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The United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, and we’re marking another significant milestone this monththe one-year anniversary of FMG supporting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) COVID-19 We Can Do This (Juntos Sí Podemos) public education campaignThis national initiative has helped increase public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and reinforces basic prevention measures such as mask wearing and social distancing by developing tools and shareable resources that provide factual updates on vaccine science. 

One of the building blocks of this campaign has been its strong focus on multicultural audiences, especially U.S. Latinos. With 60.5 million (18.5% of the overall populationLatinos in this country, FMG understands how critical it is to target this historically underserved audience. We implemented a nationwide campaign that has included a combination of paid, social, and earned media, partnership outreach, and digital initiatives. For translation and localization purposes, FMG assembled a diverse group of bilingual, multicultural translators and editors to guarantee that the quality of the products produced in Spanish match the quality of those created in English. 

LANGUAGE AND CULTURAL COMPETENCY: KEYS TO CAMPAIGN SUCCESS

The U.S. Latino population is extremely diverse in its origins, levels of education, language preferences, and acculturation.  

To reflect that diversity, our global expert team of translators hails from Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Spain. Our multicultural professionals have created a glossary of approved and recommended terms as well as editorial guidelines on tone, formality, and grammar that ring true to the audience. The unique way FMG approaches the challenge of assembling a complete team of translators, editors, and quality control staff to ensure Spanish assets match the same high-quality standards as our English renditions is impressive.  

OUTREACH THAT ENGAGES THE LATINO COMMUNITY

To date, the campaign has received over 1.5 billion impressions of our paid media, including TV and radio ads in Spanish, as well as social media outreach targeted to audiences consuming Hispanic/Latino media. In addition, we have had over 100 million impressions in our earned media with people visiting the website, attending webinars, Facebook live events, and other online engagements. More efforts are underway to reach this population, and all must have the proper quality controls in place.  

Latino outreach efforts at the local level happen through the partnership workstream. Our team has organized webinars for local health workers (promotores de salud) and community-based organizations to empower them with information and resources that they can distribute independently. Other campaign initiatives have included virtual events; live online Q&As—En Confianza; webinars; and 19 shareable communications toolkits in English (including 12 in Spanish), with more than 299 assets to support and enhance the work of campaign partners, stakeholders, and COVID-19 Community Corps members.  

We Can Do This

LANGUAGE CHOICE AS A THOUGHTFUL CELEBRATION OF LATINO DIVERSITY

Given the wide variety of backgrounds within our Spanish translation quality control teamour client approvers, and the diversity of our target audience, we must come to agreements on how to translate specific terms and ideas and use plain language as much as possible. Diversity and inclusion are practiced daily within our teamincluding when we request feedback, make recommendations, and come to a consensus on using certain words versus others. This microworld of diversity has a visible impact on the work we do as FMG colleagues and how our company presents itself to our clientsMost importantly, our end goal is to reach a diverse Spanish-speaking populationU.S. Latinos have been historically underserved and underrepresented across many spheres of society and we’re proud to be part of this historic effort to get every person in America vaccinated 

In the context of Hispanic Heritage Month and the one-year anniversary of FMG serving HHS’s COVID-19 We Can Do This campaignwe find it fit to pause and recognize the ongoing contributions being made at FMG to serve the Latino community 

¡Juntos Sí Podemos! 

About the author

Sara Varela

Sara Varela

Sara Varela serves as a Marketing Manager at FMG for the U.S. Department of Health  and Human Services’ (HHS) COVID-19 We Can Do This (Juntos Sí Podemos) Public Education Campaign. She oversees the quality control for all Spanish products created in this campaign.

Prior to this role, she served as the Regional Preparedness Liaison for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region I. Sara has been working in communications and community economic development for over 18 years.

She worked at NeighborWorks America, a national intermediary, where she facilitated communication among 200 organizations that focused on community building and organizing activities, and work in rural communities across the country. She managed the online communications, facilitated peer to peer sharing and learning, and was involved in the grant allocation process.

In New Hampshire, Sara served as the South Central Regional Manager for a micro-lending program at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund; worked as the Community Building Director at a local United Way, and was Communications and Development Director for Consumer Credit Counseling Services of New Hampshire and Vermont. Sara has experience in communications, fundraising, and service delivery.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and a Master of Science in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

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