Eye On PR  

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MAYO enters year 2002 with a popular feature on its website:
"Eye On PR"
Everything from 
tricks of the trade to getting 
on the radar of industry analysts to making your company newsworthy.

 Nationally recognized and award-winning writer George S. McQuade III
 reports on the PR industry. 
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June 27, 2002

REACHING OUT TO THE
'UNTAPPED' LATINO MARKET

 

The 2000 U.S. Census opened a lot of eyes in America and reflected the growing market of Hispanics and the publications that cater to them, according to a PRSA/L.A. breakfast featuring the Latino media who talked about reaching that "untapped market."

 


People's Ron Arias said the magazine looks for 'emotional appeal.'

"People magazine is the most stolen magazine on airplanes," Los Angeles staff correspondent
Ron Arias, of People, jokingly told a crowd of PR pros at the PRSA-LA/OnTheScene Productions-sponsored meeting.

Arias said People has 40 million readers weekly, including its Latino edition People en Espanol.

Arias, who said he is Los Angeles-born with Mexican heritage, contributes at least one article a month to the six-year-old People en Espanol.

"We look for the emotional appeal," he told the PR pros attending the event. For example, he said, healing children – I'm headed down to UCLA Medical Center right now to interview three Latino ladies who founded a group that helps people like the Guatemalan twins joined at the head.

"That story will make both versions of the magazine," he said.

Arias said border stories are a hard sell, especially to People's New York editors.

Arias noted the Spanish version focuses primarily on the Latino stars or Hispanic stars, depending on the area.

He said People en Espanol attracts women readers primarily, but the magazine doesn't always want high-end stories. Arias said the magazine is open to editorial briefings and pitching and he can be reached at ron_arias@peoplemag.com or fax: 310/268-7349.

Census opened eyes to Latinos


It's important to know the Latino media, said Telemundo's Raymundo Diaz.

According to Telemundo's executive producer Raymundo Diaz, "Spanish media have a well-defined audience – we know where they live, where they shop and what's important to them, " said Diaz. "We see ourselves as not only providers of information, but also as teachers and journalists. We help a lot of our viewers, with different cultural backgrounds, who do not know how to function in the U.S. system."

Telemundo (Channel 52 KVEA-TV), Los Angeles recently merged with Spanish KWHY-TV Ch. 22, and was recently purchased by NBC.

Diaz said it's important to know the Latino media, and how your story might fit in. The big difference between mainstream media and Latino, he said, is the relationship Hispanic media build with the viewer. Diaz invites PR pros to take a daylong tour and watch how a story is produced from start to finish. He prefers e-mail pitches at mdiaz@telemundo.com or a fax at 818/543-0293.

Now is a good time for placements

"If ever there were an opportunity for a PR agency to get its story covered, it's now," says Moana Ramirez, news assignment editor, KMEX-TV Ch. 34. "The Spanish market is so big right now, with Spanish radio and TV stations, newspapers and magazines, it's just a matter of which editor you're going to pitch your story angle to.


The Spanish market is big right now, it's just a matter of finding the right editor, said KMEX-TV's Moana Ramirez.

"The audience at home has the power in their hand with the remote, unlimited choices, unlike a few years ago, when there was usually only one in each market. We have to be more responsible," she said. Ramirez said when the station receives a news release, it wants to know why it is important to viewers and how they can benefit.

She said the station has done focus groups and its audience is more sophisticated and understands stories better. Ramirez noted that KMEX's viewers also look to English-language stations for trends and lifestyles, so the station added those segments to its lineup.

"We are looking for unique stories. We get all of the calls in the newsroom for the station from the viewer, who says ‘These announcers don't know what they're saying about the World Cup,' to PR pros with pitches to no end," Ramirez said. "Keep reminding us about your stories and find the unique angles. We value the City News Service wire budget listing your events."

Ramirez said the station often only sends a cameraman to a story, so "you need to treat them nice and guide them to the right interviews and coverage of your event."

She said it is okay to pitch in English, but prefers and appreciates Spanish pitches.

Ramirez wants e-mail pitches, but faxes are "okay." She said the best time to call the newsroom is after 8:00 a.m.

Ramirez can be reached at mramirez@univision.net or fax at 310/348-3493.

Spanish angle helps

"It helps to have a Spanish spokesperson or source to quote, especially on news impacting the Latino community," says La Opinion's assignment editor Luis Sierra.


La Opinion editor Luis Sierra wants pitches via fax.

Sierra said La Opinion is the oldest and largest Hispanic newspaper in the country. "That's fortunate and unfortunate, because we don't have much competition," he said, noting that puts the newspaper "on the spot," because it serves people age 65 as well as readers as young as 16. He said the paper covers just about everything any other newspaper covers, and gets calls from PR pros all day long.

"I receive more than 200 e-mails a day, and there is no time to read them," said Sierra, who added that he prefers a pitch by fax in the newsroom (213/896-2077).
Sierra noted that Latinos now are viewed as an economic and political power come election time.

"I used to make calls in the upper 20s before I could get politicians to answer my calls and questions, but today, they call me asking if I have any further questions," he said.

Client photos are welcome as are photographs from PR agencies which hire photographers for media events. He said the paper uses a satellite photo wire service, which is often down, adding that the newspaper would love digital or conventional photos from outside sources.


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