With a growing Hispanic market and an even faster-growing bilingual, bicultural market, brands are looking to engage with Hispanics across segments - women, youth, Millennials - and across platforms - the press, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, and more.
This burgeoning multicultural group is engaging with a wide variety of influencers and in a wide range of languages: Spanish, English, and Spanglish. Good Morning America and Despierta América's October 28 split-screen, historic broadcast is just one example. Developing content that speaks to their culture and developing storylines that speak to what we call this new wave of influencers, dubbed the “new Hispanic press,” is key.
These are the Hispanic PR and social media trends that have shaped 2013 and that brands are watching closely:
English-language Latino: From NBC Latino and Fox News Latino to HuffPost Voces, there is a strong undercurrent of Latinos getting their news in English but with a Latino twist – and this new media reflects it. With the launch of Fusion on October 28, all eyes are on the future of the Hispanic press – in English.
Crossover content: The lines are quickly blurring. Latino influence on American culture is occurring at rates similar to the influence of American national culture on Latinos. As opposed to creating “general market” versus “Hispanic” content, brands are creating content that blends both (or many) cultures.
The battle of the tweets: Some of the highest-rated shows in Spanish are novelas such as Porque El Amor Manda or music awards shows such as Premios Juventud - and the Twitter activity around these is enormous, but few brands are engaging in real time. This is the next frontier in social - The Battle of the Tweets - but for the bicultural, bilingual Hispanic consumer.
The new Hispanic press: Social media revolutionized the channels of trust and now organizations, celebrities, and even brands are publishers. Meet the “new Hispanic press.” Which are the publishers that are considered “Hispanic” that influence your target audience? Could it be @pitbull or @rickymartin, who combined have more than 24 million followers? Is it Procter & Gamble's female-empowerment platform @orgullosa, or perhaps Univision's variety show @elgordoylaflaca with 1 million-plus followers?
“Latina Sandbergs:” The new wave of feminism has given rise to "Latina Sandbergs," as well as a new wave of media such as Wise Latina, Red Shoe Movement, and The New Latina. This “new Latina underground media” is influencing the bicultural Latina, who holds the majority of the $1.2 trillion in Hispanic purchasing power. Campaigns are moving to develop initiatives that talk directly to her.
Latina bloggers on the rise: The Latina mom blogger represents millions of impressions for brands - and can build or break a reputation at the drop of a tweet. With the power of social in her hands, she is informing Hispanic consumers and inspiring them. How to engage them and make them a part of the communications mix is key.
Spanglish: The second language in the US is not Spanish; it's Spanglish. When to use English versus Spanish, or Spanglish, in your PR and social media content efforts will be key - and the trend is to use both, depending on the platform.
These trends have shown that the new Hispanic market is here, and it's here to stay. The proliferation of English-language Latino media like Fusion drives the point home. Is your PR team ready?
Natalie Boden is founder and president of Boden PR.