latino lingo

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Cell Carriers Catering to Hispanics

Good New York Times article today on how cell phone carriers are giving Hispanics extra attention as a business growth strategy.

The industry is on track to spend more than the $140 million it spent on Hispanic marketing campaigns last year, the article says. They cite Verizon sponsoring the Shakira concert tour and Sprint promoting its phones that let you watch TV and download Spanish song .


-- One of the country's fastest growing demographic groups
-- Hispanics come from large families that span international borders
-- We are younger as a group

One way they are reaching Hispanics is by promoting themselves in a culturally relevant manner. For instance, Verizon Wireless will broadcast clips in Spanish from the World Cup and cut in half the cost of making international calls to the 31 other nations with teams in the tournament, the article says. Sounds pretty smart to me

Verizon has also sent out its "Latino Street Team" that travels in a branded sport utility vehicle to Hispanic concerts and festivals, where they show off mobile technology. Festival sponsorships, as I've spoken about, are a great way to not only market your products and services to the Latino audience, but they also have great community relations benefits.

Verizon, for instance, is the title sponsor for the Areyto Latino Festival (in an effort to be open, I do need to say that this is a festival I work on in my capacity at Mason y Bauza).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Feliz Memorial Day

Today we pay tribute to the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It doesn't matter your political affiliations or personal beliefs about war, there is no argument against the fact our way of life was won on many battlefronts from the beginning of time. These victories were delivered on the backs of our service men and women, many of whom died in battle so that we didn't have to.

It's not exactly known how Memorial Day actually began, but it was officially proclaimed in early May 1868, and was first observed on 30 May 1868.

A special tribute to the more than 3,400 Medal of Honor recipients; including the 39 Latinos who were awarded our nation's highest medal. The first of whom was Corporal Joseph De Castro, who earned it in the fields of Gettysburg in 1863 during the Civil War.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Protest threat cancels Hillary visit to CT

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton canceled an appearance at the CAUSA 30th Anniversary event planned for Saturday because of a planned labor protest over one of the event's major sponsors, ING insurance company, according to an AP story carried on Staten Island Advance.

The protest was planned by the Greater Hartford-New Britain Building and Construction Trades Council, the story said.

They were protesting ING Group Inc. because of its decision to not guarantee work for minority contractors and other Connecticut construction workers as it builds a new facility in the state. They claim ING initially committed to using labor union resources to construct the building, but later changed its mind, according to the article.

"The ING Group is the major sponsor of this statewide event and we plan to show that throwing a few dollars out for an event is not the only way to be seen as a good community neighbor," the group's president, President Charles LeConche, is quoted as saying in the article.

In the article, CAUSA's Executive Director, Carmen Sierra, said ING did withdraw its involvement and financial support for the event earlier this week, but the trades council then reneged on an agreement it made with CAUSA about the protest.

"This action by Charles LeConche is outrageous. We agreed to his initial demands, but it is clear now that he was interested in only creating a media event for himself. Mr. LeConche has caused immeasurable damage to the building trade union which has had to struggle to get blacks and Latinos in their ranks. This renegade action by Mr. LeConche to gratuitously cause damage to the Latino community will not be forgotten," she is quoted as saying.

According to its website, CAUSA (Connecticut Association of United Spanish Agencies, Inc.) is "dedicated to enhancing the general well being of the HISPANIC/LATINO population in Connecticut with special emphasis on advocacy, research and technical assistance through and with its member agencies."

While I'm not up to speed on the issue or what ING is doing or not doing to be a good neighbor (though its website is pretty clear it takes corporate social responsibility pretty seriously), it seems to me like a bad move for a trade organization to make its ultimate victim an event that celebrates the 30-year anniversary of an organization like CAUSA, whose mission is one to support Latino organizations ... and features a keynote by someone like Hillary, who regardless of whether you agree with her political views it's hard to make case that she is anti-union.

