April 4, 2013 at 2:16 am #177733
Hispanics/Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the American population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Yet many experts and advocacy groups consider Hispanics/Latinos to be an “underserved” community in terms of citizen engagement and customer service by government at all levels.
1) Does your agency communicate in Spanish on social media?
2) If so, what has been your experience?
3) If not, why?
4) If so, which social media platforms does your agency use?
Do you have a Spanish language Twitter handle, for example?
What about Facebook, YouTube, and other sites?
April 7, 2013 at 9:01 am #177741
RAFAEL A. GOMEZParticipant
Good question Mr. Grinberg, short answer is no, why? I am not sure, it may be that it is not expected to be done differently and being in DOD component is hard to imagine conducting official business in another language, it may be that is not needed, what strikes me peculiar is that I speak español very well, not only that, I can also read and write, my kids also speak the language as well as german and english, my wife beats us all with german, spanish, italian and english, and yet we use them only socially.
April 9, 2013 at 3:31 am #177739
Thanks for those insightful comments, Rafael.
First, being bi-lingual or tri-lingual is definitely an asset in today’s multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial society and workplace – including, if not especially, for government.
Every government agency should assess their workforce in terms of bi-lingual fluency and leverage such human capital to enhance communications and citizen engagement, as appropriate — not to mention improving customer service. Social media appears to be an obvious mechanism for government to reach more segments of a nation increasingly rich in diversity.
Second, some agencies already have Spanish-language Twitter handles, YouTube channels, websites, etc. This is a positive development, in my opinion, which Uncle Sam should further embrace. Moreover, while this may be a good start, it begs the next question:
If government is communicating in Spanish via social media, than what about other languages?
What criteria will determine how and when government reaches out to various diverse communities in their native languages on social media platforms?
What about further leveraging social media to reach people with disabilities via new and evolving interactive technology?
Finally, what’s the alternative option, English-only?
It will be interesting to observe how these issues play out government-wide at all levels as the face of America continues to change.
April 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm #177737
RAFAEL A. GOMEZParticipant
Thanks Mr. Grinberg, yes, I can see how that would be an advantage to any Organization in terms of customer service, good PR and many other areas, today I checked the agency’s social platform(s) and did not see anything addressed in spanish or any other language for that matter, so it got me thinking, maybe is a matter of catching up, perhaps we are being left behind, as you say many agencies are already using all this social channels to reach out the population in their native language, spanish or otherwise.
Time to make that suggestion, I read somewhere “big things have small beginnings’.
Thanks for this topic discussion.
April 11, 2013 at 3:52 am #177735
Yes, some agencies are doing this, but not nearly enough, in my opinion.
Change is never easy in the entrenched bureaucratic culture of government. Some agencies are still catching up on social media generally. Baby steps.
Others may favor an English-Only policy for all government communications — via social media and otherwise. Yet if you want to really reach people, you have to speak their language, literally and figuratively.
Thanks again for sharing your valuable feedback on this topic, Rafael.
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