Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twilight - the bar, not the movie

My friend Judd Hall is making Twilight down by the Market *the* place for cocktails and great music.

I'm going to mention his Friday and Saturday lineup since KUBE just happens to be the most listened to English-language radio station in our market by Latinos.

KUBE Fridays
5 PM - 2 AM ($10 cover after 9 pm)
Happy Hour until 10 PM. Listen for our radio spots on KUBE all day long, then come on down to Twilight and enjoy KUBE's Vinnie the Pooh as he mixes his favorite tunes!

KUBE Saturdays
9 PM - 2 AM ($10 cover) Another KUBE evening - with DJ Jeff opening for KUBE's Super Sam, as they play danceable music all night long!

Twilight Martini Lounge
2125 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 443-1212

This is not a paid advertisement! I don't do those.

New Language Acess Requirements

This important info comes from Debi Kadis and our friends at Syntes Language Group:

Hot off the press!

The federal government just sent a significant message about the pivotal role of language access in economic recovery as federal agencies get ready to distribute funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an important reminder that all recipients of federal money, including private companies, must comply with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which includes providing "language access for limited English proficient persons."

So, what does this mean for you and your organization? Here is some information to consider.

How do you determine what needs to be translated? The documents that should take priority and are considered vital are those that are required by law or are critical to obtaining services/products and benefits. Such documents include: applications, consent & complaint forms, and notices of rights and disciplinary action.

What about translation of website content? Website content also needs to be translated if it meets these same criteria. However, even if the content is on the web, the translated print material still needs to be made available as well.

How does this apply to interpreting? The obligation to provide meaningful opportunities to individuals with limited English proficiency is not restricted to written translations. Oral communication is often an essential component in imparting vital information to recipients. Foreign language interpreting may be required for such communication as proceedings, meetings, and consultations that involve the exchange of legal or other critical information.

What about enforcement and public pressure? Given this intensified focus on language access, increased media attention, public pressure, and legal enforcement will likely follow. What are the broader implications here? In addition to language access being tied to funding and legal issues, the broader underlying message is that language is a path to global competiveness, which extends to a greater recognition of domestic linguistic minorities.

Indeed, current research indicates that the US Hispanic market remains underserved by more than 40 percent. In addition, in a slow economy, many of the stronger US firms look abroad for opportunites and often get more of their revenue from outside of the United States. How can you get more information? To read more about language access as it relates to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, visit http://www.usdoj.gov/recovery. For more general information, visit LEP.gov, a government website designed to promote “a positive and cooperative understanding of the importance of language access.”

Sunday, March 29, 2009


While I'm visiting with my sister and her family in Northern California I "get" to join her for gym workouts. Yesterday's was a Zumba class.

Do you know anything about Zumba? It's not new, really, although the experience was new to me. It's based on Latin beats, but what I didn't know is that it's all about modern Latin beats, like bachata and reggaeton. No regional Mexican here, folks!

Clearly the instructor, although very inspiring in many ways, is not a Spanish speaker. Whenever the lyrics told us to "move your hips," we ... weren't. But that aside, the workout was great although I was always several steps behind the rest of the class. I recommend it for a fun and energizing way to get the blood pumping!

¿Quién es Ratón Pérez?

This is my five-year-old nephew, Aaron, who just lost two teeth--one before this pic, and then another right after! Why is this important to you?

Because say you're a dentist, or in any business at all, and you want to use the concept of "the tooth fairy" in your marketing to Latinos. In many countries, such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Spain, that isn't translated at all, but it's Ratón Pérez (Perez Mouse!) who brings kids money when they lose their baby teeth. He's not a fairy at all!

This is an example of when Internet translations/non-language professionals/non-native Spanish speakers can fail miserably.

Understand your target. To whom is your message directed? If it's to folks in Colombia, a direct translation in this particular case may work. But if it's to the general U.S. Hispanic population, you might try another tactic since different concepts are used in different Latin American countries and Spain.

