Ronald Wong, 49, learned his way around the political landscape as a senior staffer for California governor Gray Davis and an appointee in the Clinton administration. Today, his Pasadena, California-based marketing firm, Imprenta Communications Group, is leveraging that experience to help businesses, utilities, politicians, and nonprofits reach America's consumers of color.
--As told to Saki Knafo
Our company has been around since 2001, but our mission has always stayed the same: empowering communities of color by giving them a voice and communicating to them in a way that respects their diversity and culture. We reach out to them in their own language. A lot of companies don't do that. I was working for a political campaign in San Francisco, and the other consultants were saying the Chinese community was split on an initiative. I asked them, "Did you poll the Chinese in Chinese?" They said no.
The bulk of our work is what is called social marketing--marketing a social good like decreased smoking or the Affordable Care Act. That's where community groups as well as local elected officials come into play. When we reach out to a community, we need to know who the pastors and priests are, and what the infrastructure is. Recent immigrants have a challenge in knowing what the country offers. Marketing to them is an extension of my political work. It's just a different way to help empower these groups.