Creating Narrative Change with UnidosUS


The 2020 US Census illuminated changes to the racial and ethnic population in the United States. The Latino population grew by 23% while the non-Latino population grew by only 4.5%.  Meanwhile, Latino advocates expressed concern about politicians pushing negative narratives about Latinos to score political points. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in places like Arizona. Latinos are the largest demographic group in Phoenix, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The state can be a model for the nation in responding to this change in positive, productive ways that benefit everyone. 

UnidosUs, the nation’s largest civil rights organization representing Latinos, asked the Hattaway team to create messaging, media, and materials to increase awareness of Latinos’ contributions to Arizona, as well as challenges they face. 


National research found that a large number of Americans, from many different backgrounds, held warm feelings toward the Latino community. But most were unaware of Latinos’ many contributions to our economy, culture, and communities.  And they didn’t understand that Latinos face barriers that, when overcome, help them to contribute even more. For example: too many of Latinos lack equal access to opportunities and tools, such as affordable housing and business loans, that everyone needs to build good lives for themselves and their families. Many jobs held by hardworking Hispanic men and women don’t pay enough to make ends meet and don’t include health insurance. Many public schools don’t offer support to English-learners, which has been proven to improve outcomes.

Opening eyes to these realities can encourage more U.S. residents and leaders to support expanded access to equal opportunity for Latinos and others. UnidosUS chose Phoenix to launch a public education campaign aimed at non-Latino residents, with a message about the contributions of Latinos to the state and nation. The Count On Us campaign showed that people of Arizona, and the US, can count on Latinos to contribute to the economy, culture, education, and public safety. The campaign shared data points like these:
• Latino-owned businesses employ nearly 1 million Arizonans (U.S. Small Business Administration)
• Latino immigrants pay $2.4 billion in Arizona state taxes annually (Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce)
• Nationwide, 7 out of 10 Latinos work in health care, emergency services, and other essential fields (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The Count On Us campaign shares the stories of real Latinos—an entrepreneur, artist, educator, and fire fighter—to exemplify the contributions of all Latinos. 


Using a post campaign survey, we were able to measure the impact of the campaign. Our research found that 20% respondents recalled the Count On Us campaign—more than 3x the recall for a campaign of this size. More importantly, we moved those that saw our ads, earned media and social media. In fact, those who saw the ads were significantly more likely to agree with statements about the contributions of Latinos and take all kinds of action from purchasing Latino-made goods and services to advocating for protecting their rights and freedoms than those who had not seen the campaign.

Those who saw the Count On Us campaign were significantly more likely to agree with our messages.

Our toolkit was used by a variety of individuals and organizations to further the message in social media. There were posts driving the “contributions” message from now Governor Katie Hobbs, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona House Candidate Jevin Hodge, the AZ Democratic Party, and GOP Nominee for the Arizona Secretary of State. In all there were 1,200+ posts about Latino contributions and Count On Us, from 738 individuals and organizations in Arizona, generating over 8M impressions.

We also developed new partnerships through the campaign. For example, Xavier Gutierrez, the President and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes attended our launch event and committed to help spread the message. Using the framing of the campaign, his team spotlighted Latino staff members throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, telling stories about their contributions to Arizona. 

There is widespread media interest in highlighting positive stories about Latinos. Nearly every media outlet in Arizona covered the campaign, including several that broadcast live from the launch event. Arizona media reached 51 million people. Beyond the local media outlets, another 232 outlets from across the country—from Alabama to Alaska—picked up our story. It shows that a compelling local campaign can help drive a national conversation.

Have a narrative you want to change? Reach out to us today at

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