In any case, as a multicultural/multilanguage marketer you must either be familiar with the dialect and culture of the people you're looking to embrace, or consult with someone who is.

Aaron now has two bucks in his piggy bank. Not bad!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Resort Offer Taken, Folks!

Just an update that the resort stay I was offering yesterday was snatched up by one lucky lady and her family. Thanks, all, for your interest!

Now - off to Yakima for focus group work!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A FREE offer for one lucky Blog Reader!

Hi, All - OK here's your chance for a FREE stay at a beautiful resort in Mazatlán, México.

I was planning to join my sister and her family for a week at this resort, but with the U.S. government travel advisories she doesn't think it's a good place for young kids. So, instead we're just reuniting at their El Dorado Hills home.

In the meantime...there is a empty master suite (that sleeps 6) looking for occupants 3/30 - 4/6. If you're interested, see their site for more and email me at lauri@conexion-marketing if you'd like to confirm so we can change the name on the reservations!

Buena suerte!

Casa Latina has a new casa

CASA Latina has a new home - the social services agency previously located in Belltown for..ever is now in its new digs at 317 17th Avenue South in Seattle.

This organization has long been providing educational and employment services for our Latino immigrant community. See site for more on what they are doing for the community!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Did you know about Spain Association of the Pacific NW?

For all you Spaniards and Spain-ophiles--you might already be members of the Spain Association of the Pacific Northwest. For the rest of you, read on!

It's a great group, several years old, and they're celebrating the arrival of spring with La Feria de Abril!

WHEN: Sunday, April 5, 1pm (like all good Hispanics, no end time is noted)
WHERE: Aqua Club 18512 58th Avenue, Kenmore 98028
HOW MUCH: $18 for non-members ($12 for members)

WHAT IS IT: La Feria de Abril is celebrating Sevilla's April Fair, one of the biggest, most beautiful fairs in Europe. Great for families and ...well, everyone! There will be plenty of food, wine and music. Last year's party had some party-goers dancing "sevillanas" (the traditional folkdance of Sevilla).

If you can't make La Feria de Abril, pay Spain Association a visit at their site!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wal-Mart in the News--and a local twist (sort of)

In case you haven't seen this yet, Wal-Mart has figured out that it just may pay to offer Latino-cized stores in two big Hispanic markets, Phoenix and Houston, as they continue to target high-growth markets. The name: Supermercado de Walmart.
The company's B2B membership retailer, Sam's Club, will be following suit, with Más Club (More Club?). Check out this article.

In a local twist that's only slightly related, Paula Rosecky of Hemispheres, a research consultancy, took this photo at a Wal-Mart on a recent trip to Mexico.

Just another example of why language professionals should *always* be involved, no matter what you're putting out there for the public.

Communications Professionals: SAVE THE DATE

The Association for Women in Communications Puget Sound Chapter is focusing on target markets for its Spring Workshop: Know Your Audience: Tips for Target Marketing Success.

Presenters include Carly Jackson and Tracey Wilkinson, advertising & commercial sponsorship managers, Fort Lewis, who will discuss ways to successfully reach military in your marketing efforts.

I will be there as well, to offer my perspective on how to embrace the Latino market.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 15 (yes, tax day!). 8-10:30am

WHERE: The Seattle Public Library Howard S. Wright & Janet W. Ketchum Room, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Fourth Floor

For more details click here. We're planning an eye-opening activity to test your knowledge of these markets, so you don't want to miss this one! I'm personally looking forward to hearing from Tracey and Carly and their experience with communications with military.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Market to the Max - RECAP

Hello, and welcome to a new week.

I've been remiss in posting on Seattle Direct Marketing Association's Market to the Max, and our High Touch, High Value Hispanic Marketing panel last week. It was a neat event, and the panel went really well--the panelists and I offered diverse perspectives that all added up to valuable knowledge on embracing Hispanics versus the "spray and pray" approach (AKA throwing marketing against a wall and hoping it sticks).

