Have a Little Faith: Latino Churches a Key Connection Point to the Community

The New York Times recently published an interesting article about how Latino leaders were working with churches to educate and mobilize the community for the 2010 Census. Putting aside any issues about the Census itself, this is another example of how important churches and faith leaders are in the Hispanic community. While there may be a relatively greater separation between church and state in the general market, it’s generally a much more accepted practice in the multicultural market to work with faith groups to help reach these communities. And the churches’ role in these multicultural communities is not so closely tied to bigger socio-political-religious national issues like it sometimes is in the general market.

Here are some of the ways in which working with the faith community can be a mutually beneficial relationship:

  • Building good will. SJG has helped clients like ComEd get involved in donations of back to school supplies. Through a partnership with the Hispanic Christian Churches Association, a non-profit organization that connects nearly 100 churches in the Chicagoland area alone, SJG coordinated a back to school donation event that provided much-needed supplies to 8,200 kids.
  • Raising awareness. Just this past fall, San Jose Public Relations helped organ donation agency Gift of Hope establish important relationships with Chicago Hispanic pastors in honor of National Donor Sabbath. Gift of Hope was able to engage faith leaders, a very trusted source, to spread the word about organ donation to the Hispanic community.
  • Establishing relationships. Faith leaders are important community leaders in the Hispanic market. They are trusted sources of information for their congregations, the media and community organizations. As a result, forming a relationship with these leaders provides a pulse on the community.

Keep in mind that, like any marketing, it’s important to know your target audience, what matters to them and what types of outreach are appropriate.

Interestingly, there was also this article recently posted on AdAge about how a faith-based strategy helped “The Blind Side” succeed at the box office. So, it will be interesting to see how corporate attitudes will continue to open up to faith-based marketing.

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