By Manny Ruiz
The Hispanic PR Blog
A perfect storm of the good kind is brewing and if you haven’t already noticed it’s pointing to a year of colossal momentum for the Hispanic public relations industry. In 20 years of working in Hispanic PR and media, I have never seen the momentum I’m witnessing for Hispanic PR and it only has a little bit to do with the promising expectations about the 2010 Census.
Barely four months away from the historic Hispanic PR & Social Marketing Conference in Dallas (May 10-12) here are some key factors that I believe will take our industry to new heights in 2010:
The Hispanic PR Industry is finally organizing itself nationally. One of the most exciting developments in 2010 is that the traditionally L.A.-based Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) is finally expanding its footprint and focus. Naysayers be damned, HPRA is on the verge of announcing a major new chapter in the East coast and it’s expected that more chapters, clubs and events will take root nationwide. This is a very significant development for its no secret that that the unique value proposition, credibility and interests of Hispanic PR can only (yes ONLY) be fully represented by an organization fully devoted to Hispanic PR. Sure HPRA has some growing pains ahead but what makes 2010 different is that FINALLY many of us who can help HPRA are involved in the process of growth and evolution. Over the next several months we will see some huge, organizing-building momentum for HPRA and if you are marketing pro thinking about which organization to support with your membership I would encourage you to give special priority to HPRA.
Even as its results surprise some, the conclusions of our four month-long Hispanic PR Census will elevate our industry. Even though it’s only a two-minute long survey our Hispanic PR Census is helping our industry gather invaluable insights about the composition of Hispanic public relations and social marketing. I’ve peeked at some of the extremely preliminary data and I can assure you that the emerging stories that data is yielding will be empowering to say the least. Participating in the Hispanic PR Census is one of the most important, easy things we can all do for this industry as a lot of discussion is going to surge as a result of this Hispanic PR Census.
The Hispanic PR industry conference will firmly establish our industry’s unique value proposition. For many years our industry has struggled to find a conference agenda completely and comprehensively devoted to Hispanic PR. That’s what we aim to do in Dallas and the best part about this conference is that IT’S NOT for Hispanic PR pros. This conference is specifically being created for marketers in corporate, non profit and government sectors who want to get case studies and actionable advice relating to Hispanic PR and social marketing. We’re confident that our 20-member advisory board will unveil a conference agenda next week that has never been available in any Hispanic marketing conference because ours is all about Hispanic PR and social marketing.
Hispanic social marketing will help fuel strong growth for Hispanic PR. The topic of Hispanic social marketing has been one of the Hispanic market industry’s biggest taboo topics because only a few dare state the obvious: Hispanic social marketing generally should be classified under Hispanic PR. (More about that soon). This is why the national conference takes Hispanic social marketing head on. Every facet of social marketing entails strategic communications (conversations) that are best tended to by Hispanic PR pros regardless of whether they work in a PR, advertising or digital marketing firm. Don’t settle for anything different because Hispanic social marketing IS NOT about technology. It’s fundamentally about strategic conversations.
Advertising agencies will increasingly get into the Hispanic PR game. One of the trends I think holds a lot of promise for the industry are the number of ad agencies (Hispanic and non-Hispanic alike) that will increasingly get into Hispanic PR. Hispanic ad giants like Vidal Partnership and Bromley Communications have been doing this well for years, of course, but it now seems that partly because of Hispanic PR’s rise and the budding growth in Hispanic social marketing, more ad agencies will get in the game. Hispanic PR firms needn’t fret because you know what you’re best at and this type of activity will only create more opportunities.
Hispanic PR will be key to winning many grassroots political contests this year. The political stakes are as high 2008 for Democrats and Republicans alike courting Hispanic voters this year. For Democrats Latino voters are now more critical than ever because the recent senatorial loss in Massachusetts shows they need to shore up their key voting bases. They need solid turnouts in the coming elections. For Republicans, all they need is a Just Enough Strategy. Republicans know the Latino vote is far from swinging back to their previous historic highs but if they can do Just Enough to steal some Hispanic votes, it may be Just Enough to take some races. The 2008 election (which we will study in-depth at the upcoming conference) offered lessons about how to effectively use PR messaging and media relations tactics to get Hispanic voters.
A great focus on diversity in America bodes well for Hispanic PR. The election of President Obama has brought out nation’s growing diversity to the forefront but the real fruit of that reality is only now starting to be felt. From my vantage point I thought this would be immediately true in 2009 but in all honesty I don’t think it took root quickly because it needed time to sink in. 2010 is different because more time has passed for our culture (and our corporate boardrooms) to assimilate the reality. This means more companies will pursue diversity hiring not only because it’s “politically correct” but because it’s part of the reality of winning and keeping market share in business, politics and other arenas.
These reasons and several more (did I mention the U.S. Census?) point to a prosperous year for Hispanic PR. Keeping looking at this space for continued insights and more reasons to cheer for Hispanic PR, the hottest Hispanic marketing discipline of 2010.