1 Trillion Reasons for Diverse Marketing: State of Diversity in Media — PRSA's Rosanna Fiske
State of Diversity in Marketing and Media Rosanna M. Fiske, APR Chair and CEO, PRSA Delivered: March 16, 2011, in Miami Center for Hispanic Leadership 2011-12 Tour• Fifty million people. One trillion dollars in buying power. Ad spending up 164% since 2001 to $3.88 billion. Hundreds of Spanish-language TV stations across the U.S. o That’s just a single representation of one non-white audience that PR professionals reach every day: Hispanic-Americans. o These eye-catching numbers represent the immense, and largely untapped, scale and wealth of the Hispanic-American media market. o Put into greater perspective, if Hispanic-Americans comprised their own country, it would be larger, by population, than Canada and the fifth-most populous nation in the European Union. And this demographic is growing — rapidly.• Despite the prevalence of white, Caucasians on social media, a great migration is currently taking place within diverse cultures. o Whereas even 2-3 years ago, many non-white cultures preferred more traditional forms of marketing and communications — ad circulars, direct mail, word-of- mouth (which is still huge in almost every culture — recent studies point to 93% of all marketing taking place via in-person, word-of-mouth marketing), culturally- diverse demographics represent one of the fastest growing segments of social media. A 2010 PRSA survey found that 36% of English-preferring Hispanics regularly used social networks, followed closely by 34% of Asians, 27% of
Spanish-preferring Hispanics, 26% of African-Americans and 18% of non- Hispanic Caucasians. All of which points to a marketplace for PR professionals that looks nothing like it did even five years ago, let alone at the dawn of this millennium.• Wide divide still exists between this reality and the promise for greater diversity in senior management within the ranks of media, communications, PR and advertising.• As my friend and Hispanicize founder, Manny Ruiz, recently told PRNewser: "The future of our nation depends on what happens in the Hispanic-American and other diverse and growing populations, a segment of Americans that have not always gotten the opportunities," they deserve. o This lack of opportunity has led to Hispanic-Americans being underrepresented in corporate boardrooms. According to the 2009 Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility Corporate Inclusion Index survey, only 4.8 percent of all Fortune 100 executive- and director-level positions are held by Hispanics. Similarly, Hispanics account for only 6 percent of representatives on Fortune 100 boards. o It took my own professional organization, the Public Relations Society of America, 48 years before Luis Morales became its first Hispanic president in 1996. Fifteen years later, Im the first Latina to serve as chair and CEO.• Its quite simple, really: Diversity within the media industry will be crucial to its success in years to come, as businesses continue seeking a more global perspective to their communications.
o That means it is the responsibility of the communications and media industries -- along with businesses that use our services -- to place an immediate focus on the business value of diversity and a diverse boardroom. o American companies must be prepared to tap into burgeoning and increasingly diverse markets for new revenue and growth. Having a more diverse executive suite, which reflects the modern ethnic makeup of the U.S., will better prepare the media industry to reap the immense financial rewards of a modern and very diverse America.• Marketing to diverse cultures, whether Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Italian- Americans, etc., is a remarkably complex, and yet oddly simple, concept. o At the end of the day, everyone has similar human instincts to connect with each other; to relate to others’ experiences; to share in the excitement, sorrow, joy and fear of life. o That transcends cultures and it is at the heart of what makes public relations and marketing successful: reaching a variety of diverse audiences in ways that impact their lives and help them to connect with something meaningful to them and to their culture. o At the same time, reality tells us that there are vast culture differences that we must be cognizant of when communicating — whether via a press release, a TV interview or on Twitter — with different cultures. As a Hispanic-American, I can tell you that the way I communicate with my Latina followers on Twitter is vastly different to how I would communicate with a culture that is more reserved or quiet.
• That’s all part of understanding, and more importantly, respecting, cultural differences in how businesses communicate.• All of which makes for a remarkably challenging landscape for businesses in the digital age to market and communicate in. o A marketing message to “buy this product on sale … today!” from a multinational company sent via Twitter may be perceived by some customers as a call-to-action that they want to seize upon. For others, it may be viewed as too pushy and overly promotional. Marketers must keep these cultural differences in mind in the vastly changing landscape of social media.