Hispanic Marketing 101 for my GOP

Soon after the November election I was interviewed by a journalist in regards to the outcome of the Hispanic vote.  The Hispanics shifted greatly in favor of Obama and more Hispanics registered Democrat than Republican in the state of Florida for the 1st time in History.  The reporter asked, “Do you think this shift is because the Republican Party is not inclusive and should work better at it?”  My response was that if the party was not inclusive I guess I would have never been a Republican.

Now, I realize why this reporter was probing specifically about the party’s outreach…..it is because the Republican Party leaders are not effectively communicating their message.  They are not choosing “words that work.”  During both statewide and local meetings and fundraisers I continue to hear that the party “is” inclusive and that “is” working on a great outreach program.  When it is described as such, others hear and understand it as the Republican Party has never been inclusive and is developing an outreach program for the first time.  

By utilizing the word “is” projects to the audience that the speaker is on defensive mode rather than sounding proactive.  The words inclusive and outreach only add fuel to the fire.  When working on marketing and PR campaigns with clients it is not only the look and feel of a piece that is significant, but even more important is the content and how it is used and strategically placed.  In the arena of politics, ‘words speak louder than action,’ and perception of those words has to set precedence when developing a message.   

So now you ask, “Angelette, what would you say to your fellow Latinos why the Republican Party is the party for Hispanics?”  My answer is that the Republican Party strives to do business based on our principles of less government, less taxes for individuals and businesses[1] that will allow us[2] to grow and succeed in achieving the American dream.[3]  The party encourages accountability in the school system while understanding that parents are more capable of deciding what is best for their children[4].  The Republican Party will continue[5] to share these messages and principles in which many Latinos have already[6] connected and come to agree with.  

And last but not least the other discouraging words I hear among these same party leaders is stating that Hispanics care about the same values as the GOP when it comes to families, faith and abortion.  The answer is families are important in the sense that we work hard to provide better opportunities for our family and that we know how to better handle our money or school choice than government. However, Hispanics are like any other American and moral positions like abortion is on the bottom of the totem pole as a concern or deciding factor when it comes to elections.  Why do you think many of those who voted for Obama also voted in favor of the Marriage Amendment in states like Florida and California?  It only becomes an issue for us when it is brought about as a separate campaign.  

In conclusion….Hispanic Marketing Tip 101: Don’t forget there is a difference when reaching out to 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation Hispanic Americans.  Don’t forget there is a difference of political and economic opinions when reaching out to a Puerto Rican versus a Cuban or a Venezuelan versus a Mexican, or a Colombian versus a Dominican.  Don’t forget there is a difference between Translating versus Transcreation.  When in doubt, call me or email me at Aaviles@AmericasMarketing.com!!


[1]  According to the 2000 census Hispanic-owned businesses are growing 3 times faster than any other group.  I recommend discussing how Latinos contribute the U.S. economy as many times as possible not in purchasing power but in employment and business-making power. 

[2]  Using the word “us” avoids the perception of targeting a specific group when using the word ‘you.’ 

[3]  Foreign-born Hispanics or whose parents and grand-parents came to this country are like any other immigrant who come to this country for a better opportunity.  Some come here for economic reasons and others come here to live in a less restricted government. 

[4]  The average age of Hispanics nationwide is 27; the biggest contributing factor is because the largest segment is under the age of 18.  As a result there are many parents with school-age children thus Education is ranked as the #1 or #2 concern among Hispanics in the last several years.  By emphasizing  the improvement in Florida schools (from #47 to #10 in 2009) or the shrinking of the achievement gap between Latinos and other students because of Republican inspired legislation people will become aware that the Party is about preparing for the future. 

[5]  “Continue” emphasizes that the Party’s efforts to appeal to others is nothing new and does not consider pandering.

[6]  This just helps strengthen the word “continue.”

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4 Responses to Hispanic Marketing 101 for my GOP

  1. Vince says:

    Angelette, we absolutely need to aggressively go after the hearts and minds of Latinos and Hispanics. Check out what the Latin American Republicans of South Florida are doing in conjunction with Tito Munoz for Latino/Hispanic outreach in South Florida. – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=744668661&ref=profile#/event.php?eid=71683826124&ref=nf

  2. Angelette says:

    Yes, I think we are all working on it and we can’t wait for the party to do the work. Our Hispanic Republican Club in Tampa is holding a fundraiser in May so that we have enough funds in 2010 to do our own campaigning and marketing. I am in the RPOF Hispanic Leadership Council and our group was planning a fundraiser to do the same but it never happened! Keep up with the hard work!

  3. There is another explanation for the failure of the GOP (and marketers for that matter) to make real inroad with “Hispanics”: Hispanic/Latino is an identity that exist only within the borders of the United States and has very little relevance to most Latin Americans and Spaniards.

    Would you presume everyone named Johnson has similar political views? Would you presume everyone name Smith is part of the same socio-economic demographic? Why then, do politicians and marketers make the same assumptions when someone’s name is Jimenez or Suarez?

    Your article states the importance of recognizing differences in generation and national origin. So what ARE the points of commonality among the people you label “Hispanic”?

    Are you going to bring up the worn out cliches about devotion to family? Or that Hispanics are “hot blooded” as Gov. Arnie would have us believe? We both know use of Spanish varies widely by household and generation. I defy you to give me an explanation that does not rely on ethnic stereotypes.

    Sincerely,
    Raul Ramos y Sanchez

  4. Luis N Otero says:

    Great Article Angelette,,hit it right on target. And to respond to Señor Raul’s quote:
    “Are you going to bring up the worn out cliches about devotion to family?”
    The answer is YES we are going too because it is not a cliche,,it’s a reality. Hispanic/Latinos’s devotion to family and religion is legendary. This two go hand in hand in the decisions that the ordinary folks, (perhaps not as educated as yourself or with less money), make in regards of their political preferences. If you are a true Hispanic/Latino, you will agree. If you don’t well perhaps tou have been americanized to the extreme of forgetting your cultural roots.

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