Here are some highlights:

Ty Cordova, active in the local Latino community through his work at State Farm Insurance as well as serving on the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs and being president of the Pierce County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as other organizations, really emphasized the importance of community relations. He compared it to advertising and PR, and showed how, by getting out into the community and participating in relevant events with more than a table, companies will become trusted partners. Ty added that by emphasizing staff and supplier diversity, word of mouth will help the community see that you're walking the talk.

President and COO Eric Harber of HipCricket offered lots of great information about Hispanics as mobile marketing consumers, including some of the successes they've seen with Hispanic campaigns nationwide. HipCricket offers a mobile marketing platform which combines traditional media with wireless devices, resulting in engaging, interactive and measurable marketing. They are currently partnering with local outlets KUNS (Univision) and Busto Media radio.

These statistics come from HipCricket:
  • 87% of Hispanic households have multiple mobile phones and use them more than any other form of personal or handheld technologies on the market today
  • More than half regularly use text messaging
  • Text messaging has increased 59%YOY among Hispanics
  • 32% are interested to highly interested in receiving mobile offers/ads
  • Responding to mobile marketing text messages is up 74% vs. last year
Amazing stuff!

Participating from Hemispheres, a local research consultancy offering both quantitative and qualitative expertse, Paula Rosecky was full of great information about how to approach research methodologies when looking to reach the Hispanic community. Paula emphasized the need to understand cultural differences and not proceed blindly or make assumptions.

"Because in most organizations, people don’t typically know much about Hispanic audiences, it requires rolling up your sleeves and acting as an educator. The work is highly rewarding in that you learn as you go and you become a teacher in the process."

And last but certainly not least, Jacqui Stewart from Ascentium was able to provide the audience a better understanding of how to know whether to target Latino consumers in English or Spanish.

Jacqui explained (and I agree) that best practices show that bilingual materials are almost always preferred, especially in the case of direct marketing where you're not face-to-face with the consumer. Latinos like to see that with either language, they're getting the same "deal." Besides, even if your target consumer is Spanish-dominant, they likely have someone in their household who is English-dominant. It's ideal to offer both languages in one piece for this consumer.

All in all it was a terrific learning opportunity for our audience--who admitted they hadn't yet tackled marketing to this community but were certainly interested in learning how.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Multilingual School Meeting in Bellevue

Did you know that there are 80 different languages spoken by kids at Bellevue schools? It's really mind-boggling, especially for the administrators I imagine.

So they've done something innovative to better involve immigrant parents: They've designed a workshop to really bring the important messages home.

The importance of teaching coping skills to children will be the primary topic, and will be communicated in English. Then, parents of five languages have been chosen to lead smaller groups to help educate other parents on the same subject--in their native language.

The languages chosen for this workshop are Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Vietnamese. According to Assistant to the Superintendent Ann Oxrieder of Bellevue School District, this is the first time anything like this has been done in Bellevue. Kudos to the adminsitration for implementing this grassroots-level approach to involving more immigrant parents.

The meeting will take place on Monday evening at Sammamish High School, and is free. Read The Seattle Times article for more details!

Last Day to Help Girl Scouts with Cookie Sale!

At the grocery store this morning I was reminded that today's the last day of the big Girl Scout fundraiser--their cookie sale.

And I learned something interesting from this Girl Scout and her mom: That different cookie flavors sell differently depending on who's buying. For example, they say nationally speaking, men tend to buy more mints and samoas (their biggest sellers) than any other variety. Women have a special love for peanut butter patties.

I also learned that the cookie varieties sell differently among different ethnicities. In fact, I brought up their newest flavor, Dulce de Leche, and asked how it was selling in their home neighborhood of Burien.

"Fantastic - it's the big seller among Latinos." And I'm sure that's why Girl Scouts added the flavor to the mix this year. They're working on all kinds of outreach to Latinos nationally, and here in Western Washington as well.

