Lately there has been a lot of buzz around the blogosphere about diversity..what it is, what it means and if it is fair or not. I have written about 20 different posts about my side of it, then deleted them before publishing. I didn’t want to be involved, but at this point, I want to get my point of view out there. Being a Latina blogger, I have been given some opportunities because of the fact that I have Mexican blood. Some bloggers don’t agree that this is a good practice for brands to practice.
I totally understand why brands target a specific group of bloggers. Latino families have different traditions, as do Black or Chinese or Arabian or any other. Do traditions make that much of a difference? You betcha! We are raised differently. We have think differently. I’m not going to say that all families in a certain demographic are the same, but generally we are raised with a lot of the same beliefs and traditions. We can relate to each other.
Now I have been involved in several discussions on Facebook within blogging groups where I felt like I was being attacked because I explained this side of the marketing. I was told so many things that I proved was wrong, but was only told that I was wrong and basically being racist. *sigh* Here’s some examples:
There aren’t any businesses only targeting a certain demographic, why have Latina-only blogging groups?!
I am a part of several Latina blogging groups. We are there to support each other and for brands to be able to reach the Latino population directly. Now, I would also like to point out that many businesses are targeting specific demographics, such as Latinos. There are websites built specifically for these demographics. Don’t believe me? Check out MeEncanta.com and 365Black.com. I rest my case. Brands realize that these demographics are different and have created sites specifically to meet their needs. I am on the Latina Advisory Board for Britax. They flew me, along with a large group of other Latinas, to their headquarters in North Carolina for a meet and greet. So please, don’t tell me brands aren’t looking to reach out to a specific demographic…I’m proof they are.
Latina-only groups are racist!
Uuumm…no, we aren’t. We are just trying to reach other bloggers like ourselves. Just like a mommy blogger group, a crafty blogger group, a product review group, a coupon blogger group….do I need to continue? There are groups for all types of bloggers or whatever. We just can relate to each other. I love my Latina groups. They are the most helpful and supportive groups I am a part of.
Some of the groups I am a part of also do outreach for companies. While they are mainly for Latina bloggers, I have seen many opportunities available for the non-Latino blogger. If a company is looking for bloggers in general, these groups have reached out to many non-Latino bloggers to give them the opportunity.
What do you mean I shouldn’t go to this conference that is based on diversity?
This caused a HUGE issue in a group I belong to. One member was upset because she is “white” and didn’t think she was allowed to go to a certain conference because she wasn’t of color. It was explained to her that everyone is welcome to the conference but brands may be looking for a specific demographic, so she wasn’t sure how many opportunities she would walk out with. I think this makes sense. The questioning member didn’t agree. It turned into a huge issue across many blogs. She wasn’t turned away from conference….she was just told the truth, that brands are looking at diversity. Yes, we are all diverse in some way…..but many brands look at the obvious diversity….race. They don’t care about your sexual preference, who you are married to, where you grew up or whatever else.
I attended the Hispanicize conference in April. It was an amazing experience and one I would be honored to repeat each year. It was of course, for Latinos. I didn’t hear anyone complain about that conference, was it because “Hispanic” is in the title? No idea.
I should start a white-only or lesbian-only group if you are going to have Latina groups!
Go for it! I don’t mind what groups you create! If you want a white-only group, go for it. You want a lesbian group, go for it! I don’t mind. Find people you click with and create it. Create a group for only blonde bloggers or for only bloggers that are 5’8″ and taller. It doesn’t bother me. If you get opportunities based on that criteria, good for you! We are all different and brands are looking for different types of bloggers for different reasons….you aren’t going to hurt my feelings. I might be jealous if you get something really cool, but I won’t be mad and say they are discriminating. It’s just business.
I could go on and on about this. It’s caused so many issues in groups. I have been unfriended, told off, called names….it’s okay. If that makes you feel better, then go for it. I do not discriminate against people based on anything. Some of my best friends are from all different backgrounds, Latino, black, lesbian..you name it, I’m friends with them. I understand we are all different and embrace the differences. Not everyone has had the same experiences or feel the same way.
I know a lot of my “white” friends don’t understand why Latinas get upset about this conversation. You haven’t been discriminated against to know what it feels like. I am very light skinned and most people think I’m white (technically I’m half, but am still half Mexican). When I tell people I’m Mexican I often get a look of shock and they question it as if they just can’t believe it. Really? I’ve been treated differently after telling someone I was Mexican. Why is that? I’m still the same. You just thought I was white so I was okay, but now that you know I’m part Mexican I’m not good enough. It’s okay. I’m still the same person. I don’t discriminate.
So what do you think? Is it wrong of brands to only target a specific demographic or is just good business?