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Five proven practices to obtain the best results out of your media relations plan

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 31, 2015

By Danixa Lopez
Senior account executive
Santa Cruz Communications

 Danixa Lopez, senior account executive, Santa Cruz Communications

Danixa Lopez, senior account executive, Santa Cruz Communications

Photo: Santa Cruz Communications

I recently performed a Google search for the keyword phrase of Public Relations for the Hispanic Market and more than 1.5 million results were produced. With so many options, how can public relations and marketing agencies that offer services tailored to the Hispanic market differentiate themselves?

There is no correct answer. When it comes to marketing to Hispanics, each public relations professional has his/her own experience and strengths that can help when developing and executing a media relations plan. There is a myriad of proven strategies and tactics that you can use. However, no matter which ones you choose, there are some basic practices that will help you and your team obtain the best results.

Target, target, target- The success of any media relations/publicity campaign is first and foremost to know your audience and build a target media list based on that audience. Who do you want to reach? Is your audience Millenials who prefer to receive content in English? Are you targeting first-generation Hispanics who speak only Spanish? Where are they based? Once you know the answers, you’ll be able to develop your target media list. Your target media list should clearly reflect your target audience. Don’t include outlets that won’t help you to achieve your campaign goals. Be precise, specific and strategic.

Email distribution- Mass emails to hundreds of reporters and editors will not automatically translate into results. When it comes to press releases and media pitching, less is best and a strategically targeted media list can save you valuable time. Besides, when you send mass emails to contacts that are not related to your product or service, you take the risk of being blocked allowing you to lose a valuable contact for future stories.

Familiarize yourself with the reporter’s work- It is important to learn about the person you’ll be pitching to and trying to convince on the other side of the phone or -in most cases- the other side of the screen. When possible, read at least one of his/her stories and familiarize yourself with their style, social media postings, etc. Does he/she write in English, Spanish or both? Does he/she cover the beat of your story? What are his/her latest stories about? In addition, send all information in the language that the publication uses. Many Hispanic outlets are short of staff and have no time for translation.

Be an expert- Make sure that you know every aspect of the product or service that you are positioning. Why it is valuable for the reporter and, therefore, his/her audience? What is unique about it? Are there any potential problems or bad reviews that the reporter may bring up? You are the first line of contact with reporters and editors, so be prepared to answer their questions before they decide whether to interview your client or write a story about your product.

Deliver- You need to be available for media requests, especially if you are the one who generated the contact in the first place. Newsrooms are very busy places and reporters don’t work 9-5 shifts. If you call a reporter at 10AM and he/she replies or calls back at 8PM with a 9AM deadline, you need to deliver. Make sure that you ask about deadlines when you receive the request so that you can plan for any immediate needs. And, yes, be ready to provide high res pictures at a moment’s notice.

Danixa Lopez is senior account executive at Santa Cruz Communications, a public relations boutique agency specializing in the U.S. Hispanic market. Lopez also is the author of the Spanish-language blog, “La diaspora y yo” (The diaspora and I), on Metro.PR, and tweets as @danixalopez.