The Double Bottom Line: PMC Presents on Three Panels at Last Week’s Impact + Profit Conference in Los Angeles
Population Media Center (PMC) is delighted to share our recent participation at the Impact + Profit Conference in Los Angeles, in collaboration with SIE Society (Social Impact Entertainment) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. During this event, we had the opportunity to showcase Population Media Center’s global storytelling and the transformative impact of two groundbreaking initiatives: Vencer el Miedo (“Overcome the Fear”) and East Los High.
Three conference panels featured presentations from our PMC team, including our Vice President of International Programs, Natalia Cereser, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Missie Thurston, and Executive Vice President, David Walker. Also in attendance were Amy Henderson Riley, DrPH, MCHES our newly appointed Director of Research, Evaluation, and Impact, and Kristina Hare Lyons, an esteemed member of our Board of Directors.
We were also thrilled to be joined by key partners across projects, including Carlos Portugal, the Co-Creator, Writer, and Producer of East Los High. Our projects are truly collaborative, relying on the skills and perspectives of many partners to succeed, so we were delighted that Carlos could join our panel to share his invaluable insights and expertise.
East Los High, an Emmy-nominated series that quickly became one of Hulu’s top five shows during its first season, made history as Hollywood’s first and only series with an all-Latino cast. With over one million unique monthly visitors to Hulu’s Latino page, the show not only entertained but also educated and empowered viewers. By partnering with adolescent sexual and reproductive health organizations like Stay Teen and Planned Parenthood, East Los High encouraged its audience to access digital and in-person reproductive health resources, fostering positive change. It was featured in popular press, like the LA Times and NPR, as well as in peer-reviewed journals about public health and health communication.
Meanwhile,Vencer el Miedo captivated 3.5 million nightly viewers in Mexico, airing on Televisa’s channel two. This award-winning 47-episode series followed the lives of four diverse women as they navigated the challenges of life, love, and tough decisions. Achieving the highest viewership ratings in its timeslot, Vencer el Miedo and its associated social impact campaign motivated viewers to take action, prompting them to make choices that improved their own health and well-being, as well as that of their communities.
“Our goal was not only to entertain but to empower. Representation matters. By showcasing the rich diversity of the Latino community, we aimed to inspire young viewers to engage with essential topics like sexual and reproductive health,” said Cereser.
Building upon the valuable contributions from our PMC team during the conference panels, several key insights emerged that continue to shape the path forward for PMC. These insights provide a clear and actionable roadmap for PMC as it continues its impactful journey.
The importance of conducting rigorous research – at each stage of a project – cannot be overstated. At PMC, we are lifelong learners and we wholeheartedly consider, meticulously measure, and transparently share our efforts and our impact.
Social Impact Campaigns & Behavior Change:
PMC was thrilled with the discussions around the adaptability of social impact campaigns, especially in the context of television and radio, where campaigns can align with evolving storylines. It’s crucial to recognize the need for immediate action points, and to be constantly looking for opportunities to relaunch films or other entertainment products in conjunction with social impact campaigns. And collaboration with marketing teams and corporate partners for social impact campaigns remains crucial for reaching wider audiences effectively.
Distribution and Quality Control:
Innovative distribution models were explored as effective strategies, such as selectively engaging key stakeholders before broader distribution. In complex media markets, PMC faces the same challenges coming to market as any other organization and it’s important to have a diverse set of approaches. In the discussions about distribution, PMC would also add that it’s critical that key stakeholders, including marketing teams, executives, and talent, are all well-informed about the issues as a project goes to market.
AI and Immersive Experiences:
The conference delved into the potential of immersive experiences and AI in media, suggesting that these technologies can significantly enhance audience engagement by enabling them to immerse themselves in different virtual worlds. It’s critical to be constantly learning as AI and immersive eperiences are here and will certainly continue to expand what we can do and how we can create change.
Embracing PMC’s Niche:
The diversity of talented, principled, and committed people attending this conference was inspirational. It also reiterated that it’s critical for PMC to embrace its unique niche and structured methodology. PMC’s approach is not for everyone, nor should it be. But everyone dedicated to using entertainment for social good appreciated PMC’s grounded approach and understanding our unique approach serves as the foundation and launching pad for potential collaborations with others in the industry, whether it be partnerships with producers, researchers, distributors, service partners, or other key roles that make each PMC project successful.
At PMC, we remain committed to leveraging the power of media to inspire positive social change, and events like the Impact + Profit Conference provide a platform to showcase our impactful work and engage with partners who share our vision. They are also a space for listening and learning. We look forward to continuing our journey of empowerment, education, and transformation through innovative storytelling and media initiatives.