Chapter 11: Reaching a Multicultural and Diverse Audience

20 04 2009

(Notes from Public Relations:  Strategies and Tactics 9th Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron)

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  • “Diversity is the most significant aspect of the mass audience in the United States.”
  • “The international audience for public relations has expanded swiftly.”
  • “Technology can be used to segment the mass audience and compile related valuable information.”
  • “The public is increasingly visually oriented and seems to have a shorter attention span.”
  • Audiences are increasingly taking control of information streams.”
  • Fervent support is generated for single issues.”
  • “Heavy emphasis is placed on personality and celebrity.”
  • “Strong distrust of authority and suspicion of conspiracy can arise from sensationalistic investigative reporting.”

The Y generation is considered to be those who were born after 1980.  This generation is estimated to spend about 23 years online.

” Spending one-third of their lives online will have interesting impacts”:

  • “They will spend equal time interacting with friends online and in person.”
  • “Initial interaction online will precede most dating and marriages.”
  • “They will spend more time online than in interaction with parents by tenfold.”
  • “They will be more reserved in social skills.”
  • “They will be savvy and skeptical about online identities such as chat participants.”
  • “They will not tolerate print forms, slow application processes, and archaic systems.”

Baby boomers are those who were born between 1946 and 1964.  This is when World War II was ending and those enlisted in the army were coming back home.

“Historically, the United States has welcomed millions of immigrants and assimilated them into the cultural mainstream.”

America is still attempting to reach out to minorities and understand and respect their cultural values.images-3

“Figueredo gives five basic concepts that should be considered when developing a commuunication campaign for multcultural consumers:”

  1. “Organize a team with an inherent understanding of the customs and values of hte various demographic groups you are trying to reach.”
  2. “Understand that consumers of diverse cultural backgrounds respond better to messages that are culturally relevant.”
  3. “Remember that consumers of diverse cultural backgrounds are extremely loyal and once your products and services become part of their lives, there is a very good chance you will keep them.”
  4. “Use the primary language of the audience.  A large portion of your target audience prefers to communicate in their primary language, even if they also have strong English skills.”
  5. “Use spokespersons who represent the audience.  The spokesperson must be able to be a good communicator and be sensitive to the issues that are important to the audience.”

Additional audiences that are currently emerging include catholic and evangelical groups, gay and lesbians, the disabled, and women.

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