How brands can be long-term Hispanic allies

Companies must demonstrate an earnest commitment to the Hispanic community to make a lasting impact, says Valentina Rojas, a Gen Z Latina and senior account executive at Boden.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Every year, as a Gen Z Latina in PR, I eagerly anticipate the ways brands will try to better connect with me during Hispanic Heritage Month. And every year the companies that lead with heart and authenticity win, while others fall flat. 

Those looking to build and maintain trust with the U.S. Hispanic community must embrace the demographic’s Gen Z values, helping future proof their business beyond a successful Hispanic Heritage Month activation. 

Celebrate community faces & places 

Our communities are the center of our world and our people are the voices of our collective story. We support brands that create space for our voices to be heard. 

Hispanic Heritage Month is the time to highlight the vibrant talent that is bred in our communities, that spark pride, build engagement and inspire others. Share the untold stories of Hispanic individuals who are making significant contributions and representing our community in different rooms — from arts, sports, music and entertainment to science, education, politics and business. 

We’re eager to see, and for the rest of the world to celebrate, Hispanic entrepreneurs, thought leaders and creators who have “defied odds” — helping rewrite outdated narratives and debunk stereotypes, as well as reinforcing a brand’s alignment with our community. 

Couple action with authenticity

Remember that the Hispanic community values authenticity above all else. Beyond Spanish-language translations, colorful imagery and festive content, this month is an opportunity to celebrate our progress as a people while advocating for our continued advancement. Create campaigns that move away from superficial generalizations and instead showcase the many different slices of the U.S. Hispanic experience. 

This approach requires ongoing research and understanding — engaging with community voices, collaborating with Hispanic creators and working with diverse partners who live and breathe the Hispanic cohort. Take the time to apply those raw insights and human truths in meaningful, action-oriented and culturally relevant ways. 

Create long-term connections

In an era where social media amplifies our voices and documents our experiences, we easily keep tabs on corporate behavior and are vocal when we are treated as seasonal targets. We challenge brands to invest in year-round efforts, thereby showing that your connection to the Hispanic community transcends a single moment of celebration. We reward brands that are committed to our community for the long run.

Hispanic content creators and influencers, and their many Gen Z followers, witnessed brands attempt to join the celebration last year with what felt like disingenuous support. Brands must approach this occasion with earned permission, cultural empathy, sincerity and an understanding of our experience as U.S. Hispanics.

As companies finalize their Hispanic Heritage Month plans this year, I and other diverse members of Gen Z call for an earnest commitment to our community. Together we can create a future where the celebration and admiration of our culture, which is already transcending mainstream culture, makes a lasting impact past mid-October and for years to come.

Valentia Rojas is a senior account executive at Boden.

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