by Tom Mulgrew, Vice President Agency Relations
The most telling moment at the Hispanicize conference in Los Angeles last week occurred on the final day when keynote speaker, actor and Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos, approached the podium and spent the first five minutes of his speech speaking solely in Spanish.
“If you understood what I just said, raise your hand,” Olmos said in Spanish.
About 75% of the room did just that.
Hispanic actors and comedians joke that they don’t trust anything with the word “panic” in it, yet marketers and professional communicators are not laughing at the latest census data, which has 16.3% of the U.S. population categorized as Hispanic. At 50 million strong, U.S. Hispanics have a big say in all things consumer.
One in six Americans is Hispanic, every 30 seconds a Latino turns 18 years old, and 30 million Hispanics currently use the Internet.
The Hispanicize 2011 conference attracted more than 300 professionals with representation from a broad swath of companies, from consumer brands like Disney, Lowe’s and Clorox to agencies like Fleishman-Hillard, the Axis Group and the Got Milk Campaign (handled by RL Public Relations). They came to learn how to market to this growing and influential demographic group by effectively utilizing social media programs.
Telenoticias and LatinoWire, a service of Business Wire, co-sponsored a Hispanic social media survey that produced additional useful facts for marketers. Among the findings:
- While Hispanic social media is lagging mainstream social media, it is poised for major growth.
- Hispanics love their smartphones. That’s right: Hispanics out-pace the mainstream when it comes to receiving news and information via mobile devices.
Note: Hispanicize 2011 was presented by PRSA, the Hispanic Public Relations Association and the Hispanic PR Blog.