Posts Tagged ‘Hispanic’

img_2186.jpgRecently, Elena del Valle of the Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations Web site conducted a podcast interview with Laura Hernandez, executive director of AT&T Multicultural Marketing. The interview covered AT&T’s efforts to reach American Latinos.

According to Hernandez, AT&T breaks up its messaging by concentrating in areas with large Hispanic populations as well as direct mailing areas where there is a smaller Hispanic presence. According to Hernandez, the method used depends on the type of media tactics employed.

Although she says that segmenting based on language is not always the right choice, Hernandez states that AT&T works to target different segments of the Latino population, i.e., those who are Spanish-dominant and those who are English-dominant. Language and cultural representations may change, but the messages are the same across all tactics.

Hernandez says there are also different representations of the technology, e.g., organizational capabilities and speed are emphasized more in messages targeted to Latinos. She adds that Latinos do not use broadband and other technologies as much as other populations; however, when they access the new technology, they use it at a greater rate.

Hernandez also said that AT&T has offered Spanish-language customer care for more than 25 years.

I think this is a great example of a company that has done its research and knows the audience it is targeting. Many organizations try to reach out to Latinos by translating everything into Spanish; this in turn affects the relevance of the cultural message.

Marketing and public relations practitioners are finally taking note of effective tactics for communicating with the multitude populations that exist in this country, and it’s benefiting the industry as a whole.

We can learn a lot from the AT&T method. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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img_2577.jpgThe Nielsen Company – the one that brings us television ratings – has released a new report on consumers’ preparedness to switch to digital when it becomes the only television format next year.

On Feb. 18, 2009, what is being hailed as the most significant development in television history will take place when the medium will become all-digital. And according to Nielsen’s report, 13 million households are unprepared for the change. Cable and satellite owners are safe; so are people who own digital consoles; however, anyone with an analog-only set will need to purchase a converter if they wish to watch their stories.

What’s significant about these findings is that they show a higher lack of preparedness in Hispanic and Black households. The data show that 17.3 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population is completely unprepared, and 26.2 percent have at least one television set that will be affected.

What does this mean for public relations practitioners and advertisers who want to reach the Hispanic market? They may have to reinvent the wheel (again).

According to Advertising Age’s 2007 Hispanic Fact Pack, in 2006, approximately $2.42 billion (or 64.3 percent of total ad spending in Latino markets) was spent on television marketing. The next largest medium in terms of ad spending in Latino markets was radio, which accounted for $726 million (or 19.3 percent) in 2006.

If the majority of ad spending directed at the Latino community is spent on television, and Latino consumers across the country are unprepared for the change to an all-digital format, it will be difficult for marketers to reach their target audience.

Strategies and tactics will have to be rethought, and this may be the opportunity for public relations practitioners to utilize social media to make a legitimate impact on Latino consumers.

Perhaps things will change before Feb. 18, 2009, but how? It would benefit the people who want to reach the Latino community with their messages to address this situation proactively.