April’s Monthly Meeting Speaker, Muy Buena

Written By: Lauren Antista – Communications Coordinator, Florida Psychological Association

April 15, FPRA members gained insight into communicating effectively with Florida’s Hispanic community, an often untapped and overlooked market, from Univision’s, Myriam Masihy.  Masihy credited much of Univision’s success to targeting the rapidly growing Hispanic-Latino population in the U.S.’s unofficial second language – Spanish.

Myriam Masihy, a Broward Bureau Correspondent and investigative reporter for Univision’s South Affiliate, Noticias 23, shared first-hand, personal knowledge of the Hispanic community.  Masihy has been recognized for her work with two Emmys, five Emmy nominations and an Air Award for “Best Spanish Newscaster.”

“To get to the Hispanic market, or the Hispanic media,” Masihy said, “you need to find someone who speaks Spanish…Hispanics tend to trust someone who speaks their language.”

Quite simply, Hispanic-Latino people do not want to translate English, they want to actively communicate with someone. Masihy stressed that if you don’t cater to them, it affects your message.  She emphasized seizing or creating opportunities to connect with Hispanic people.  For example, Best Buy and its PR affiliate, MSL Worldwide, made themselves and Best Buy stores very accessible to Masihy and Univision.  Having Spanish-speaking personnel on staff to cultivate the relationship, Best Buy was able to promote its brand in Univision’s video footage, helping the company to further identify with the Hispanic community.

Offering access helps in these efforts, including access to: live interviews, surveillance videos, behind the scenes and exclusive coverage.  Masihy reminded FPRA members to keep the Hispanic community in mind and bulleted four main tips to getting a message out to the Hispanic community:

–       Talk to them in their language;

–       Show them they can identify with your company or product;

–       Have Spanish on your website; and

–       Have Spanish speakers answering your phones or hotlines.

She urged FPRA members to “be there and be seen,” networking within the Hispanic community, citing the excellent work of Deputy Attorney General of South Florida, Cindy Guerra, directly connecting with angry Hispanic citizens during the loan modification scandals in Spanish.

With more than 30 million people in the U.S. speaking Spanish, this is a not a community to ignore.  And getting the attention of the Hispanic community requires that the issues concerning Hispanic people be acknowledged and addressed. Atención por favor!