Decatur, GA, July 16, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Major companies who have relied on multicultural marketing firms to help them reach diverse consumer segments, are now seeking help in reaching a new culture-the special needs community. Multicultural marketing firms specializing in reaching this emerging consumer segment are almost non-existent, but there is one company who recognizes the void and has recently added the disability community to its multicultural marketing services roster.
NFS Communications and Publishing, Inc., began as a diversity marketing consulting firm over ten years ago, providing marketing and public relations services to companies wanting to reach the African American consumer market. Among its clients have been companies such as General Motors, Motts, Inc., Borden Foods, Coca-Cola USA, etc. However, when the company’s founder had a personal experience with a family member with a disability, she recognized the significant lack of corporate marketing and communications programming towards the disability community, of which more than 30 percent of the population happens to be Black.
“Since my daughter was born with cerebral palsy over 10 years ago, I began to notice how little recognition and inclusion there was in marketing outreach efforts,” said Norma Stanley, president/CEO of NFS Communications and Publishing. “From my own observations and from the observations of others caring for family members with physical and/or mental challenges, it seemed that companies were only satisfied with adhering to the requirements of the American Disabilities Act, which is necessary, but the recognition of the community’s contributions and vitality faded into the background.”
Stanley says she is determined to rewrite the script where for decades ethnic minority consumers such as the African American, Latino and Asian communities were not on the radar screen for corporate marketers, such will not the case with the disability community. Her goal is to accelerate the education process so that it doesn’t take as long to persuade companies of the business-building benefits of reaching out to this community, as it did for the other cultures. However, she is preparing for this to be an uphill battle.
“Incorporating people with disabilities in personal and professional activities still makes people uncomfortable, such as still is the case with some ethnic minorities. But the disability community can no longer be overlooked,” said Stanley. “The reality is that the disability community comprises every race and culture in existence, which I would say justifies being recognized as multicultural. In addition, the community is the largest minority population in the nation, with over 55 million people, with an aggregate income of over $1 trillion,” she continued. “This does not include its supporting network, such as immediate and extended family members. As with the other diverse cultures, the special needs community is also very conscious of which companies are reaching out to them with products, services and marketing programs, and those that are not.”
Stanley, who is also the author of a book written for mothers of special needs children, and who is in the process of developing an online magazine and radio show targeting the disability community for introduction later this year, says that the disability or special needs community has specific needs for products and services that generally go unnoticed by corporate America. However, those taking notice are growing in number.
“For example, among the companies with which I work, is a leading financial investment firm that recognizes the need to provide customized life planning services to families with special needs children or adults,” she said. “These are parents or caregivers who are concerned with the challenges associated with ensuring life long financial stability for family members with disabilities. Also, there are employment issues, specific use of consumer goods and services, and many more marketing opportunities for savvy companies to maximize.”
In addition to the African American consumer marketing consulting that NFS Communications and Publishing offers clients, its services now includes developing custom marketing programming designed for the disability community. Among these services are corporate disability marketing workshops and strategic marketing and communications consulting, including marketing research, public relations, special events, community relations, sponsorship opportunities, etc.
“My job is to open the eyes of corporations that they can greatly enhance their bottom line by making them aware of the significance of the disability community, and showing them how to be effective at reaching this significant consumer segment,” said Stanley, “and at the same time, help fill the many voids for products, services and recognition within this growing community.”
For more information contact Dawnette Lounds, NFS Communications and Publishing at 404/451-1811 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or Norma Stanley, NFS Communications at email@example.com.