WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22—With the Latino population having grown to 35 million in recent years, many major corporations have mastered the art of Hispanic marketing. But veteran public relations practitioner Armando Trull says far fewer have mastered the art of Hispanic PR and public affairs, which is why he is joining forces with television journalist Armando Guzman to launch The Armando Group.

The Armando Group will offer a range of services including strategic PR counsel, media relations and media training, grassroots support and coalition building, community and government affairs, and political communications. Trull says he expects the firm to work closely with mainstream advertising and PR agencies as well as directly with clients.

“We think a lot of companies make the mistake of believing that if they hire someone with a last name like Rodriguez they have addressed the Hispanic issue,” says Trull. “But we still see companies that can’t communicate effectively with the various different Hispanic populations, or that think they’ve done all they need to do if they translate their existing materials.”

Trull is a former vice president at Cohn & Wolfe, where he oversaw media relations for the Census 2000 account and worked on 2000 Hispanic Presidential Inaugural Gala. He also worked at Burson-Marsteller on the Children’s Scholarship Fund. Guzman spent 20 years as Univision’s senior Washington correspondent and host of its Sunday public affairs show.

Says Guzman, “For a long time, I felt there was a tremendous need for a company that could help communicate important messages to the Hispanic community in a credible and responsible manner. The explosive upsurge in the Hispanic population, as underscored by the latest census figures, and the opportunity to partner with a talented an experienced PR professional, was too good to pass up.”
The group has hired four senior associates and has lined up clients including The Century Council, the Consumer Electronics Association, and a government in central America.