Hispanic PR Conference kicks off in Dallas

I am here in Dallas for the Hispanic PR and Social Media Marketing Conference, and yesterday, PRWeek and the Axis Agency hosted a roundtable event to discuss multicultural PR and diversity within the industry.

I am here in Dallas for the Hispanic PR and Social Media Marketing Conference (follow #HPRConf on Twitter), and yesterday, PRWeek and the Axis Agency hosted a roundtable event to discuss multicultural PR and diversity within the industry. We had a great panel, including conference organizer Manny Ruiz; Mike Fernandez, VP of public affairs for State Farm (and conference keynote speaker); Armando Azarloza, president of the Axis Agency; and more. I'll be writing up a full news story about the event soon, but the discussion covered topics ranging from how the Census will continue to show the changing face of America, to how to reach this demographic using language, culture, and being online, to education, recruitment, and retention of an inclusive workforce within PR and communications.

Sonia Sroka, SVP and director of Hispanic marketing at Porter Novelli, said, "We can't come to the table as an afterthought." And that was where the discussion focused quite a bit, on how to get corporate America and senior leaders to think about multicultural outreach from the beginning. But like I said, a bigger write-up to come.

Last night, the Conference also opened with a reception and networking event, where Ruiz presented some of the findings of the Hispanic PR Census, and Rosanna Fiske, CEO and chair-elect of PRSA and Florida International University professor, spoke about her journey through the PR industry as a Latina.

The purpose of the Hispanic PR Census was to count every marketing professional who spends at least 30% of their time doing US Hispanic PR or social media. The Census found that of the 319 professionals surveyed, 87% were of Hispanic origin, while 13% were not. The group was 69% female, and 31% male. Of the respondents, 46% had between one to five years experience, 19% had between six and 10 years, and 35% had 11 or more years experience.

Additionally, 39% of respondents spend 30% to 50% of their time on Hispanic PR and social media, 22% spend between 50% to 70%, and 39% spend 70% to 100% of their time working in Hispanic PR and social media. Seventy-six percent reported they had worked on one ore more Hispanic social media campaigns within the past year.

With these statistics in mind, the conference kicked off and will feature speakers including State Farm's Fernandez; Christina Gonzalez, associate director of multicultural marketing for Verizon Wireless; Rudy Rodriguez, director of multicultural marketing for General Mills; and Patricia Beatty-Gonzalez, director of cause communications for the American Heart Association.

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