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Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations book review by Denice Hinden, Ph.D., president, Managance Consulting

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 1, 2006

 Denice Hinden, Ph.D.

Denice R. Hinden, president, Managance Consulting

Photo: Denice R. Hinden

Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations:  Understanding and Targeting America’s Largest Minority.  2005. Elena del Valle, editor.  Poyeen Publishing, Boca Raton, Florida.  Reviewed by Denice R. Hinden, president, Managance Consulting

Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations is a thoughtful and insightful reference tool for anyone contemplating a targeted marketing campaign, or anyone working in a field where results depends on effective communication with people of Hispanic or Latino origin (the terms are used interchangeably throughout the book), and especially people for whom Spanish is their dominant language.  The book is a compilation of chapters written by 19 professionals, across the United States representing a broad range of experiences and perspectives.  The authors include two university professors, five researchers, several business owners (whose services target marketers, communicators and Hispanics) and five communicators. 

The book quickly dispels any notion that all people of Hispanic origin are “the same” or that communicating with the Hispanic market is just a matter of “speaking Spanish.”  The Hispanic market is segmented, primary by country of origin and the distinct culture and Spanish dialect of each country.  Further, the book makes a strong case for the value of investing in careful research, planning and translation services as an essential part of any organization’s communication planning and brand awareness efforts.  Integrated throughout the book are brief examples that illustrate key points, along with a variety of charts and graphs of data and trends in the Hispanic market.  By the end of the book the reader understands that effectively reaching the Hispanic market is both a science and an art and there is still much more to learn about this dynamic and growing market. 

The book is organized around 15 different topics that you get a sense are just skimming the surface of the complexities and opportunities for understanding and effectively reaching people of Hispanic origin in the United States.  Some of the many topics covered include: the culture of the Latino market, the difference between acculturation and assimilation, trends in specific market segments including baby products, the wireless market, the car market, the banking market and the urban youth market and the tools of effective marketing including qualitative and quantitative research, effective translations, the Latino print and broadcast media, the entertainment factor and specific communication strategies.  Integrated throughout the book are helpful (and funny) lessons about challenges and opportunities of working in Spanish and English.  For example, when a well known airline wanted to advertise it’s new leather first class seats in the Mexican market it translated its campaign literally.  “Fly in leather” or “vuela en cuero” is “Fly naked” in Spanish. 

Other valuable elements of the book include a detailed table of contents and index, a brief introduction to each chapter and a summary at the end of each chapter emphasizing key points.  Another feature of the book is its companion website  The website is a unique forum for the exchange of information and ideas on Hispanic marketing and public relations.  The site is updated regularly and resources include books, media, events, people, press, entertainment and podcasts from movers and shakers in the communications industry.  Together, the contributing authors to Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations have decades of experience on the front lines of the country’s communication industry.  Their wisdom and experiences are a valuable resource for anyone entering or working in the Hispanic marketing and public relations industry.