Elianne Ramos (@ergeekgoddess) Joins “Faces of Diversity”— An International Public-Private Partnership To Benefit Children and Families in Medellín, Colombia


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JULY 22, 2013

Elianne Ramos • 646-932-7752 • eramos@elianneramos.com                                                                   
Brian Cockman • 877-210-3737, ext. 1 • brian@roostercomm.biz

Elianne Ramos (@ergeekgoddess) Joins “Faces of Diversity”— An International Public-Private Partnership To Benefit Children and Families in Medellín, Colombia

Baltimore, M.D. (July 22, 2013) — Speak Hispanic Communications, a woman-owned and run, socially conscious communications company, is proud to announce that its Principal, Elianne Ramos, has joined the Faces of Diversity international philanthropic initiative, to take place in Medellín, Colombia, August 2 -12, 2013. As the initiative’s Social and Cross-Cultural Communications Advisor, Ramos will work with an international communications team to help raise awareness by providing strategic marketing and communications advice, as well as traditional and social media coverage.

“Having worked with Elianne on several philanthropic ventures across the United States, I’ve seen firsthand the care, detail and commitment she provides to any project she touches,” says Brian Cockman, president of Rooster Communications and Faces of Diversity team leader. “Her cultural competence, as well as her expertise in communications and social media, will prove to be invaluable on this trip as we affect positive change within the communities of Medellín. We are very lucky to have such a renowned leader of the Latino community join us.”

The brainchild of Rooster Communications president, Brian Cockman, this public-private partnership will bring together visionary artist Edwin Gil’s Faces of Diversity program with Charlotte businesses AirTight and Toolwell; Colombian-based companies Clamasan and Agro MAIS; the foreign relations program created by the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, SosPaisa, and the Colombian family assistance program Buen Comienzo (Healthy Start).

The goal of this international goodwill initiative is two-fold: 1) To spotlight, through Faces of Diversity, the role of art as the ultimate cross-cultural connector, and 2) To highlight the important role that the Buen Comienzo program plays in some of poorest neighborhoods of Medellín. Volunteers from each company will collect thumbprints from children and families, which Gil will turn into a signature art piece to be unveiled at a special ceremony hosted by the City of Medellín on August 8.

About Faces of Diversity: Faces of Diversity helps promote diversity and multicultural awareness through the arts by encouraging thoughtful conversation. It reaffirms a sense of unity between cultures by demonstrating how social well-being is a human condition and something not specific to certain cultures. Contemporary, conceptual artist Edwin Gil creates a large piece of artwork using recycled glass and his propriety paint techniques featuring the face of one child. The face of this one child, however, is created using thumbprints from the thousands of participants at each particular event.

About Buen Comienzo: Buen Comienzo is a program from the Mayor of Medellin that serves children and their families during their first five years of life. They promote early childhood education and integral development that is diverse, inclusive and self-contained. They focus on families vulnerable to socio-economic factors through a joint interagency partnership with four departments (Social Inclusion and Family, Education, Health and Inder), as well as the n Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), the Ministry of Education and private enterprise.

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Elianne Ramos (@ergeekgoddess) Named Baltimore SmartCEO 2013 Brava! Award Winner




May 8, 2013

Elianne Ramos (@ergeekgoddess) Named Baltimore SmartCEO 2013 Brava! Award Winner

Ms. Ramos will be honored along with 25 Powerhouse Women Leaders at the highly anticipated, high-energy Brava! Awards Ceremony, July 10, 2013

Baltimore, MD (May 8, 2013) — Speak Hispanic Communications, a woman-owned and run, socially conscious communications company, is proud to announce that its Principal, Elianne Ramos, has just been named the recipient of a Baltimore SmartCEO 2013 Brava! Award. This year’s Brava! Awards Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, July 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, and the 2013 Brava! winners will be profiled in the July 2013 issue of Baltimore SmartCEO magazine.