But, protesting seems to be the trade organization's M.O. I did a quick Google search for them and the top link is a call for protest against WFSB (CT CBS affiliate) for not agreeing to their demands. The same guy is quoted as saying “Contrary to what they lead you to believe, WFSB-TV Channel 3 does not support our community and our hard working families here in Connecticut." Saying something as strong as an organization "does not support the community" because of construction of one location seems a bit extreme to me. I know WFSB does a lot to support the community because I live in the state and monitor the media as part of my job. One of the great and generous things they do, for instance, is the Ch 3. Kids Camp.

Looks like the trade organization also had the help of a public relations/lobbying agency called The Dennis PR Group to support them in ruining this event. The agency is listed as the media contact in a press release on Hartford dBusiness News.

I think Mr. Sierra's words are dead on. Seems to me this trade union wasn't content with just getting ING to back out, as is reported in the article. Unfortunately, she is also right that he created a media event for themselves, and in this case causing a media event an affecting this event has apparently shown they have succeeded in their objectives, and likely won this fight. But, I'm sure the war is not over as this could cause a backlash from the Latino community who will be sensitive to a Latino event getting the short end of the stick in a union's effort to spread their agenda. Being in a small state, I know there has been a lot of interest and support for this event. I wish CAUSA good luck.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Even "Magic" Gets It

Magic Johnson is starting a home-based travel agency franchise that would target minority travelers, according to an article in the South Florida Business Journal. It will be headquartered in Miami.

The company is specifically targeting African-American, Hispanic and Asian- American franchisees and customers.

The article says minority travel has grown at a quicker rate than the general market, with a 4 percent increase among African-Americans, a 10 percent increase among Asian-Americans and a 20 percent increase among Hispanics.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

SWA launches "'Dandole Alas a Tu Exito" program

Interesting move on the part of Southwest Airlines to partner with HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) for SWA's new "Dandole Alas a Tu Exito" (Giving Flight to Your Success" travel award program (see release on Yahoo!).

Through the program, Southwest Airlines will provide roundtrip tickets to students with socio-economic need and who travel away from home to pursue a higher education.

Good public relations move to align itself with an organization like HACU and support higher education.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hispanics key to recent job growth

Hispanic jobs accounted for more than 42 percent of jobs created since April 2005, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor and reported in Hispanc Business Magazine.

According to the article:

"On an annual basis, employment of Hispanics has increased by 1,063,000 jobs, bringing the Hispanic unemployment rate down from 6.4 percent in April 2005 to the current 5.4 percent. Overall, the U.S. economy has added 2,492,000 jobs since April 2005. Hispanics have filled 42.7 percent of those positions, despite being only 13.6 percent of the total U.S. labor force."

Study released on Hispanic shopping habits

Hispanic are less satisfied with supermarkets, drug stores and other retail outlets than the general population, says a new study released by Unilever and reported in Advertising Age.

The study also found Hispanic shoppers are resistant to using loyalty cards because of privacy concerns (duh!) We Hispanics don't like to give out our personal information. Culturally, we are very private with our personal information and other types of information. I'm still surprised at how many in the general market are so willing to give out any information that is asked of them.

On the dissatisfied front, the study reports only 35% of Hispanic shoppers are completely satisfied with their shopping experience compared to 58% in the general market. The study says the dissatisfaction stems from not finding products that appeal to Hispanics and certainly having all the signage in English.

Good public relations move on the part of Unilever to release a study like this. Publishing studies is one of the key ways to demonstrate leadership, and gain ink as evidenced by this Ad Age article.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Don't underestimate the power of the Hispanic Market

So says Gannett News Service, who released an article by this name recently. The biggest whopper in the article?

"The best way to get a piece of the Hispanic market is to go about it the same way you'd approach any other target market. Sit down and devise a marketing plan."

Well, how do you like them manzanas (that means apples to you English speakers)?

How marketers continue to approach the market without the respect it needs (and budget it deserves) is still beyond me. As I've written in other postings, to many companies are relying on translations. This is bad enough. Worse is when they merely look around their organizations for Hispanic workers and assign them marketing responsibilities only based on the fact they are Hispanic. Being of Hispanic origin, or even speaking Spanish, isn't enough. After all, is being an English speaking Anglo the main requirement for most general market marketing jobs?