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Hispanic Voters

Reaching Hispanic Voters Across Channels

August 16th, 2016   ||    by Susan Kuchinskas

Hispanics remain the fastest-growing demographic in the United States. But only half of the eligible Hispanic voters headed to the polls in the 2012 presidential election, according to a New York Times article republished by Univision. Television broadcasters and station groups have been tasked with changing that. Univision, for example, wants to register 3 million new Latino voters this year, many of them millennials who’ve reached voting age in the years since the last election.

According to a Pew Research survey, eight in ten Hispanic adults said they’ve kept up with the news. And with eighty-six percent saying that television was their primary source, TV may be the way to reach them.

The Hispennial Difference

In the 2016 election, millennials, aged eighteen to thirty-five, will make up close to half of all eligible Hispanic voters, according to Pew. Like most young people, they’re highly digital and mobile-centric. But they show significant differences from the overall population of millennials in their use of mobile and social media, according to Mediapost.

One-third of them are consuming news via YouTube, while 41 percent do not use Twitter. But they are 45 percent more likely than non-Hispanic white or Asian-American millennials to use Instagram and are much more likely to use Snapchat to communicate with their families. In general, they’re more likely to own and use smartphones, spend more time accessing media and apps on mobile devices, and consume more digital video, according to Digiday.

Broadcast and local channels must take these preferences into consideration as they aim to inform and inspire young voters.

Reaching Hispanic Voters

Univision, the top-rated Spanish-language network, is taking a multichannel approach that aims to reach Hispanic voters no matter their preferred viewing platforms. The broadcaster, along with its 126 local television and radio stations, and the sports channel Univision Deportes, will run ads on linear TV and digital channels. They will also publish an online voter guide, hold town halls, and operate telephone banks to get out the vote.

A voter push began back in February, with the launch of Destino 2016. Destino 2016 is dedicated election news coverage that combines the operations Univision News and Univision Digital.

In addition to broadcast and local station programming, digital programming includes interactive maps, explainer videos, and polls. Coverage from the Univision Politica accounts on Facebook and Twitter may especially appeal to those newly minted voters.

Telemundo announced its own local voter registration drive at the beginning of the year, NBCUniversal reported. They’re being hosted by Telemundo-owned stations located in fifteen markets in partnership with local community-based not-for-profit organizations.

Telemundo’s TV-news election coverage, dubbed #YODECIDO, brings together Telemundo reporters with parent company NBCUniversal’s news-gathering staff. It includes a digital platform designed to reach younger voters.

Integrated Strategy

These efforts show the importance of including digital programming to appeal to those who get their news on mobile devices. But it also shows how important local station groups can be to informing voters and encouraging them to go to the polls.

An interesting aspect of Hispanic millennials is that 35 percent live with their parents, notes Bloomberg. Even those who might prefer to get the news digitally will often settle in front of the TV in the evening with their parents. The best strategy to engage Hispanic audiences and encourage them to vote is to provide robust, multichannel programming at the national level, and back this up at the local station level with TV and digital, along with community-centered events.

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