The Brava! Awards celebrate the distinguished achievements of 25 of Greater Baltimore’s women business leaders. Now in its seventh year of celebration, the Baltimore Brava! Awards kicked off with a nomination process ending in March 2013. Across the Mid-Atlantic, over 200 nominations were collected for the program. Brava! Awards winners were selected based on annual revenue and growth as well as for their involvement in philanthropy and mentorship at the local and national level. A group of Greater Baltimore business leaders came together to form the Brava! committee and to choose this year’s winners.

For more information on the 2013 Brava! Awards and to view SmartCEO’s press release, visit their website

About SmartCEO
SmartCEO is an exclusive community of CEOs and business executives, highly regarded mentors and well-respected thought leaders whose experiences benefit their organizations and the communities in which they serve. SmartCEO’s mission is to educate and inspire the business community through the pages of its award-winning magazine, connections at C-level events and access to valuable online resources. For more than a decade, SmartCEO has been a leader in helping CEOs tell their stories in print, in person and most recently in-video. SmartCEO’s Mid-Atlantic focus began in Baltimore and has grown to include Philadelphia, Washington DC and New York City.

About the Brava! Awards
SmartCEO’s Brava! Awards program celebrates top female CEOs who combine their irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for giving back to the community. Brava! award winners are exemplary leaders of their companies and in the community who encourage local philanthropy, mentor fellow CEOs and set their companies on the path to tremendous growth. Each year, an independent panel of business leaders selects 25 Brava! winners based on applications submitted. SmartCEO shares their inspiring stories in SmartCEO magazine and celebrates their success at an awards celebration.

About Elianne Ramos
Elianne Ramos is Principal and CEO of Speak Hispanic, a Marketing and PR consultancy focused on non-profits. She’s also Vice-Chair of Marketing and PR for LATISM. A Hispanic Communications Specialist with 17 years of experience in Creative Direction, Copywriting, Public Speaking, Public Relations and TV Commercial Production, Elianne has developed broadcast, multimedia and social media campaigns for clients such as Procter & Gamble, Panasonic, SlimFast, Chivas Regal, and HSBC Bank, among other top brands. Awards and recognition for her contributions to the Latino Community include the 2012 Game Changer Award from Politic365, and the 2012 Best Microblogger Award from LATISM. She’s also a columnist at several publications including the Huffington Post, and is considered one of the most influential Latinas in social media. Visit her website and follow her on Twitter @ergeekgoddess.

NHLI, Latina Leadership & the Power of Social Media



It was John F. Kennedy who once said “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”.  It was those words that came to mind for me as I joined hundreds of Latinas from around the United States at the National Hispana Leadership Institute’s Annual Executive Leadership Training Conference in Miami, FL on November 4-5, 2010. During the Conference, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with two of the most dynamic Latinas I know (in the picture above): Aurelia Flores (@latinaleader) and Marisa Treviño (@latinalista), in a panel titled “Plug into the Power of Social Media”.


Thanks to Blanca Stella (@micaminar) for sharing this video with me.

Latina Blogger Outreach: Webinar on PR Newswire


I had the pleasure of discussing LATISM’s Latina Blogger Survey at the PR Newswire’s Multicultural Division webinar: “The Spanglish of Social Media: The Importance of Relevant Communications.”

(You can listen to the archived audio recording here )

In the linked post at the LATISM blog, I outlined some hard and fast rules for marketers to capitalize on the Latina blogger explosion while safeguarding the integrity & credibility of their brands.


Post on Marketing Prof’s Daily Fix: Latina Blogger Explosion





I’ve been an avid fan of the Marketing Profs site for a while: its daily newsletter and insightful articles are usually my mental breakfast as I head out on my commute every morning.

And so it was a great honor for me to accept their invitation to write a column for them on the topic of Latinas and blogging. As the Vice-Chair of Communications and PR for Latinos in Social Media [LATISM], I was part of the team that produced, implemented and publicized the Latinos in Social Media’s [LATISM] Latina Blogger Survey, I have been am eye-witness to the veritable explosion of Latina bloggers throughout the blogosphere.

