Cause marketing and ROI are challenges for both general market and Hispanic PR

I attended two panel discussions this morning that both touched on issues that are key in not only Hispanic PR, but also the general market as well: measurement and cause marketing.

I attended two panel discussions this morning that both touched on issues that are key in not only Hispanic PR, but also the general market as well: measurement and cause marketing.

The first panel, "Cause Marketing en Espanol: Lessons from the Hit 'Go Red' and 'Conozca Su Corazon' Campaigns from the American Heart Association," featured Patricia Beatty-Gonzalez, director of cause communications for the AHA, giving a history of the organization's work with women and specifically Latinas.

"We knew that within the Hispanic market, we needed to build some trust…and brand equity," Beatty-Gonzalez said. She noted that the organization was already working to become more consumer-friendly when a sponsor requested that it try something in the Hispanic market.

The key to the "Conozca Su Corazon" campaign was to "stay true to the [target audiences'] culture and traditions and help them understand how they can keep those cultures and traditions, but make them healthier," she said.

Also on the panel was psychologist Dr. Ana Nogales, who spoke about building trust within the Hispanic community, which is often skeptical of institutions and asking for help.

"Even when you have a reputation like AHA, they think, 'this is not for me,'" she said. "It's hard for them to go to institutions and request help." Nogales uses theater and writes plays to get the community to talk about mental health issues.

In the second panel of the morning, "The Gold Standard of Measuring ROI for Your Hispanic PR and Social Media Marketing Campaigns," several professionals spoke about what they had learned about measurement from their own services and past campaigns.

Christy Clavijo-Kish, SVP of multicultural markets, PRNewswire, discussed the importance of having a solid distribution plan in place before starting a campaign, which allows for measurement and analysis based on how far the messages reach.

Carlos Santiago, president and chief strategist for Santiago ROI, agreed that companies must have solid goals in place to help measure the success of a program. He went through a case study of Chivas Regal and how his company worked with that brand.

"We get pretty granular about who exactly we're going to go after," he said. "There is an opportunity to differentiate Chivas Regal by defining a true voice in what the brand believes in."

Jorge Dias de Villegas, SVP and co-chair of F-H Hispania and GM of Fleishman-Hillard Miami, spoke about how the agency works with clients to provide measurement, but sees that it is an ongoing issue.

"The problem that we have is that many of the measurement tools that we use are only measuring work output, they are not measuring real economic value," he said. "When I look at PR measurement, I look at it in four stages: measuring output quantity, output quality, impact, and economic value."

Listening to these two panels reminded me that while we are here in Dallas to discuss Hispanic PR and social media, the community has similar challenges to the general market PR. Hopefully the issues discussed at the Hispanic PR and Social Media Marketing Conference will translate back and inform some general market work as well.

The conference has been great and there is a lot of talk about planning for next year already. I think I have become at least half-Latina over the past few days, so count me in!

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