Hispanicize looks forward to election, honors Latino leaders

Given today's political climate, one of the best attended panels at Hispanicize 2012, and my personal favorite, was "Coming of Age: The Latino Electorate in 2012 and the Challenge to Win their Vote,"

Hispanicize 2012, the annual event for Latino trendsetters, included a series of interesting panel discussions. They covered taking that first step to engage Latinos online, learning about the nuances of working with influential Spanish-dominant bloggers, and catching up on how Hispanic PR experts are using traditional and social media tools to generate coverage. 

Given today's political climate, one of the best attended panels, and my personal favorite, was “Coming of Age: The Latino Electorate in 2012 and the Challenge to Win their Vote,” moderated by Mike Valdes-Fauli, president of JeffreyGroup. 

Besides the fact that our agency was involved in this panel, I enjoyed it because it led to a healthy discussion of the key issues that will influence Hispanic voters. Panelists discussed how politics has been influenced by Hispanics, the issues that matter, whether or not immigration will be a hot-button issue as in other election years, and what it will take to get Latinos motivated to get to the polls. 

Another one of my favorite attractions at Hispanicize was the “Latinovator Awards,” which recognize Latinos who have become crossover successes or whose stories of achievements are remarkable or inspirational. On day two, the award was given to national Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas, who received her prize at a packed luncheon. Salinas shared with the audience stories from her 30-year career, juggling the challenges of motherhood and her book I Am My Father's Daughter. She also announced that she's turning her website into a blog where she will not only write but post articles that might be of interest to her readers. 

The day ended with a welcome reception from Clorox. While I was unable to attend, I heard from many bloggers that it was a lot of fun, so I have big hopes for Day Three's film screenings and after party, so stay tuned.

Claudia Mejia-Haffner is managing director of JeffreyGroup's New York office and Hispanic practice leader. 

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