community.”

On most English-language radio stations, music stations are all about entertainment, while news and talk stations handle serious issues.  However, Spanish-language stations often combine the two.  Pop morning shows mix humor with call-in segments where listeners can get advice on everything from jobs to health care and other needs.


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.


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.


Hispanic 101 (Part 6): The Hispanic Affluent Class

Along with the nation’s many blue-collar Hispanics, there’s a significant number of affluent Hispanics in the U.S.

The Census Bureau defines affluent households as those with a median annual income of $100,000 or more.  As of 2006, there were more than 1.3 million affluent Hispanic households in the U.S., about 10 percent of all Hispanic households in the country.  The affluent class makes up about 3.7 million people nationwide, with a purchasing power over $1 trillion.

Hispanics are outpacing the general population when it comes to the growth of wealth.   Between 1991 and 2000, the number of affluent Hispanic households grew 126%, while the number of affluent households in the general population only grew 77%.

Hispanics control more personal disposable income than any other minority group in the United States.  The Selig Center of the University of Georgia estimated Hispanic buying power at $951 billion in 2008, a 349 percent growth from 1990.  During that time, non-Hispanic buying power had grown at less than half that rate.


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.


Using The News To Reach Hispanics On Health Issues

Despite the fears this year about swine flu, a recent study by the Clorox Company found that the majority of Hispanics in the U.S. (56 percent) are not currently worried about the flu.  In fact, only four out of 10 Hispanic adults said they are “very likely” to get vaccinated this year.

This seems strange given that in some cases Latinos have been disproportionately affected by the flu.  In Boston, for example, though Hispanics are only 14 percent of the population, they made up a third of the cases of swine flu this spring.  Meanwhile, a CDC study this August showed that Latinos in Chicago were four times as likely as whites to be hospitalized for the flu virus.  According to the CDC, because Latinos suffer more often than whites from asthma, diabetes and other aggravating health conditions, they may be more vulnerable to the flu.

The contrast between Hispanics’ perception of the dangers of flu and the reality is a cause for concern, and it suggests the need for public health education.  This is where proper use of the news media can make a big difference in reaching Hispanics.

Hispanics And The 2010 Census

The 2010 Census is expected to show an explosive growth in America’s Hispanic population over the last decade.  When the Census Bureau compared the Hispanic population in 2000 and 2006, it found the population’s growth rate was nearly quadruple the rate of the overall U.S. population.   Hispanics were responsible for half of all population growth in the country during that period.

The Census Bureau then projected that at that rate they would count approximately 47 million Hispanics living in the U.S. in the 2010 Census.  Two years later, they increased their projection to over 49 million, or just over 16 percent of the American population.  At their current rates of growth, Hispanics are likely to cause non-Hispanic whites to be the minority of the population before 2050.

Along with the anticipation of the next census’ findings, though, is the fear that Hispanics may be undercounted.  The Census Bureau estimates that it missed close to a quarter of a million Hispanics in the 2000 Census.  Other groups like NALEO, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, have estimated that number at closer to a million.