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Top Trends in Hispanic Media

By Manny Ruiz

Hispanics are the burgeoning ethnic group in the U.S. and have become a top priority for marketers. The U.S. Census estimates that the Hispanic population will jump from 42 million to 60 million by 2020. Nielsen Media Research estimates that the buying power of Hispanics will exceed $1 trillion by 2008 -- a 55 percent increase over 2003 levels. Given this data, Hispanic media relations has never been more important than today. Answering the needs for training public relations professionals in the area, PRSA and Hispanic PR Wire joined forces to launch a nationwide professional development program called the “2007 Hispanic Public Relations and Marketing Strategies Tour.”

“These professional development breakfasts will give dozens of participating PRSA Chapters and their members an opportunity to learn in-depth about Hispanic and multicultural public relations strategies,” said PRSA Chair and Chief Executive Officer Rhoda Weiss, APR, Fellow PRSA. “These programs underscore PRSA’s commitment to diversity and to empowering our professionals with information that helps them better understand the rapidly changing face of America.”

While the format of the program may vary from city to city, they will consist of Hispanic media relations presentations and media panels with top notch Hispanic and/or multicultural media outlets. Here is an overview of the Hispanic media market, which is presented in-depth during the tour along with multicultural public relations case studies and local media contact sheets.

As the Hispanic population continues to dramatically increase, so does the number of Hispanic media outlets launching almost weekly to serve Latino communities across the U.S. In areas large and small across the nation, the ascent and explosive growth of Hispanic media means that public relations professionals must incorporate Hispanic media outreach in most, if not all, of their outreach plans. The role of Hispanic media is very important. They provide news in-culture and in-language and feature news that helps Latinos connect with each other. Ultimately, Hispanic media help orient Hispanics on how to live in their new neighborhoods (and in many cases, country), they cover relevant Hispanic interest issues with more consistency, and focus than mainstream media.

As the increase in the number of Hispanic outlets continues to rise, so does the power or clout of Hispanic media. Currently, there are more than 2,453 unique U.S. Hispanic media outlets, including more than 1,200 print publications, more than 1,000 TV and radio outlets and shows, more than 200 Internet-only outlets and 20 AP-style wire services and news syndicates. Hispanic media outlets are also sprouting up in non-traditional ‘Hispanic’ markets and there is an increase in ownership of print media by non-Hispanics.

Examples of insights presented in the tour:

What is the cultural context of Hispanic media?

  • Advocacy is part of the “culture” of Hispanic media—get used to this

  • Latino media are more personal than mainstream—relationships are crucial

  • Most outlets have small staffs and prefer content in Spanish

What are some effective PR techniques that can help you with your Hispanic media outreach?

  • Partner with a worthy community or national Latino organization

  • Local news angles always resonate and attract Hispanic media attention

How can you increase your stories’ pick up in Hispanic media?

  • Remember that news is news, whether its ‘Hispanic’ or not

  • When crafting your story think of search-engine optimizing (SEO) your release and adding visuals to greatly enhance your story’s appeal

Is it really important to translate press materials into Spanish?

  • Translations help bilingual and Spanish-only media use your story and minimize translation errors

  • Keep your Spanish translation “regional” or “neutral”— your translation shouldn’t be too centric on any one dialect

What are some tips for pitching Hispanic media?

  • Include images with press material when at all possible because in some cases print media will use your story only if there are related photos available

  • Independent TV stations are more likely to conduct in-studio interviews and are hungrier for content

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