latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Calling all cars ... calling all cars ...

be on the lookout for a tall, brown-skinned man about 20-30 years old ... don't rough him up, though... we want to recruit him for the police force ... over..

OK, well maybe this isn't the best way to recruit Latino police officers, but neither are some of the approaches I read in an AP story picked up by KARE 11 in Minnesota about the struggle town police forces are having in recruiting Hispanics.

Putting aside the fact that it's muy frio up there for a minute, why are these police departments surprised that advertising in Texas to come work up in the tundra was not effective? Let me guess, a group of Anglo cops were looking at which ad was best to translate to Spanish when Barney (as in Fife, not the purple dinosaur) said, "hum, where are there many Hispanics? I know, Texas! Let's advertise there!" Not a good example for college Marketing 101 text books to say the least.

How about speaking to Hispanics in their area (i.e. a focus group) to truly understand the barriers to joining the police, or their mindsets and motivations? They might discover something, perhaps, to build a campaign around. Find out what attracted Hispanics up there in the first place and what are their perceptions of the police.

Speaking of questions, I have one for these police departments: Are you prepared for a Hispanic to join your force? Put yourself in their shoes then look at the environment and culture at your police department. Is it inclusive to Hispanics? Why would they want to join your department?

The notion of Hispanic readiness is an important one, because many companies put the caballo before the carrito and start marketing and promoting themselves to Hispanics before they are prepared internally.

This isn't a case of "be careful what you ask for" as much as it is "look at what you're offering." Sometimes the best approach is to put your ducks in a row first and not just jump into an advertising campaign.

Also, what's up with use of the word "refugee" in the story, and a department appointing someone a "refugee liaison" officer? Where are we in Kosovo or Somalia? Maybe the first way to attract Latinos is to not insult them by calling them refugees.

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