NEW YORK: Edelman is expanding its multicultural practice with several senior-level hires across its regional offices.
The firm has hired Rosa Alonso as SVP and head of Edelman multicultural, which currently focuses on Hispanic and African-American marketing. She previously was senior director of international and multicultural marketing at AT&T Wireless.
Latraviette Smith is rejoining the firm as VP after a two-year absence. She will lead the African-American marketing group from the New York office. She spent the past two years as national marketing manager for Deloitte & Touche.
Edelman's DC office recently added Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli, former director of Hispanic media for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), as a VP.
Peter Land, global managing director at Edelman, also oversees Edelman multicultural and noted that the practice, which was founded in 1998, has seen "explosive" growth in the past year; in the past two years, the practice has grown from about eight employees to 23.
"To run a multicultural practice... the expectation is going to be that not only are you savvy about the multicultural space, but that you also have a depth of understanding about marketing and issues management and corporate reputation," he said. "We thought it was important to identify people who can wear multiple hats."
Alonso noted that she was attracted to Edelman because of the agency's varied capabilities.
"This is not just PR," she said. "This is PR and media and marketing and strategic planning and consulting, and all the things that clients need."
Smith said she decided to return to Edelman because of its "renewed focus" on the multicultural space, both internally and externally.
Indeed, within the past two years, Edelman has hired a diversity manager and assembled an internal diversity task force.