It's a Multicultural World

    “If you don't have a multicultural strategy, you don’t have a growth strategy,” Andrew McCaskill, APR, told more than 100 public relations and marketing professionals at the October 19  luncheon hosted by the Hampton Roads PRSA chapter and the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Marketing Association and sponsored by Cox Communications. 

    The reason? Between 2000 and 2014, 92% of the United States’ population growth came from multicultural communities and that trend is increasing. Currently 21 of the country’s 25 most populous counties are majority multicultural. By 2050 in the U.S., Hispanic/Latino, African-American, Asian-American and biracial people are projected to be the majority in this country (71%).

    “Don’t be afraid to talk about your neighbors looking different,” advised McCaskill, Nielsen’s senior vice president for global communications and multicultural marketing. Nielsen is a global analytics data company that does far more than monitor TV viewing habits.

    McCaskill, who lives in New York and serves on the national PRSA board, said diversity in America is our destiny. He showed data to highlight the huge annual buying power of diverse groups — $1.3 trillion for Hispanic/Latinos $1.2 trillion for African-Americans and $891 billion for Asian-Americans. In addition, with a growing number of people openly identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, the LGBT community is a powerful one to reach. 

    For communicators, it is important to recognize that many people are “ambicultural” and function in two cultures or use two languages without thinking about it.

    People from diverse groups do not want to be ignored in your communications and the images you show of your customers, clients and donors you serve.

    McCaskill encouraged communicators to:

    • learn what is important to different communities
    • engage with influencers from different cultures
    • not think of diverse communities as monolithic
    • avoid tokenism
    • use authentic storytelling that is inclusive and resonates with a variety of people


    Here is a link with Nielsen demographic information to help you shape your public relations programs to reach multicultural audiences. 


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