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It is fantastic to see an increasing number of brands and marketers celebrate Latinx History Month. The Latinx community is no longer considered a niche market, and there are stats to prove it. Our spending power is significant and our cultural impact on the world is undeniable.
As great as the recognition is, one thing is clear: The importance of having our stories told by culturally relevant executive decision-makers, creatives and changemakers year-round is essential.
The number of Latinx creatives is growing at a rapid rate. When it comes to the content we consume, the Latinx community is more invested when the content features our diversity and is created by us.
If you’re reading this, you’re already showing an interest and commitment to this mission. We are proud of our heritage and dedicated to sharing the richness of the Latinx culture with the world—loudly at that!
Here are some ways you can help support the next wave of Latinx storytellers.
Pave a way to leadership
It has to start from within the organization. The creative members of your teams should reflect the real world and your target audience. Diversity within is crucial for success.
When it comes to Latinx-specific campaigns, we must be present. We must have a voice in the room, not only when it’s time to execute but also when yearly schedules of campaigns and releases are created, annual budgets are allocated, creative and media buy strategies are defined, creative teams are assembled, creative briefs and scripts are written and creative partners are hired.
Latinx creators need the ability to grow into leadership positions and have a voice within the organization from early on.
As the statistics on the lack of representation show, Latinx creatives resonate with the feeling of not belonging. A lot of us didn’t see people that looked like us thriving in creative positions and didn’t know these opportunities existed until someone opened a door for us. Today, there are many ways to provide opportunities and open doors.
Give Latinx creatives your time. Answer outreach emails and answer cold introductions. Give us the time of day, even if it’s just 15 minutes.
Look for us. Do you have a list of creatives who would benefit from knowing about you and your agency? Connecting is easier than ever.
Also, one of the biggest commitments one can make to Latinx creatives is to provide wisdom and guidance. Mentorship can take many shapes and forms and doesn’t require an incredible amount of time but has a huge impact. We all know most successful people have had a mentor who helped shape their journey. There is much to learn from each other.
Provide opportunities to build portfolios and reels
Outside of your organization, take a chance on us year-round.
If you have the power to decide who will be considered to execute a brief and who will ultimately be hired, this is a huge opportunity! But remember that everyone needs to start somewhere. It’s a shame for a Latinx creative to be overlooked because they do not yet have a million shiny spots on their reel.
How can they have the reel you’re looking for if they’re not provided the opportunity to show what they can do? It is crucial to see the potential in up-and-coming storytellers—not what they have done already but what they are capable of doing. Be the key to giving creatives that important reel piece to elevate them to the next level.
Contribute to visibility, big or small
Champion our work. Share it with your teams. Provide feedback. Start a conversation with us and give us visibility. Recommend us for opportunities. Who from your circle can benefit from knowing about our work and services?
The industry is dominated by big shops that have an advantage in the marketplace including expendable income to submit to awards, ability to wine and dine potential clients and bankroll PR efforts. Thanks to social media and platforms like Linkedin, this is changing.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and a lot of smaller shops and creatives in the Latinx community rely on organic methods of publicity. It doesn’t take much to double tap on a post or reshare. This kind of organic growth also gives creatives a boost in their confidence.
Latinx creators are coming to the forefront and running their own production shops, collectives and agencies with a diverse roster. There is the power to help build these businesses. Allow them to be a part of your outreach efforts and a part of your network.
Once you’ve hired Latinx creators, you are now not only talking the talk, you’re walking the walk. But paid opportunities are not enough. They need to be fairly paid opportunities according to current market prices.
Your campaign’s media dollars and production budgets should reflect real numbers and not be an afterthought. A cultural moment once a year deserves as much budget and time as your end-of-year holiday campaign. Why? Because the numbers don’t lie.
When you show that you value us by properly by allocating budget and time to communicating with us, you show us you understand that our community is important to you. Showing this level of commitment proves your dedication to us and in turn will garner loyalty from us.
May the biggest takeaway be that action is of utmost importance to truly support the future of the Latinx creative community. If you are not willing to give new talent a chance or allocate real dollars to communicating with us year-round, it will ultimately show in the output and result in a missed opportunity.
Latinx creatives don’t have time for performative activism. The Latinx creative community is aware more than ever of their value and is ready to work hard to shift the paradigm to reflect their worth.
This article is part of a special Voice series, Let’s Get Loud, where industry professionals share their experience, expertise and advice on what brands need to know to form long-lasting relationships with the Latinx consumer.