When Daisy Cabrera’s parents immigrated to New York from the Dominican Republic, they never would have thought that the simple and powerful gesture of teaching their daughter Spanish would open up a world of possibilities.
Born in “Los Sures,” AKA Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Daisy Cabrera ( @DaisyCabreraPR) is now one of the country’s most successful Hispanic public relations experts.
With more than two decades of experience specializing in Hispanic marketing and communications, Cabrera founded the Miami chapter of the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) and has held several high-level positions, including Vice President of Media Relations at JPMorgan Chase, Director/Vice President at Edelman Miami, Southeast Regional Manager of Media Relations at Macy’s and Associate Vice President of the Hispanic Practice at Havas Worldwide.
The strength of her identity as a Latina has allowed her to recognize the rich diversity that exists within a population that now numbers more than 53 million people and whose purchasing power amounts to an impressive $1.5 trillion — and counting.
BELatina had the opportunity to speak with Cabrera about her career, the growth of the communications and marketing industry, as well as the work that remains to be done.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
My parents migrated to New York from the Dominican Republic while in their 20s, and I was born in “Los Sures,” AKA Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Later, we moved to Miami, Florida, where the year-round tropical weather better suited our family. Our home was always filled with food, family, friends, and lots of fun. Although I am a proud American, being Latina is a tremendous source of love, beauty, and strength for me.
How did you get into public relations?
I worked in retail, but my passion for news and marketing led me to switch gears. So, in 1997, I started my PR career. Naturally, I gravitated to working with the Hispanic market since I am bicultural, bilingual, and biliterate. And, although not a monolith – Hispanics remain one of the largest ethnic groups with tremendous purchasing power across many categories. In fact, more products and services are catering to this specific audience more than ever before.
How have you seen the marketplace and the communications and marketing industry change for and by the Hispanic community?
In terms of media — national Hispanic TV shows have cultivated larger audiences than their general market counterparts. In addition, regionally, Hispanic media across all the nation’s largest cities has grown substantially.
In terms of PR, large PR firms have created Hispanic-focused divisions throughout the last two decades, and many boutique Hispanic PR agencies have prospered. As a result, the number of Hispanics working in Hispanic PR has increased as well. I sat on the national Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) board for several years and am the Founding President of the Miami, FL chapter. When we launched this local HPRA chapter, it became the country’s largest and strongest one during its first year. We enjoy networking with each other as well as nurturing relationships with Hispanic media.
How do you foresee the industry in the post-COVID era?
Unfortunately, we’ve seen both newsrooms and agencies shrink since the start of the pandemic. And, many who remain gainfully employed are juggling more work. At the same time, there’s been a boom in freelance editorial and PR opportunities. We’ve seen an elevation in all things creative, digital, virtual, crisis, consumer-centric, etc. It’s hard to predict the future, but there is already a steady return to the office, booking in-person studio interviews, and hosting events. Also, the media and PR industries are slowly beefing up their staff.
What are three key things you have learned about Hispanic communications throughout your career?
Communicate in a culturally nuanced manner, and never translate messaging — always transcreate. Hispanics who are not fluent in Spanish are no less Hispanic. Resonating with the audience is important. Many Hispanics — no matter their heritage or country of origin — share the same passion points: music, food, traditions, community, family, faith, nature, education, and much more.
How do you think media outlets like BELatina can help in transforming the digital discourse to adequately represent the Hispanic community?
If we don’t tell our positive stories, nobody else will. So, focus on stories that uplift, celebrate and empower our community. Highlight the efforts of organizations contributing to our greater good. Applaud Latinas doing big things. And showcase Latina businesses that we can all support.