The article explains how, beyond the obviously good news that these bloggers now provide us with a new outlet for furthering our brands’ messages, the implications of this Latina blogger explosion for PR and marketing professionals are many…


New Nielsen People Meters Tune to Local Hispanics



At the beginning of July, the media consumption research giant introduced what they call the Local People Meters (LPMs, for short) in Baltimore, part of an ambitious national campaign that will cover a total of 56 local markets or approximately 70% of U.S. households by 2011.

Up in the air is whether or not Nielsen can succeed in providing accurate viewership numbers and gaining the trust of its Hispanic customer base in the area.

New Nielsen People Meters Aim For Local Hispanics

This article first appeared at Examiner.com on July 20th, 2009.

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Random Fact: Baltimore misses the Hispanic mark[et]


On a stroll around Highlandtown, you might just get the feeling of having stepped into a different country: a country where the signs in store windows say “abierto” instead of “open”, where the scent of achiote and cilantro seems to call your name from the nearby restaurants, where the liveliest conversations are carried in Spanish. It’s a fact: Hispanics, the latest in a stream of immigrants dating back to the 1730s, have come to find a safe harbor in the city of Baltimore. Unlike other states, where the growing Latino community is generally viewed as a menace, this city has proven to be an ideal place for Latinos to exchange their daily sweat for a decent, peaceful living: a tight-knit community where the windows are always open, the tortillas are always warm and the breeze ululates to the beat of bachata and quebradita music.


According to Census statistics, Hispanics are the second largest minority in Maryland, representing about 6.3% of the population… and these numbers are expected to have a least doubled by 2010. All of which begs the question: How is it possible that, of the 100+ ad and marketing services agencies in the area, not a single one offers services targeting this booming market?

To an extent, this follows that most commonplace of marketing trends: Hispanic marketing is usually at the ‘bottom of the totem pole’ when it comes to marketing organizations’ priorities, especially in this type of economy. According to the 2008 Right Spend Study II by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, overall Hispanic advertising spending in the US is historically short of the recommend 8 percent investment that the AHAA recommends to advertising agencies. The norm invested is usually around 3%, and that goes only for the brands that actually invest ANYTHING in the market.

While this certainly seems to be the case here in Maryland, I believe that the answer definitely has more than one layer:

1- The down economy. As the economy continues to sour, companies question all costs that do not have a clear payback. This means that the budget for multicultural marketing, including Hispanic, is the first one that gets cut – if it was ever in place to begin with. Now, conventional wisdom may tell you that this may be the sensible thing to do. But the truth is that right now, chances are that NONE of your competitors are targeting Hispanics. Which means, in essence, that this may be your chance to make the biggest impact. Smart companies know that investing into new markets is one of the best ways to gain market share. When the economy bounces back, the companies who are visionary enough to target Hispanics now, will have a new share of brand-loyal customers.

2- Ignorance. Some marketers simply don’t get multicultural marketing. They don’t understand it and they see no value in it. Since they can’t speak Spanish but are able to reach other ethnic markets in English, they stick their head in the sand and pretend the market’s not even there. They are not alone: in a recent national study by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), four out of five advertising firms couldn’t say they understood where multicultural marketing efforts fit in their “overall marketing mix.”

3 – TMI [too much information]. This may seem counter to the point I made above, but it’s actually a quite similar situation, in the ‘sticking-your-head-in-the-sand’ sense. Given the avalanche of information available about the Hispanic market, and guided by their pre-conceptions about it, many agencies prefer not to even get involved. They simply don’t know what to do with the information that’s available and, perhaps unconsciously, don’t think the market is really worth the effort. Unable to do transform their insights into action, they go back to recommending the same old, ‘safe’ strategies to their clients.

