By Allix Wright
While multicultural media outlets primarily aim to empower and amplify underrepresented voices and cultures, these publications transcend boundaries and captivate readers from all walks of life. Covering a rich tapestry of topics, multicultural media outlets not only cater to OCOC audiences, but they also offer valuable insights and inspiration that can appeal beyond their intended demographic.
That’s exactly why engaging multicultural media – be it for new product pitches, event invitations, sample distribution, you name it – should be a part of every PR practitioner’s playbook. Think you don’t have anything to pitch these outlets? Think again. Though it may seem counterintuitive, there is enormous value in pitching ostensibly non-multicultural stories to multicultural media.
Meet Your Consumers Where They Are.
First, let’s pause for a moment of professional introspection: U.S. employment data reported by Statista notes the Advertising and Promotion industry is overwhelmingly white: 78.7% of managers are white, 12.1% are Black or African American, 5.2% are Asian, and 6.2% are Hispanic or Latino.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is at its most diverse point ever. Multicultural adults spend more time on the internet than the rest of the U.S. population, with Black and Hispanic audiences spending more time per week consuming podcasts than non-multicultural adults. Multicultural buying power in the U.S. has also ballooned over the past 30 years to $3.9 trillion and currently surpasses the GDPs of several countries, including Spain and Italy.
There’s a stark contrast between the makeup of PR professionals and the immense number of multicultural consumers PR professionals should ardently try to reach. While disconcerting, it’s no wonder if it sometimes feels as if something is missing when pulling together a media outreach plan. Multicultural audiences are highly engaged and connected market segments hungry for content and ready to spend their dollars. So, let’s meet them where they are.
Expand Your Audience and Increase Loyalty to your Brand.
In the U.S., multicultural consumers make up a whopping 42% of the population, and that number is only going to increase. The U.S. will become majority multicultural by 2042 – and some states, like California and Texas, have already reached that milestone. That’s a lot of media impressions to leave on the table.
This year, brands that embrace inclusivity in their communications efforts will see more success than those that don’t. When consumers feel seen, understood and represented by a brand, they develop strong emotional connections that translate into enduring loyalty. According to a study by My Code Media, 7 in 10 multicultural adults said they are more inclined to consider or purchase from brands that make them feel understood. By prioritizing inclusivity, aka not speaking within a vacuum, brands will foster lasting loyalty that leads to positive word of mouth, and in turn, increased media coverage.
If you do not include multicultural outlets on your media lists, you could be placing an arbitrary ceiling on your reach and missing out on a major opportunity to cultivate new fans.
Bust Stereotypes and Assumptions.
Multicultural publications are often overlooked due to the prevailing misconception that pitching them requires your story to be about, or resonate with, one specific audience. But major outlets, such as Essence and People en Español, cover a wide range of topics, from beauty and fashion to tech and celebrity news. What’s more, being a multicultural outlet doesn’t mean only one demographic reads it. For instance, Ebony Magazine, one of the leading Black-owned media companies in the U.S., saw 37% in non-Black online readership audience in 2021, demonstrating that a Black outlet does not necessarily translate to an all-Black audience.
It goes without saying one should always tailor media outreach for cultural resonance (lest you become publicist roadkill on social media). However, by connecting with readers of multicultural publications, not only can brands tap into the immense potential of multicultural markets, but they can also encourage cross-cultural understanding and help break down misconceptions about certain cultures and communities. Black people are gamers. Latino consumers love selfcare – in fact, they spend more on beauty than the total U.S. population. Why not tap into these groups to spread the word about your new product or initiative?
Diversity and multiculturalism are not confined to discussing specific topics or targeting communities. In recognizing the value in pitching non-multicultural stories to multicultural media, we can foster a more inclusive and representative media ecosystem that reflects the richness of our diverse world, and we as PR practitioners can help media outlets foster a more inclusive and representative media landscape that reflects the realities and experiences of a diverse range of individuals.
Allix is a vice president of consumer brands at Allison. She also serves as a senior advisor in Allison’s Multicultural Center of Excellence helping companies speak to diverse communities through programs and initiatives that engage in authentic and impactful ways. Allix has over a decade of experience developing award-winning media strategies for category-defining brands across fashion, retail, travel, tech, home & and design, and more.