News Column

Latina-led Austin Startup Focuses on Reaching Hispanic Market

Sept. 17, 2012

Barry Harrell, Austin American-Statesman

American-Statesman: Describe in more detail what your company does.

Gretel Perera: We are a communications agency, led by two Latina PR professionals with a passion for helping companies effectively communicate and engage with the dynamic U.S. Hispanic population. We work closely with our clients to understand their short- and long-term goals -- whether it is to increase sales within a niche market or build consumer loyalty or educate constituents about a specific issue -- we want to help them achieve those goals through effective communications.

And for us, effective communications means going beyond just one communications channel to get your message out. For example, it is important to complement social media efforts with traditional press outreach, hosting in-person events and developing community relations that activate and engage your audience. Together, all of these efforts will drive the best results. If targeting the Latino market, these results can be even stronger if they are bicultural and bilingual, which is our specialty. We are able to create both general market and Hispanic communications campaigns. So for example, if a company or organization wants to launch an initiative or product in Texas, we can cover all communications channels by reaching both the general market and Latino population through English and Spanish communications.

How did Q Communications Group get started? What led to the company's creation?

Leslie Leal-Gauna: Q Communications Group has been 15 years in the making. Gretel and I met each other through a public relations college internship program. We were students at the University of Texas and both interned at an agency that provided public relations services targeting the Latino consumer market.

We reconnected once again early 2012. We had both built strong foundations for ourselves; we had managed teams driving these job functions in a really large scope, finances were there and the motivation and dedication was there. Things were aligned for each one of us to collaborate.

You are competing in a crowded marketplace. What does Q Communications Group plan to do to get noticed and succeed?

Gretel Perera: We offer something that is pretty unique in the marketplace: communications with a little spice. Our public relations agency is led by two Latina PR and marketing professionals that have a personal insight, knowledge and appreciation of the Latino market. One of our goals is to partner with general market agencies and Hispanic advertising companies in order to provide the Hispanic public relations arm of a campaign. Together, we can help companies and organizations reach their target audience through a concerted communications effort.

What are the growth plans for Q Communications Group, both in the short and long term?

Leslie Leal-Gauna: Like any new business, we have set benchmarks to accomplish in the immediate and long term. Our short-term plans are to really immerse ourselves in the local and regional marketplace, meaning Central Texas and state of Texas. Texas is a booming and healthy business environment with an extremely fast-growing population, specifically within our targeted Hispanic demographic. We want to have a stronghold in this space.

Long term, we want to be poised as an esteemed agency with a national client base. The Latino market is expansive and reflected in all 50 states, which means there is opportunity for us to bridge the gap between commerce and the consumer. However, our primary measurement is that we will align ourselves with other individuals that share our vision and passion for the Hispanic market, regardless of whether we are doing business locally, regionally or nationally.



Source: (c)2012 Austin American-Statesman, Texas Distributed by MCT Information Services


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