4- A dominant but ill-informed perception that immigrant families are mostly undocumented aliens working menial jobs. This is misinformation at its best. According to data from the 2000 Census, the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas are first and second in the nation in household income for Hispanics. Hispanics in those two cities earn a median household income of $60,170 – which far outpaces those in cities with higher concentrations of Hispanics, such as New York and Los Angeles. Furthermore, when it comes to spending – and partially due to their larger families – Hispanics’ spending levels on groceries, telecommunication products, clothing, and children’s goods rank higher among Hispanic households than non-Hispanic households.

5- Lack of appropriate media vehicles. This is a sad reality, and it may only apply to Baltimore: with very few Spanish media outlets in Baltimore –aside from the Spanish radio station El Zol 99.1 and the biweekly Latin Opinion newspaper— agencies are left with very little choices to reach Hispanics.

6- Fear that it may be too expensive. When learning that, for this market, one size does not fit all, many companies decide that trying to target the market would be an expensive proposition. That is simply not true. In reality, you don’t need to jump in with a full-blown communications plan to begin speaking to the Hispanic community. You can do it with small steps, perhaps investing in a grassroots program that involves them or doing a more comprehensive campaign targeting a section of the population or a ‘test’ market. Just remember that even if you start small, you need to show your long term commitment.

The bottom line is, Hispanics are a segment of the population that no company can afford to overlook. This is a ripe business opportunity for ad agencies handling local and national brands to get into the market. The key is to get into it early so as to make sure your message can reach Hispanics ‘while the iron is hot’ – meaning while this young demographic is at their peak of consumption – and still lacks any bias about traditionally “general market” brands. Hispanics are generally brand-loyal, so this may be your only chance in time to gain their loyalty for life.

A study released this week by the Nielsen Company, a leading global marketing, consumer and media measurement company, projects that the three consumer categories that will be driving the packaged goods trends by 2020 are baby-boomers, multi-cultural, and low-income consumers. Doug Anderson, the senior vice president of Global Research and Development for the company, talked about the consequences of ignoring these three categories, and did so ever-so-eloquently: “Those who keep doing what they’re doing today will be left behind.”

So if you still think salsa is just that red sauce you put in your nacho chips, or that the Macarena is all there is to Latin music, it’s time for your ad agency to get acquainted with the Hispanic market. Who knows, perhaps your agency might get actual bragging rights for being the first in Maryland to target Hispanics, opening a whole new line of revenue for itself. Perhaps one of your brands will become the next sensation in the Hispanic world. And perhaps – if you do it right – this market will, in return, decide to show you how to dance a mean bachata.

Photos and text by © 2009 Elianne Ramos. All rights reserved.

Random Fact: Lisa Nichols says “YES, YES” to the DSWA Conference


Best Selling Author Lisa Nichols and Me at the DSWA Conference - Photo by Kim Rhodes

Best-Selling Author Lisa Nichols and Yours Truly at the 2009 DSWA Conference. Photo by Kim Rhodes.

The DSWA Conference is now over, but its message, “Imagine what you could do if you could do what you’ve imagined”, lives on.

And who better to deliver that message than the force of nature that is Lisa Nichols (contributing writer to the worldwide bestseller “The Secret”). Ms. Nichols alternately wowed and inspired as she delivered a powerhouse message to say YES, YES to your dreams NO MATTER WHAT. Which, incidentally is the name of her latest book.

Watch the video here. I dare you not to get goosebumps!

Random Fact: Hispanics caught on the Web?


A newly-released joint study from Florida State University and the DMS Research Center has found that more and more Hispanics in the US are getting online (you can view here http://www.hispaniconlinemarketing.com/). According to the study, decisive factors for this include their level/ability to speak English as well as the acculturation and educational levels. While this is very encouraging news, some marketers are still scratching their heads in thinking of the reasons why growth has been so slow among Spanish-only Hispanics in comparison to other groups.

When you think about it, though, it kind of makes sense:

The younger/more educated group, which has become part of the US culture and navigates back and forth between the two cultures, tends to be more detached from the traditional “Latino” way and more open to the modern American way.

