Q&A with Tara Jaye Frank ...
By Michael R. Abramowitz
PGA of America
Tara Jaye Frank is Vice President of Multicultural Strategy for Hallmark Cards, Inc., in Dallas. Frank is responsible for partnering across Hallmark’s product development, marketing, and retail departments to drive growth for an increasingly diverse consumer base. She leads the company’s multicultural center of excellence, whose work has inspired a more holistic approach to leveraging the nuance of culture as a foundational and innovative path to relevance.
Frank is author of “Say Yes: A Woman’s Guide to Advancing Her Professional Purpose,” which is designed to help women at all levels and from diverse cultural backgrounds cast a professional vision they can believe in and achieve. For more information on Frank and multiculturalism, please visit tarajayefrank.com.
Frank previously presented her “Keys to Unlocking Your Multicultural Strategy” during the PGA Education Conference at the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience in Las Vegas. She subsequently spoke with PGA Magazine about implementing diversity into the golf industry, as well as how she made multiculturalism an essential part of Hallmark’s corporate environment.
PGA Magazine: What is multiculturalism?
Tara Jaye Frank: Culture is defined in two ways: Either you are born into it or it is something created by a group of people. At Hallmark, depending on your race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, your culture is distinct and variable based on your world views. It’s about turning into less than the majority focus. It’s about a “Connecting Brand.”
PGA Magazine: How did Hallmark implement diversity and inclusion into its culture and is this something that is applicable to the golf industry?
Jaye Frank: Diversity can be companywide as long as top executive leadership deems it important. If people at the top of the house promote its sustainability others will perceive it to be important versus a sidebar. Executive ownership and champions of diversity are critically important. There are some companies that downplay it, but if you identify a person as an expert and have a person at the top perpetually rolling [in support behind them], boulders will fall.
The champion rings alarms at critical points relative to strategy, but the champion cannot be the only voice in the room to give it weight and gravity. If the champion has strong internal support, people will see diversity as less of a bothersome question and more of as part of the infrastructure.
PGA Magazine: How did you get buy in at Hallmark?
Jaye Frank: Diversity is a mindset. When you tell people a new thought, you have to create a story about behavior and data and tie it into meeting goals. At Hallmark, it was about connecting brand and intersecting different ethnicities. You have to tell people a story not just about growth, but the spending growth in minorities. There has been a 100 percent increase in growth and 85 percent total expenditure growth. Four in 10 bank accounts are Hispanic millennials, and three of 10 babies have Hispanic moms. If you look at the change in demographics, and you want to be around in 20 years as a business, you need to do something [to adapt].
PGA Magazine: What are the keys to unlocking a multicultural strategy within the golf industry?
Jaye Frank: In golf shops, what multicultural consumers need from you needs to be seen. In other words, they want you to say, “I see you. I recognize you.” Multiculturalism should show up in visual representations and who is working there. This shows that you care.
Golf is an individual sport, yet Hispanics travel as family. So, how does golf create a collaborative experience? Products are keys to unlocking strategy. The industry needs to see diversity and inclusion as a powerful opportunity for revenue and growth. You can enrich your total brand by being as inclusive as possible. It’s a numbers game, but it’s also a heart game. The more vibrant you make it for the consumer, the more it gives life to your organization.
Multiculturalism is not rocket science, but you don’t want to do it wrong. You want to do it thoughtfully. Avoid the ‘paralysis of perfection,’ as avoiding is the biggest mistake people can make. Have an inspired purpose, and take a practical approach.
You also need some kind of hub to learn about diversity within the sport that gives you access to insight and information. This will allow you to market a consistent thread or story from the parent organization. Then, you need a conduit, because without one, this loses steam pretty quickly. That’s why lots of companies partner with consultancies [to develop their multicultural programs].
Reprinted with permission, PGA Magazine
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