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Guidelines for Developing a Hispanic Outreach Program Forest Service Civil Rights Washington Office Diversity and Outreach Branch Pedro M. Nieto Equal Employment Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 202-205-0999 (TTY):711
The Approach • Gathering Data • Marketing Strategy • Community Outreach • Be Ready for Success Overview
Efficient provision of services to underserved populations requires the same skills and planning as any well thought-out marketing campaign. • Multiple strategies, persistence, sensitivity to audience response, and a willingness to learn are successful strategies for reaching a target audience regardless of whether the goal is to sell automobiles or publicize available services. The Approach
C. General knowledge about the Hispanic culture as well as specific facts about Hispanic individuals in the local community can be easily found and used to develop a cogent outreach program--one that delivers useful services in a manner compatible with the target audience. • For instance, the very term "Hispanic culture" is at best a general phrase for the many different subcultures that comprise the Hispanic influence in America. Differences across the nationalities exist although similarities across these subcultures contribute to the development of values and cultural norms characteristically called Hispanic. The Approach cont.
The similarities include across the subcultures: • Use of the Spanish language; • Importance of the family and religion in daily life; • The role of the male role which is sometimes more dominant than in other cultures as transformed from previous generations (collaboration) • Protocol in socialrelationships which can frequently be more elaborate than in casual mainstream America; (personal nature of relationships, even business ones). Gathering Data
It is necessary to gather particular facts about the Hispanic Americans in the state or community: • What part of the general population is Hispanic (both number and percentage)? • Which Hispanic subcultures are significantly present (e.g., Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Central or South Americans?) • In which neighborhoods do Hispanics live? • Are they concentrated in certain areas or counties? • To what extent are they literate in Spanish and English (consider verbal as well as written skills)? • What portion of Hispanics are considered low-income by federal guidelines? • What portion appear to qualify for entitlement programs, scholarships or other grant programs? • What assistance are they now receiving and how have these programs reached them? • To what extent are Hispanics with disabilities getting needed services? • Do gaps in services exist and if so, why? Gathering Data cont.
Be mindful • However, like any other culture, the Hispanic population is comprised of individuals. As such they may hold positions which vary from the commonly understood cultural similarities of the group. • This is an important consideration as marketing plans are developed. While recognition and consideration of cultural similarities is essential, it is equally important to guard against perpetuation of stereotypes. • Marketing plans, to be successful, must always consider the individual consumer. Gathering Data cont.
As former recruiter with the Army I identified and tested strategies to reach the Hispanic community and confirmed what experienced marketers know and practice. • Once a knowledge base about Hispanic culture and local demographics is established, outreach efforts can be planned. • There is no single approach that will be successful in reaching all individuals in the community. Even if local data indicate that all the Hispanics in the community reside in a rural or urban environment, the differences in age, gender, nationality, education, literacy levels, and family status would still influence the success of a single outreach effort. • Various approaches and the flexibility to adjust those approaches will be needed no matter which underserved population is targeted. Marketing Strategy
The approach can vary with the nationality but certain aspects are obvious, such as the use of the Spanish language to reach Hispanics; • A Hispanic individual with strong cultural ties to the community will be a more effective spokesperson. • Bilingual and Hispanic staff can help decrease language barriers, validate the program to those Hispanics who may not be comfortable outside their own culture, and they increase the programs capabilities to serve all of the community. Marketing Strategy cont.
The specific message and approach points the way to avenues of communication; • Local television or radio station that broadcasts in Spanish • Is there a Spanish-language newspaper? If so, then public service announcements may be a good outreach effort. • Flyers and posters in predominantly Hispanic areas and in popular Hispanic gathering places may also be effective. • Perhaps there is a local Hispanic-run graphics business that would assist you in creating colorful and eye-catching brochures or public service announcements. • Target qualified pools of individuals Marketing Strategy cont.
One should not overlook the personal touch. • Because of the value placed on personal relationships and personal respect in Hispanic culture, this is an especially important area for Hispanic outreach efforts, and one that should not be overlooked for any targeted group. Community Outreach
Suggestions for future leads (pipeline) • Staff visits to Hispanic community organizations and leaders can spread the word of the program's existence and its capabilities to help. • A social service agency active in the targeted area may also be tapped to help with referrals. But the agency/agents needs to be thoroughly familiar with the program's services. • A presence at Hispanic festivals and other community events and strong contacts with community-based Hispanic organizations must be ongoing and personal • Look at educational institutions such as; technical schools, community colleges, universities, local career fairs and other federal agencies. Community Outreach cont.
Successful outreach is just the first step. • Regardless of the targeted population, a willingness to be guided by that particular culture's ways of communicating and a sensitivity to the individual's right to equality and fair treatment "cultural sensitivity" need to guide the program's fulfillment efforts. • It is also necessary to deliver the goods! Once Hispanic individuals begin contacting the program, you must be ready to respond to, emails, phone calls and visits by Spanish-speaking clients. • Quality services delivered efficiently and effectively to everyone making up the American community is a goal which needs no clarification. Ready for Success