The new makeup of America is prompting change in the industry

The government's once-a-decade assessment of the national population and its makeup is a crucial, if flawed, process

The government's once-a-decade assessment of the national population and its makeup is a crucial, if flawed, process. The data for the 2010 Census is now being gathered and will be unveiled by 2012.

The results will surprise many, especially the rapidly expanding size of the Hispanic population in America. But smart marketers are the ones who take advantage before official findings emerge, and State Farm's VP of public affairs Mike Fernandez is just one such person (read article here).

This month's Newsmaker is transitioning the insurance company's communications to embrace diverse audiences as demand from the traditional bedrock of Baby Boomers declines and the need to engage new markets becomes more urgent. It's a great story, and Fernandez gives the lie to the perception that there are no senior communicators of Hispanic origin at the top table in corporate America.

Hispanic audiences are known to be more tech-savvy and social media-literate than the general populace, and our main feature focuses on how digital is permeating every area of companies. It's no longer confined to marketing and communications - as IBM's VP of digital strategy Ben Edwards says, it extends "from R&D to product management" - although as Edwards' high-profile senior colleague Jon Iwata has initiated and proven, communications is the glue that holds the whole process together and acts as the agent for change in organizations.

One aspect of PR that firms have hitherto deemed an impediment, but now many view more as a partnership, is the client procure- ment process. It's easy to label procurers as bean counters who don't understand service industries, but our feature may convince skeptics that once warring factions are learning to partner to their mutual benefit.

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