By contrast, to someone who grew up with a culture that values the human touch, sharing, moments spent with family, closeness, the internet can seem a bit “too cold” and impersonal. Socioeconomics also plays a significant role: not everyone who is a recent immigrant can afford to buy a computer. You may think twice about investing on getting hooked up to the Internet when you have other, more pressing priorities. There might also be a trust issue: whereas most people in America have grown to accept conducting transactions or sharing information online, this may not be the case for Hispanics, who tend to prefer face-to-face interaction.

With the high incidence of immigration going on in this country, as well as with recurrent travel between US and their countries of origin, the online trend in the US may also be related to online trends in Latin America. According to recent studies, there’s a slow but sure shift to online usage, with younger people being the majority and a faster growth in countries with higher populations, like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. This e-marketer.com report, published in February 2009, talks about the situation in a more “scientific” way: http://www.emarketer.com/Reports/All/Latam_aug06.aspx

In short: Yes, Hispanic/Latino culture tends to emphasize face-to-face communications. Yes, Spanish-only consumers may have a trust issue to get over. Yes, the situation with Spanish-only Hispanics follows trends originated in Latin America. And yes, thankfully, the whole thing seems to be shifting with time, but as you may have heard, our sense of time is just slightly different…

© 2009 Elianne Ramos. All rights reserved.

Random Fact: Hispanics or Latinos?



The terms Hispanic or Latino are used interchangeably by many to classify our culture. 

While the most commonly used of the two is Hispanic, it only became popular in the United States after it was added as a question in the 1980 U.S. Census. Originally, the term came from Hispania,the name given by the Romans to the entire Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, Andorra & Gibraltar). 

The term has caused controversy in certain segments of the market, as some people feel it is not necessarily inclusive of all the groups that conform us as a race. 

The reason it is so hard to nail down is the fact that Hispanics/Latinos are a mix of racial and ethnic lines from 22 different countries of origin. We all come in different colors and, depending on the demographic sample you look at, not all of us speak Spanish. 

So which of the two is the ‘politically correct’ term to be used?

You will find it is best to use both. The term Latino denotes respect to the native people in Latin America who don’t have genealogical ties to Spain, those who don’t condone Spain’s past colonialism and those who resent the subsequent perceived capitalistic conquest by the United States. On the other hand, there are people who have lived in New Mexico, Texas and Florida since the Spanish settlers. The preferred term for them is Hispanics.

However, don’t be surprised if, after asking one of us about our ancestry, we declare ourselves Puerto Rican, Mexican, Colombian or whatever country we happen to be from. Even if that country happens to be the United States.


© 2009 Elianne Ramos. All rights reserved.

Wanna speak Hispanic?




There are many reasons why I started this blog, not the least of which is a burning desire to shatter many myths and false assumptions people make about the Hispanic market, especially when trying to communicate to them.

The first rule of marketing is, of course, to know your market. But how can we even try to get into Hispanics minds (or wallets, for that matter) if we don’t speak to them in the right manner?

I’m not even talking about demographic figures or language here. Yes, demographics are important, as is speaking to them in Spanish, but it is not enough to know the numbers, their salaries, the neighborhood they live in or how to say “buy this” in Spanish. You have got to “speak HISPANIC.

I’m talking about COMMUNICATION. I’m talking about understanding their personal feelings, beliefs and cultural values. Which brings us to CONNECTING.

How do you connect? How do you get to speak to Hispanics in a way that resonates? By following a very simple formula:


It’s about respect for who they are. It’s about getting to know them, sharing genuine experiences. It’s about two-way communication, and it’s the only way to build a true connection.

In this blog, I will share with you some Hispanic psychographics, beliefs, superstitions and just plain cultural tidbits that will take you right to the Hispanic heart. Follow me as I show you how to “speak Hispanic”, one random factoid at a time…

© 2009 Elianne Ramos. All rights reserved.