4 tips to avoid tokenism when celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to learn more about the Latino community. Here are four tips for communicating more effectively with Hispanic audiences.

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Sept. 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. That means more communicators and marketers are working on inclusive strategies, campaigns and messages right now.

And while the occasion offers an exciting opportunity to engage diverse audience, the cultural celebration also presents an opportunity to screw up.

“It’s great when the government and culture take notice,” says Manny Ruiz, co-founder of Latino-owned Brilla Media, which provides Latinx entertainment, media and experiential storytelling. “But it’s also a problem because brands and their agencies can run the risk of tokenizing the month like they do other holidays.”

Here’s his advice for ensuring you don’t tokenize Latinx culture so you can create more authentic, results-driven campaigns in the weeks and months ahead:

1. Harness data.

“Just jumping into this month isn’t the best way to engage or win over Latinos,” Ruiz says. “One-offs might be OK to test a concept, but any real and sustainable effort has to be a 360-degree, 365-days-a-year approach.”

It’s a message he’s shared for decades as a multicultural marketing pioneer who launched Hispanicize Media Group and also served as president of Hispanic PR Wire.

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