Perhaps Latinos are more likely to buy the Dulce de Leche cookie. And those same purchasers may be parents, who see Girl Scouts selling these terrific cookies can observe what that's doing for these girls' confidence and self-esteem as well as business savvy. Maybe after that experience they're more aware of the benefits of Girl Scouts and more likely to want to see their own girls join in.

In any case, it's your last chance for a box of tag-a-longs. The Girl Scout I talked to and her mom are selling at the QFC at Harvard Market on Capitol Hill all day until 8pm tonight.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

On KCTS' Tough Times: Rising Above the Financial Crisis

There's a great series on KCTS (English) and V-Me (Spanish) and they've uploaded some of the segments to their site.

I just saw Segment 4, which features Realtor Eddie Quintero and talks about mortgages and foreclosures, and how the economic stimulus will help homeowners.

View this segment and others at their site.

Hits the Spot!

Take a look at this great piece on Media Post. Author Diana A. Terry-Azíos describes the brand-loyal quality Hispanic consumers are shown to have. It also reminds us that immigrants may not see "their" brand at U.S. retailers. This is an opportunity for U.S. brands to step up and embrace that market in a compelling, engaging way for a chance at a lifetime of loyalty.

Wish I had written it myself!

The Sounders FC put Seattle on the map!

The brand-new Sounders FC team starts its season one week from today!

Exciting stuff! At Market to the Max yesterday, we learned from keynote speaker Adrian Hanauer that the club executives had made group decisions on everything from uniform color (check out the "rave green"!), to sponsor (Microsoft XBOX 360), to a marching band (Drew Carey's idea), to the fact that this will be known as the high-tech soccer club.

The best part? The focus has truly been on getting world-class players on the field.

In fact, I asked Adrian at the event about all the soccer fans in this region who happen to be Latino. "There are about 100 Hispanic soccer teams in the Greater Seattle Area, and I know that Seattle Sounders had been reaching out to Latinos. How is Sounders FC accomplishing that?" I asked.

The answer really impressed me. Besides the fact that they're building a Spanish-language website, that they're working with community members, and the fact that I've seen their print ads etc etc, he added the following (not exactly verbatim):

"A lot of people approach us about this and suggest that, with all the Mexicans here, we should get a Mexican player on the team to draw in that segment. But we know that Latinos are sophisticated soccer fans, and what they want is quality players no matter where they're from. So we're not going to pander to them by including a Mexican player for the sake of including a Mexican player. We're assembling the very best team we can."

And because of that, 21K+ season tickets have already been sold (more than for the Mariners!), for a team that hasn't even played a true game together yet. But they've been busy at practice and are ready to show Seattle what the sport is really about: PASSION!

Check out their site!


Ke Buena will be broadcasting every game en español on 1210AM, and KUNS, the local Univision affiliate, is kicking off its weekly Sounders FC en Acción 30-minute recap show. We've been hearing about terrific opportunities to reach Latino soccer fans in the region by partnering with both media outlets; let us know if you'd like to hear more!

Contact us at info@conexion-marketing.com or 206-621-2185

TONIGHT at the UW - Film: Niña Quebrada


WHEN: TODAY, March 12 7-9pm
WHERE: UW Campus, HUB Auditorium

Diana Romero's film, Niña Quebrada ("Broken Girl"), is the story of Lucena, a teenage girl who runs away from her family in Mexico for the love of a boyfriend who promises her a better life in Los Angeles. The reality, unbeknownst to her, is that she has been sold into sex slavery. Against the backdrop of an illegal cockfighting ring, Lucena must fight for her life to escape the horrors of this nightmarish world of child prostitution and human trafficking.

Director Diana Romero and a panel of expert guests are available for Q&A after the screening.

Thank you to sponsors: Women's Studies Department and the UW Women's Center

Contact Latin American Studies at the UW for more info or to get on their mailing list and learn about the many diverse events on campus!

