While driving through a neighborhood with a large Latino population on her way to work one morning, Marcela Gómez saw a billboard that caught her attention.
“Llame al 911,” the billboard said – Call 911. Even though the message was grammatically correct, Gómez knew it would mean nothing to newcomers to the United States. When people in other countries need to call the police, they don’t call 911, so the billboard’s message would only confuse the people it was trying to reach.
Gómez realized there was a need for a full-service marketing and public relations firm to help reach the growing Hispanic community in Tennessee – one that could go beyond simply translating materials. Somebody needed to offer a comprehensive understanding of Latino cultures and the correct use of the Spanish language in a marketing, advertising and public relations campaign.
To fill that void, she founded Hispanic Marketing Group, which opened its doors in May 2002 and has been advocating for the Spanish-speaking community in Tennessee ever since.