Diversity 101: How Tampa Took Bollywood

photo: IFFA Tampa
“Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” -Malcom Forbes

From the moment this country was formed, it was deemed a “melting pot” of cultures. It's this melting of cultures, ethnicities, lifestyles and religious diversity that makes this country great. Here in the Tampa Bay area, we offer a perfect example of diversity in the U.S. According to 2010 U.S. census data, the diverse demographics of Tampa Bay are a microcosm of the entire country.

Who is Diverse?

As millennials join the workforce, the lines that used to separate races, cultures, and lifestyles are now blurred. The next generation has been raised with acceptance and pride in the aspects that make them diverse.

For PR practitioners to ignore this growing and changing diverse community is to miss an opportunity to reach the current generation. Communicators must know who they are targeting, what engages them and why they would choose to take action.

How to Reach Diverse Audiences

There’s not a magic wand to reach all diverse audiences at the same time. Start by using quantitative evaluation to determine which community efforts should be focused on and learn about the basics: cities of origin, popular foods, festivals, traditions, colloquiums, etc. Data, such as census information and research studies, may already be available. Once the audience has been narrowed down, it’s time to communicate.

Qualitative research can help you learn about the audiences on a more personal level. What motivates them to take action? Where do they get their news? Who are the influencers in their lives? Performing qualitative studies locally can be invaluable when forming effective strategic communications plans.

Case Study: Bollywood Awards in Tampa

Tampa learned about the prevalence of Indian culture when the city hosted the 15th Annual International Indian Film Academy's Weekend & Awards April 23-26, 2014. With Tampa's Indian community estimated at 35,000 and growing, it was the first U.S. city to host this prestigious event. When more than 30,000 visitors from all over the world arrived in Tampa, it was up to Visit Tampa Bay to research and welcome this diverse community. Learn its strategy for securing Tampa as a destination and ensuring the success of this event at PRSA Tampa Bay’s November program, Rolling out the Green Carpet for Bollywood, on Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register today at

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