Cultural Event This Saturday Night - FREE

All are invited to this unique event:

Más Allá de Una Lengua • Beyond One Language
An Evening of Theater, Poetry
& Music

WHEN: Saturday, March 14
7-8pm Entertainment
8-9pm Mingling, Munching and more Music

WHERE: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
104 - 17th Ave South, Seattle WA 98144-2107

Music by Quichua Mashis (with Francia Recalde), a music group composed of Native Quichua members, all originally from Ecuador. The group has performed in Europe, South America, Japan, Canada and the United States. Since 1993, Quichua Mashis has been based in Seattle. They play traditional instruments, made of bamboo, sheep hooves, goat skins and armadillo shells.

Theater by the AFrican ConeXion Project (directed by Rose Cano), which shows the blending of African and Spanish heritage in the Americas. The Project seeks to unite Latino and African theater, dance and music of the diaspora, making the connection between Afro-Latino and African American roots, culture, and history.

Poetry by Jorge Enrique González-Pacheco, the Havana-born poet and writer. González-Pacheco is the author of numerous books of poetry, published in Mexico and Spain. A former staff member of the renowned Cuban Film Institute, he began publishing his poetry in 1991, when he was 22.

Thanks to House of Writers / Casa de Escritores, Hedgebrook, 4 Culture, Seattle Neighborhood Matching Funds, La Sala, Mexican and Spanish Consulates in Seattle, and Viva la Musica

For more info, email Paola Casla.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Strategies to Increase Latino/a Participation in Outreach Programs

The Latino community is the largest minority group in the Northwest and will continue growing rapidly in Washington and other states in our region. Agencies and institutions are increasingly challenged to reach out and work with Latino audiences.

Dr. José L. García-Pabón, Assistant Professor and Latino Community Development Specialist at Washington State University (my alma mater!) will conduct a highly interactive workshop that provides participants with various tools, skills and strategies to recruit and retain Latinos in their programs. Presentations, panel discussions, hands-on exercises, and other activities will keep you actively engaged and learning in a respectful and casual environment.

This workshop is offered in conjunction with the "15th Annual Northwest Parenting and Family Education Conference" March 25-27 in Lynnwood, WA. Only 15 seats are available for non-conference participants.

WHEN: March 25, 2009, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Avenue West, Lynnwood, WA 98036

COST: $75


For more information, please contact:
Dr. José García-Pabón

MAÑANA - Market to the Max

Hello - just a reminder that Seattle Direct Marketing Association's Market to the Max is happening all day TOMORROW at Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the Seattle waterfront. There's plenty going on--distinguished speakers, panels, and of course lots networking!

I'll be moderating a panel on High Touch, High Value Hispanic Marketing. I'd love to see you there! There are many more topics--mostly on the latest innovative ways to market.

Yesterday Gigi in my office was interviewed by Ke Buena 1210AM about the conference, and we learned that Bustos Media hasn't simply registered, but they've even purchased a table. This is going to be a HOT event--come join us!

Check it out - www.markettothemax.com.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Which came first?

I love this teaser for an article on MSN Latino. It features a guy in a luchador (Mexican fighter) mask and a suit, and reads:
Reinvent Yourself!
4 steps to begin a new profession
The question is, is he a luchador who just put a suit on to get a desk job, or is he an office guy who just put on the mask to reinvent himself?
Either way, it's simple, uses good humor and really popped on the page. Truth is, I thought at first it was a banner ad, it was so eye-catching!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

