Looking Ahead: Hispanic and African-American Media Join Forces to Engage Audience and Influence in 2016

Joining Forces

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, we talked about how media and marketing merged to develop a stronger voice. Brands implemented content marketing, while media outlets fully embraced social media to reach online and mobile audiences.

This year, the trend we’re seeing is with Hispanic and African-American media uniting to engage a wider audience, strengthening further their power and influence.

This influence will prove critical as the presidential election draws closer.

In fact, Nielsen recently published a report about how older Latinos have the potential to be decisive swing votes. The report emphasizes understanding the language nuances and media preferences for older Hispanics. This audience in particular often communicates in Spanish and frequently promotes bilingual media use – both Spanish- and English-language media.

The Role of Spanish-Language Media

Language always has been a key factor in reaching Latino voters.

In fact, an extensive survey by Jorge Ignacio Covarrubias, general secretary with North American Academy of Spanish Language (ANLE), found the majority of the journalists credit Spanish-language media outlets with helping to keep the language alive in the United States. Covarrubias conducted the survey on the state of Spanish-language media in the US on behalf of The Instituto Cervantes at Harvard University. (Incidentally, the general consensus also considers the vocabulary used not very accurate and of questionable quality, and the grammar barely acceptable.)

Covarrubias says one of the most interesting conclusions of the survey was that though the majority consider the state of Spanish-language media in the US to be “regular” in regards to journalistic quality, they’re confident it will improve in the future and rate it “good.”

Joining Forces to Boost Newspapers

Meanwhile, the black community continues to place its trust in African-American newspapers.

Jorge Ignacio Covarrubias

Jorge Ignacio Covarrubias, general secretary with the North American Academy of Spanish Language (ANLE).

In September, National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), which represents 200-plus African-American-owned community newspapers and National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) announced the formation of a National Advertising Task Force to educate marketers on the benefits and importance of the African-American and Hispanic newspaper markets.

“NAHP and NNPA publication brands have existed in the communities some for 20, 40 and even over 80 years as trusted brands of information,” says Martha Montoya, NAHP president. “Partnering enhances the support system among all of us as our communities are starting to gravitate to each other.”

NAHP and NNPA see the new relationship as a value that affects many aspects of society, from publications working for a common local cause to underlying the importance of communities of color staying active in the political process.

Montoya points to her business expertise and that of NNPA chair, Denise Rolark Barnes.

“[We] understand the responsibility and implications of sharing the spotlight to unify the communities through our industry,” said Montoya.

Carrying the Partnership Online

Newspapers aren’t the only medium that’s seen a partnership boost between Hispanic and African-American media.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Denise Rolark-Barnes and Martha Montoya.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Denise Rolark-Barnes and Martha Montoya.

In May, VIBE Magazine added Viva to its website to meet the demands of its Latino audience.

“We seek to create a space from which U.S.-born Latinos, especially, can explore the multiplicity of our rich heritage, by bringing into conversation all that we contribute to in sectors across entertainment, music, politics, and the arts,” said Marjua Estevez, editor of VIBE Viva. She explains that VIBE Viva is a direct result of the deeply-rooted influence of the Latino culture here.

Meanwhile, Univision has its eyes set on the African-American market with the purchase of The Root earlier this year. In a release, Isaac Lee, president of news and digital for UCI and CEO of Fusion, said that like Univision, The Root aims to serve a significant segment of America’s diverse population.

“Our diverse communities are continuing to define the fabric of the country, from buying power to social influence to elections,” Lee said. 

Onward to the Presidential Election

2015 has been a year of strength and unity for Hispanic and African-American media.

As we move toward the presidential election, candidates would be wise to keep their eyes on multicultural media.

Sincerity and transparency will be especially critical toward earning their audience’s trust, which ultimately could heavily influence voters.

Stay tuned.

The multicultural market will continue to play a huge role next year. Stay up-to-date on trends and news by opting into one of our multicultural media lists. Journalists and bloggers can email Jessica.Alas@prnewswire.com for more information or follow us on Twitter @PRNMltCult.

Jessica Alas is Multicultural Audience Director at PR Newswire. Follow her at @alasjessica.

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