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.