Hispanic PR Leader Profile: Rikki Rincón – r² Latino Group
HPRB: What was your childhood ambition?
Rincón: As a young child I had ambitions of becoming an actor, live entertainer of sorts. I was involved in drama/live school performances and dance groups, truly involving entertainment of various levels.
HPRB: Tell us about three people you admire and why?
Rincón:My parents (deceased), for their guidance, strength and leadership, Mahatma Gandhi for his philosophy on non violence and perseverance and my wife, Giselly for her strength, commitment to family, marriage and the success of others around her first before her own.
HPRB: What is your favorite life or business quote?
Rincón:“Success and happiness are a mindset and in order to achieve both, one must vision and therefore achieve by placing themselves in the circle to which they wish to live.”
HPRB: Besides your firm, what are you really passionate about outside of work?
Rincón:I am very passionate about reading books by Gary Zukav and his spirituality life lessons and how to apply those teachings to everyday business and personal areas. Collecting music, touring across the country as a circuit dj for many years has been a passion of mine as well. I have acted in a major motion picture circa 1979, The Island, which featured Michael Caine, David Warner and others. My principal role was Manuel, a young Portuguese island boy. You can you tube my famous moment near end of film.
HPRB: Tell us about your educational background.
Rincón:I attended the University of North Texas with a focus on public relations/marketing and while serving in the US Marine Corps, attended the school of Communications in 29 Palms, California.
HPRB: What is one of the best lessons your parents taught you about life?
Rincón:Education is the key to everything. Not so much status but investing into yourself, knowledge is something that once yours, can never be taken away.
HPRB: What is the most important business habit you have?
Rincón:Over delivering on promises, taking the time to research the needs of my clients, always staying on top of technology and investing time to see what the world is doing to keep in the loop. Finally, I am obsessed with finding speedy resolutions.
HPRB: What is the best book you’ve recently read and why?
Rincón:Two books that I read over and over have been out for some time and I cannot put down are both written by Gary Zukav, “The Seat of the Soul” and “Heart of the Soul”. Both of these books along with his other writings deal directly to the consciousness of humans, the thought before the action, intent and the outcome of such thoughts. Very deep in the sense of thinking but where I place myself in both professional and personal.
HPRB: How did you start your career in PR and where has that taken you?
Rincón:I began working in the film industry as an actor and then moved into radio broadcasting/live events arena and there I got bit by the public/media relations bug. Dealing with media on all levels both general market and Latino pulled me close to my true passion. My first entertainment/cd release/junket for a national artist drove me to park myself in this fast-paced business.
HPRB: What advice would you have for young people exploring Hispanic or multicultural PR careers?
Rincón:I would begin with advising them to invest time in learning about the market they wish to serve. The Hispanic/Latino market is very diverse and needs special research and time to learn the diverse needs of each subculture. Whether it be the Mexican, Cuban, South/Central/Caribbean or European market, time invested into learning this will support your success. Never guess at anything and slowly develop an obsession for being perfect at your craft. Utilize the latest technological gadgets to help you remain on top or ahead of your game. Passion is key.
HPRB: Tell us something about you that would surprise even many of your closest friends.
Rincón:That I have my wife’s name tattooed on me as my devotion and lifelong commitment to her and our path in life. After her journey and leaving her family and closest friends in Cuba to take a leap of love and faith it was the least I could do.
HPRB: What do you believe differentiates your agency and how big is your Hispanic-focused PR team?
Rincón: I feel what separates our pr agency from others is our commitment to perfection at all costs. Our agency consists of me and my principal partner, Minerva Rodriguez. Together, we have share over 30+ years of public/media relations, live event planning and execution. Our clients are not only first they are everything to us. From the beginning to the very end we pride ourselves on working 7 days/nights a week, if necessary to successfully complete our projects and efficiently so. We have a wealth of experience in both general and the Latino markets and this has allowed us to excel in all areas. We have a team of 7 amazing and very progressive-minded staff members that help with our success.
HPRB: Describe the most effective Hispanic marketing campaign you’ve worked on and what made it special?
Rincón: In conjunction with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau we worked on the major Superbowl XXLV outreach for over a year and a half. From social media outreach, press junkets, inviting media from outside of the country to the city for tours and site visits, this was one of, if not the most exciting and effective marketing campaigns to date.
HPRB: What are some of your agency’s top Hispanic/multicultural PR clients and what is the most exciting campaign your team is presently working on?
Rincón: Aside from public/media relations we are event planner/producers. In 2010 we were selected to produce the Maestro Awards for Latino Leaders Magazine. We produced the 10th Annual Maestro Awards in San Antonio, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas. We are in the process of repeating all markets listed above for 2011. On the public relations side of work, we are very proud to work year long, around the clock for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau in areas of social media platforms, pr/media outreach, branding of Latino Dallas both virally and event cooperatives. Other great clients include the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Havana NRG Salsa Orchestra, SER National Jobs for Progress National Conference, Hispanic Contractors of North Texas.
HPRB: What adjustments has your agency made to overcome some of the challenges of the current prolonged recession?
Rincón: We have worked with our clients and their budgets. In times where budgets have been reduced we continue to provide top-notch service at different budget rates to not only keep our clients but work with them in crunch times. We have such a passion for our area of work that we understand how things can change in the economy but we see our clients as partners less clients.
HPRB: What’s in the works at your agency for continued growth and expansion?
Rincón:Investing time to research even more effective tools, resources to get our projects done. Time is money and the more efficient we become the more clients we can service. We have added a couple of up and coming Latinas on our staff who are eager to learn and work way beyond our requests, again, back to re-investing into yourself. This is what we look for, those whom desire to go above and beyond.
HPRB: What is the biggest Hispanic marketing cliché that you would love to see go away?
Reply: The use of “minority” as a description of our market. We, at r2 Latino Group replaced that word with niche market and has been very effective.
HPRB: What are the top dos and don’ts about marketing through Hispanic social media?
Rincón: Well, this applies to all social media as a whole and not specific towards any one cultural. Know your product, service and the needs and wants of your client. Do not oversell anything, allow your viewers, friends and followers to engage with you and provide feedback whether it be message boards, chat sessions and groups. Do invest time into learning about hash tagging, hyper linking, RT (retweets) and other ways to maximize your reach for your clients. Never guess at anything and reach out to others in your field to ask for assistance when needed. Whatever it takes to service your clients correctly is a must.
HPRB: What are your three favorite sources to find out what is going on in the US Hispanic world and what do you look for in these resources?
Rincón: CNN En Español, Hispanic Tips, Google Alerts set up by me.