This week’s Hispanic PR Leader profile is with Miriam Galicia-Duarte, Census Partnership Specialist.

HPRB: What was your childhood ambition?

Miriam Duarte: I was very curious and daring. My ambition was to take a chance to explore and experience as many new things as possible.

HPRB: Tell us about three people you admire and why?

MD: Three people that admire include my mother, Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar E. Chavez.  My mother taught me to be courageous, strong, assertive but respectful. She taught me to continuously thrive to be a better person and to remain faithful to the family.
Two great leaders that I admire the most are Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar E. Chavez. Their common principles of courage, nonviolence and truth for the betterment of humanity remain honorable aspirations. They both personified exemplary service to humanity.  

HPRB: What is your favorite life or business quote?

MD: “This too shall pass.” This is a quote that I find very enlightening. It reminds me that no matter what situation I may be experiencing good or bad, nothing lasts forever, whether it be joy or misery. Basically, no matter how bad things get, we have the opportunity to take something and learn from the situation and move forward. And if we’re enjoying a good moment then cherish it because it will soon be part of the past.

HPRB: What are you really passionate about outside of work?

MD: I really enjoy spending time with my family, great Mexican food, dancing salsa and traveling.

HPRB: Tell us about your educational background.

MD: I earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, California.

HPRB: What is one of the best lessons your parents taught you about life?

MD: The importance of family.

HPRB: What is the most important business habit you have?

MD:To work outside of my job description.
To anticipate the needs of others and be ready to execute a strategic plan.

HPRB: What is the best book you’ve recently read and why?

MD: Who moved my cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson is an amusing book of how to deal with changes in our workplace and lives as we search for happiness, or the cheese. It’s a profound story that helps us quickly prepare for change to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

HPRB: How did you start your career in PR and where has that taken you?

MD: During my second year in college, I went to work for La Opinión, which led to opportunities in the corporate, agency and government worlds.

HPRB: What advice would you have for young people exploring Hispanic or multicultural PR careers?

MD: To become intimately knowledgeable about this market and anticipate its unique needs and wants.
Remember to be emotionally and culturally relevant when targeting U.S. Hispanics because although Hispanics are united by the Spanish language, each segment is very diverse. Learn about each group and their unique tastes and customs.

HPRB: Tell us something about you that would surprise even many of your closest friends.

MD: I love to ski.

HPRB: Describe the most effective Hispanic marketing campaign you’ve worked on and what made it special?

MD: During my tenure with Wells Fargo, I spearheaded Wells Fargo’s national initiative to promote the acceptance of the Matricula Consular as a primary form of identification. The campaign helped to position Wells Fargo favorably in the eyes of the Hispanic community, become the first national bank to genuinely address the financial needs of this growing market, and helped to generate more than a million new accounts for the company.
This program bridged the gap between first-generation Hispanics and the American banking system by combining both media and community relations.

HPRB: What’s in the works at your company to continue to grow its Hispanic market-related business? What is the biggest Hispanic marketing cliché that you would love to see go away?

MD: Latinos/Hispanics are perceived to be all the same or that marketers can reach the Hispanic/Latino market by simply translating general market messages into Spanish.

HPRB: What are the top dos and don’ts about marketing through Hispanic social media?

MD: It’s important to research your audience and to connect with them the way they want to be reached. Ensure to provide content that is emotionally engaging and participate in conversations with your audience.

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?

MD: Hispanic Enterprise, Hispanic Business and the Hispanic PR Blog.

HPRB: What have been some of the unique challenges of running the Census campaign and how have you been overcoming them?

MD: Undercounting our communities due to lack of trust and understanding the importance of the Census. We’re working with trusted community organizations (non-profit organizations, schools and churches) in the hard-to-count communities that have direct access to Latino families and individuals. The message is simple: the Census is easy, important and safe!

HPRB: What do you think will be the most surprising part of what you are doing and what will surprise most of the people who less than  a year from now will have the results of this historic Census?

MD: It is estimated that this census will show a total Latino population of 49.7 million, equal to 17 percent of the U.S. population. The 2010 Census will reveal the surging economic, political and social power of Latinos in America. I believe that Corporate America will become increasingly interested in what remains a largely untapped market.

HPRB: What are some lessons marketers can learn from the U.S. Census’ approach to this year’s count?

MD: To go where their customers live and experience how they live, eat, shop, socialize, etc. and engage them. Speak directly to the consumer. Go to their neighborhoods, explore their customs and provide meaningful information that targets them, connect with them.

HPRB:What is the true story regarding immigration raids and the rumors of raids?

MD: We believe that too many unsubstantiated messages of immigration raids have been sent that are creating havoc in our communities.

HPRB: What’s next for you after your stint with the Census is over?

MD: Pursue a corporate opportunity that allows me to leverage my experience at the Census Bureau by designing marketing communications programs that enhance a company’s reputation, visibility and market share.