We’ve all heard the numbers: The combined buying power of African-Americans and Hispanics is projected to be over $2.3 trillion by 2012, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth. Today one in seven Americans is Hispanic, and that figure will rise to one in four by 2050, cites the U.S. Census Bureau.

While this growth is a reality and it’s true that in the last 20 years, multicultural media outlets—from radio stations geared to blacks to Spanish-language TV channels Telemundo and Univision—have boomed, has PR made real inroads in reaching African-Americans, Hispanics and other groups? What have agencies and organizations done to reach and capture the awareness of these audiences? PR News spoke with executives at the forefront of multicultural communications to find out.

For Lisa Ross, EVP of specialized communications at Ogilvy PR, two thoughts come to mind when analyzing the state of multicultural PR. “With the election of Barack Obama, we were kind of led to believe that we’re past racial boundaries,” she says. “Before that the emphasis was on the Latino community, but with Obama, I said to my friends half-jokingly that ‘black was back in again.’”

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