Rogers & Cowan PMK Launches Multicultural Communications Division

Courtesy of R&C PMK
Stephen Macias

PR veteran Stephen Macias has joined the firm to lead the new practice.

Just over seven months after their merger, Rogers & Cowan PMK has made its first major move, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The entertainment PR powerhouse has launched a multicultural communications division and hired veteran executive Stephen Macias to lead the new practice, which will help expand the company's talent and brand clients' outreach to LGBTQ+ communities, communities of color and female-driven initiatives. Services will include creating and executing partnerships and programs with multicultural communities; placements in traditional, earned, digital and social media; and coming up with integrated marketing — as well as crisis communications, an increasingly necessary offering as clients, particularly legacy brands, attempt to adjust to a more demographically balanced audience.

"The diverse audiences that make up the beautiful fabric of the U.S. and global population now expect a level of awareness and cultural competency when trying to connect. When communication lacks that cultural competency, it can -- and has -- negatively affected brand reputation and sometimes a company's bottom line," Macias tells THR. "Having an experienced and diverse agency can help mend fences and rebuild trust with today's multicultural and multi-generational consumers." 

The idea to form a division dedicated to multicultural communications first originated in October. "While we have a diverse slate of talent and staff, many of the content producers and distributors across the industry are just starting to see the value of specific communications and integrated marketing efforts to a broader audience," CEO Mark Owens tells THR.

Macias was most recently senior vp diversity and inclusion practice lead at MWWPR, where he oversaw a team that worked with companies including Comcast, Focus Features, FX, Netflix, United Artists Releasing, Amazon Studios, Kellogg's, Frito-Lay and Hilton Worldwide. Prior to that, he founded Macias Media Group LLP, which became one of the top LGBTQ+-focused boutique PR firms; worked as executive vp and GM for Here Media Inc. (The Advocate, OUT); and served as entertainment media director for GLAAD. Macias' nonprofit work also includes the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Equality California, the U.N. and the Global Equality Fund.

Macias will be executive vp entertainment and multicultural practice lead at Rogers & Cowan PMK and will dual report to entertainment division chair Alan Nierob and brands president Shirley Hughes.

"For decades, multicultural and LGBTQ+ consumers have lacked representation in television, film and advertising," Macias says. "Characters in media and brand campaigns that have become more inclusive send a message that they recognize the value of all people. When people see characters and images like themselves, they now make choices to patronize those businesses that approach marketing and communications efforts with inclusive strategies. Additionally, research supports the notion that friends and allies of diverse communities also support businesses that reflect the diversity of their own diverse circles and family members."

Rogers & Cowan PMK's recent efforts in the multicultural space includes serving as agency of record for the L.A. Pride Festival; helping to promote the 2019 Cannes Lions award-winning documentary 5B, about the nurses and caregivers who opened the first AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital; and working with such clients as Elton John, Michael B. Jordan, Rosalia, J Balvin, Caitlyn Jenner and Eugenio Derbez.