U.S. Hispanic Market + Boy Scouts of America

Wow - I'm including here a link to an amazing series of We The People on MSNBC. Launch the video and learn about several national themes:
  • The national Hispanic market--Did you know that ad spending in the Hispanic space is greating at four times the national rate?
  • Boy Scouts of America--they're working hard at a national level to create culturally relevant programs to attract Latino scouts. According to Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive, "It's absolutely essential." >>On a local note, Luis Garcia and the Scouting & Soccer program he runs here is always looking for sponsorships and donors - contact Luis at lgarcia@seattlebsa.org to learn more!
  • Politically, Latinos are active. And two-thirds of Latinos voted for President Obama, absolutely influencing our presidential election.
  • Latinos account for half of all U.S. population growth--and Latino pop growth is not about immigration so much as U.S. births.
  • 1 in 5 schoolkids in public and private schools in the U.S. is Latino
  • The latest statistic suggests that by 2050, 30% of U.S. residents will be of Hispanic heritage.
Click here to watch the video segments--time well spent!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Latin Music in Seattle - CALIENTE

That's how you know the Hispanic market's growing here--when artists like Jaguares and Ricardo Arjona show up to perform! Jaguares is a Mexican rock band playing tonight at Showbox SODO; Ricardo Arjona is a singer-songwriter from Guatemala who would also fit in the genre Latino Rock, performing this August at WAMU Theater (or will it be JP Morgan Chase Theater by then?).

And speaking of Latin music in Seattle, don't forget that every Friday night look forward to Miami Nights at Seattle's Rock Salt: 2 floors of music - salsa, merengue and bachata on one, reggaeton and top 40 on the other. For more on Seattle nightlife with a Latin twist, visit DJ Manny's website.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Some wisdom borrowed from another blog

Surfing today, I came across an interview by Sarah Vela with Austin's Armando Rayo.

Here's an excerpt on the essence of Hispanic marketing:

"...it’s about connecting with people. Just because you market once does not mean that they’ll gradually come. I think with Hispanics you have to have a series of conversations in order to build that trust and relationship. Because we’ve retreated in a way. So if you really want to engage the Hispanic community, whether it’s buying a product, or services, or whatever, you have to invest time into it. And once you do, it’s a huge market."

Fun interview overall, but the above excerpt is golden. To read the complete interview, including learning about Mando's punk-rock-pink chicken coop, click here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Little Lunch --> BIG IMPACT

We work with local organizations from time to time when they're looking to reach out to the Latino community.

One of our favorite organizations is Big Brothers Big Sisters, and they're getting set for their fundraiser: Little Lunch.

WHEN: Thursday, March 26, 11:30 am

WHERE: Sheraton Seattle Hotel

WHY: They need your help in their effort transform schools, communities--essentially transforming the way kids grow up in the Puget Sound region through their mentorship programs.

And starting last year, Big Brothers Big Sisters has placed a special emphasis on recruiting Latino "Bigs" to help support the Latino growth we've seen among children locally.

Be a part of this amazing effort! Click here to register for the luncheon.
We just heard from our friend Tony Gómez, community outreach coordinator at KCTS9/V-Me, with the following schedules for the English and Spanish programming.

The English-language series begins this evening!

The Tough Times special runs in English on KCTS 9 at the following times:

Part I: Jobs > Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m.
Part II: Housing > Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m.
Part III: Personal Finance > Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m.

Tiempos Difíciles, the Spanish counterpart runs on V-Me:

Part I: Employment > Friday & Saturday, March 6 & 7, at 7 p.m.
Part II: Housing > Friday & Saturday, March 13 & 14, at 7 p.m.
Part III: Personal Finance > Friday & Saturday, March 20 & 21, at 7 p.m.

And, per Tony, starting this Friday www.KCTS9.org/tiemposdificiles will have expanded content including streaming video and community resources.

Tune in to this most relevant series!

PODCAST: Multicultural PR

Hola - the podcast is ready for your listening! If you're interested in learning more of the do's and don'ts of multicultural PR, tune in to the podcast that represents a portion of the panel I was on earlier this month.

Also on the panel were Chris Nishiwaki, Communications Director for Sound Mental Health, and Steve Steve Sneed, the Managing Artistic Director of Cultural Programs at Seattle Center. Sheryl Wiser moderated.

Click here and then click on Listen to the February Podcast. Please post any comments you may have about this.