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Macy's and Nordstrom utilize Black Media in Marketing Strategy

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Hardy L. BrownWhen the economy is good or bad the Black Press in America finds it difficult to garner advertising partners in our struggle to break down the walls that separate our people from financial prosperity.

Some barriers can be attributed to our mission as advocates on behalf of our people which sometimes rubs people the wrong way.

Some barriers can be contributed to the lack of understanding of our influence and reach into our community. And some just do not want to be associated or seen as a advertiser in the Black or ethnic media. I wanted to write this editorial during this bad economy and talk about two companies that have been with our media over the past decade and have not wavered from their commitment to reach out into the African American community through our media. These two retail giants are Macy’s and Nordstrom.

My first experience with Macy’s began as a small boy growing up in North Carolina listening to my cousins when they came home from New York, describing the company they worked for. They described this huge store that made them feel good to be associated with because of how they were treated. Then my next experience with Macy’s was through the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on television just before the football game. Another experience came when I served on the school board and as a delegate member of the California School Board Association and our annual conference was in San Francisco. Macy’s demonstrated their commitment to education by supporting the conference in a big way. Then came their outreach with the Black Voice News and several other newspapers in the West Coast Black Publishers Association which has lasted over a decade. One of their western region executives Carol Jackson was always supportive of the work we did in the community and often contributed to our educational endeavors. My first interaction with Nordstrom came through my good friend Don Griggs, who is now retired. Don was a manager in the men’s department at the Montclair S tore. However, the business relationship was forged by Bernie Foster, publisher of The Skanner Newspapers in Portland. Nordstrom decided to work with some of us and provide support to our youth outreach program during our annual conference in Las Vegas. Locally, Nordstrom held fashion shows in conjunction with and for African American women.

Nordstrom states that their success in having a diverse workforce is because they utilize “targeted media” along with community organizations as a part of their marketing strategy.

Nordstrom posts on their website that, “the business of fashion is international, multi-cultural and diverse by nature.” It goes on to say “at Nordstrom we believe this makes an exciting retail environment” which they value and welcome into the company.

We know that to be true based on the people we have interfaced with here in the Inland Empire. You know I often write about what some corporations are not doing with our community but these two are swimming up stream against the tide and we appreciate their business. Likewise I would advocate to our readers to not forget them during this holiday season as we buy gifts for our loved ones.

President Barack Obama is in China exploring ways to have a trading policy that is fair for the United States while meeting the needs of China. So in keeping with the giving back spirit that we often talk about, let us practice that with those we know who have a demonstrated track record.

They have been good corporate partners with Black Media on the west coast and in the Inland Empire. I know that the recession—a depression in our community -- has hit al l of us hard, but Macy’s nor Nordstrom have not pulled out. They consider ethnic media an important of part of their marketing strategy and we appreciate their partnership.

Thank you Councilman Rikke Van Johnson

I commend San Bernardino City Councilmember Rikke Van Johnson for requesting that the city report out on the police department’s handling of a prayer vigil in Dorjil Estates two years ago. Some people were standing outside of their apartments praying on the spot where a loved one had been killed. Unannounced the police barged into the crowd to disperse them.

After several meetings with the community they promised to investigate and report back of the findings. As of today no report has been filed.

We join with Councilmember Van Johnson and request a report to the community of why the police behaved in that manner.

We al so join in his request to know the breakdown of the public safety workforce by race and gender. Thank you Councilmember Rikke Van Johnson for bring that issue to the council ‘s attention.

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