Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
March 9, 2012

How Do You Tell a Multicultural News Story In 2012?

Join Tyrha M. Lindsey and Bruce Kirton for their Digital Impact Conference session, The Digerati: Social Media Habits of Multicultural Consumers.” The PRSA 2012 Digital Impact Conference, to be held April 2–3 at the Sentry Center in New York City, offers workshops where public relations professionals will hear from entrepreneurs and others who specialize in technology communications or social and digital media.  Register Now

When Mr. Lewis founded UniWorld Group in 1969, the only media outlet was EBONY magazine. The only other way that African-Americans found out about the news in their community was through “word of mouth.”

Fast forward to 2012. There are many media outlets of color — African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Haitian, Chinese, etc. Nevertheless, as a public relations professional, how do you REALLY tell a positive multicultural news story that is not related to celebrities, sports or crime? Since current studies say that multicultural consumers’ rate of Internet usage is now nearly indistinguishable from that of the general population, at 80 percent (versus 88 percent in the general market), African-Americans and Hispanics are now online more than ever before.

Moreover, according to “Brand Information Sources Among African-Americans,” the new study by One Solution and UniWorld Group, “ ‘Advisers’ in the African-American community are “advice exchangers” — they both ask and are asked for opinions of products or services.”

For us at UniWorld Group, our answer has relied heavily on our use of multicultural bloggers. We even created a “UniWorld Urban Blogger Collective,” because in the multicultural blogging space, there are health bloggers, black hair bloggers, faith-based bloggers, political bloggers, beauty bloggers, mommy bloggers and so on.

In a time when people of color want news instantly, and multicultural newspapers and magazines cannot turn around that fast, we are finding that truly multicultural bloggers are our answer to tell positive news and stories to multicultural audiences. Essentially, it’s the new “word-of-mouth.”

Tyrha M. Lindsey is director of public relations at the UniWorld Group, Inc., the longest-standing full-service multicultural marketing agency in the United States.

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