Posted by Elena del Valle on September 13, 2007
By Elena del Valle, MBA
Principal, LNA World Communications
Elena del Valle, MBA
Photo: Cristian Lazzari
Did you ever wonder what you said or did to annoy a Hispanic media representative? Why the story you were working on went to a competitor and your company was mentioned in a lesser light or, worse yet, ignored completely by Hispanic media? As you’re sitting at your desk in the aftermath of the proverbial storm wondering what went wrong consider some sure fire ways to be left out in the future.
It used to be Latino media were on the fringes. In the beginning, there were two Spanish language TV networks and they reached only those individuals who spoke little or no English. Over the past 20 years, the United States ethnic composition has changed and with it, media targeting Latinos in English and Spanish have evolved and expanded. Almost without exception every successful organizations and company in the public or private sector, for profit and nonprofit, has to deal with media issues. Sooner or later Latino media will be among those knocking on your door or you may find yourself knocking on theirs.
Most young companies court media representatives, bending over backward to accommodate media requests in an effort to land press coverage. With little to lose they are eager to be quoted and land prominent spots. As the company matures, those same representatives that pursued exposure eagerly become less available and are less willing to answer media calls. Now that the company is established the risks are higher than they used to be. Company executives believing they have arrived don’t want to bother with pesky media issues, especially from Hispanic media representatives.
“Latino Media and Hispanic Media Training” audio recording
Presenters Federico Subervi, Ph.D. and Elena del Valle, MBA
• About the hundreds of Latino media
• Who are the major Hispanic media
• Type of media outlets they represent
• Languages in which they are produced
• Programming and content they offer
• Hispanic media geographic reach
• Hispanic media challenges
Click here for information on Latino Media and Hispanic Media Training
Often, companies are unfamiliar or only somewhat familiar with the U.S. Latino market of 45 million souls. Media in this market are as diverse as the market is multicultural and vary in reach, competencies and content. There are more than 1,000 media serving the various market segments. According to The State of the American News Media 2007, a new 160,000 word report on the state of journalism in America by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, ethnic and Spanish language media are the only media growing in the U.S.
These media outlets, fragmented and imperfect as is their reach, touch the lives of millions of Latinos across the country with combined buying power of billions of dollars. It’s easy to be left out of their coverage. With little effort you can isolate your company and antagonize reporters. To make sure this happens efficiently, and that you alienate as many Hispanic media representatives as possible, follow these five easy steps.
This is not a comprehensive list. It’s just meant to get you started. There are many other steps you can take to enhance and compliment these guidelines and ensure your company receives as little positive coverage as possible from Latino media representatives.
- Assume the only difference between the mainstream market and U.S. Latino markets and the media that cater to Latinos is language. Since you have no interest in those markets, why bother understanding these diverse individuals that make up 40 percent of new consumers in the country. What does it matter that Latino media come in a variety of styles, sizes and language options including online, print, and broadcast media?
- Ignore Hispanic media whenever you reach out as part of a general media campaign, distribute a press release or call a conference. Once you exclude Latino media representatives from your list do not to respond to their requests for information and interviews. Just because they express an interest in your company or organization doesn’t mean they are worth your time. Although this may not guarantee your company will be left out, it’s quite likely positive mentions will be minimized.
- In the unlikely event you inadvertently respond to a Latino media representative, let them know by word or deed of your disinterest and provide as little useful information as possible. After all why should you care what information about your product or service their story features?
- Even if your product or service is be especially relevant to Hispanic consumers, do not give in to the temptation to be culturally sensitive. Don’t even dream of preparing information for Hispanic consumers; or making room for a Hispanic media oriented press page or media kit in Spanish.
- Never ever take the trouble to provide Hispanic media training to one or more company representatives. Even if you provide general media training each designated spokesperson as a matter of course, don’t listen to suggestions that specialized training and language skills may be important. If you don’t want to learn about growing Latino markets, why should anyone else in your company be competent to do it?
Follow these suggestions diligently and with practice and time you may completely alienate yourself from all but a few stubborn Hispanic media reporters. Violate them and you may discover a new world of media outlets and a growing market full of opportunities and growth potential.
If after reading these suggestions, you have a change of heart here is some information to help you understand and pursue this highly coveted market. There are more Latinos in the United States than people in Canada. Latinos in the United States represent 15 percent of the U.S. market. About 75 percent of Latinos speak English or are English dominant.
According to Latin Force, 50 percent of growth in the United States will be due to Latino births and immigration in the coming years. Latino markets are made up of individuals from more than 20 nations of origin and distinct cultural heritage, making the Latino market a salad bowl of distinct subgroups that can be divided by level of acculturation, language preference, country of origin or heritage, and geographic location to name a few.
Elena del Valle, MBA is principal of LNA World Communications. She authored the only chapter in print on Hispanic Media Training. She is editor of Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations Understanding and Targeting America’s Largest Minority (Poyeen Publishing, $49.95). Elena is editor of the book’s companion website, HispanicMPR.com on how to reach Latinos with marketing and public relations tools. For information about Hispanic marketing services including Hispanic media visit www.lnaworld.com
Read Elena del Valle’s chapter about Hispanic Media Training in
Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations Understanding and Targeting America’s Largest Minority book
“A must resource for practitioners/professionals expecting to reach US Hispanics; also valuable for college programs in marketing, public relations and communications. Highly recommended.”
Click here for information on Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations