Beyond PR

Jan 13, 2011

Pitching to the Hispanic Media Market

Reaching out to Hispanic media and knowing how to appropriately get their attention is incredibly important these days. Spanish-language news outlets, whether print, broadcast, or on-line, are high up there in circulation numbers and in audience figures, with many becoming equally as or even more popular than their English-language counterparts. Spanish-language outlets are always looking for news they can use to help inform their audience, so make sure you’re armed with what you need to help you get you on their radar. Here are some suggestions for you to follow:

  • If you’re looking to reach a consumer/investigative producer or reporter, they look for stories that are out of the ordinary, have new elements that make them extraordinary or affect a large number of people. Stories that involve fraud, scams and illegal activity tend to be on the top of their list because part of the job is to expose that and show others how to avoid becoming victims. Aside from the Hispanic angle, they like to know how the story affects other people and if it doesn’t, they want to know why. Journalists should have as many other angles as possible, in order to put things in perspective.
  • Stories which directly impact consumers’ pockets are a big hit, as are immigration-related issues.
  • Every press release should include information about all the subjects/elements that are part of the story, and whether or not they are available for interviews. For Hispanic media, it helps to know if any of them speak Spanish fluently. Obviously, the overall impact of the event or story is also a key element.
  • All news releases need to have a news hook. Make sure it is at the top of the release.  Journalists don’t have much patience for marketing events/stories. If it is not newsworthy content, it should be an advertisement, not a press release. If you want your story covered it needs to have a news angle.
  • The story should be translated into Spanish. It seems like such a common sense thing to do when trying to get the attention of a Spanish-language media outlet, but many fail to do this and only send it in English. A Spanish version of the press release is needed because a lot of time is lost in translation, and journalists don’t have time to lose. If the topic is timely, you lose coverage when you don’t provide a translation.  If  the item is going to take too long to translate, it’s likely to not be used unless the release is not evergreen and time isn’t a factor.
  • One of the most important things is providing a Spanish speaking spokesperson that will be available for interviews. This person needs to be well versed on the subject and should speak Spanish fluently. What good is it to have a press release in Spanish if there are no elements to produce an effective story for the audience? In addition, they must be available other than the usual 9-5 hours. Media is 24/7. It would also help if this person has some TV experience.
  • Some journalists like a combination of bullet points and a couple of paragraphs that summarize the story because it is less time consuming to read those first and read on if those catch their attention. That means that those who fill pages with small text end up wasting their time. Make the release easy to read.
  • Know your market–not all Latinos are Mexican. Mexicans are not the only Latino ethnic group. For example, a story regarding tortillas might attract more Latinos on the West Coast or the Southwest than in Florida or New York. The same goes for music. Los Tigres del Norte (popular Mexican norteño ensemble) might be huge stars in the Mid West, Texas and West Coast, but they may not have the same reception in a place like New York.

Pitching to Hispanic media really isn’t all that different than pitching to the general market outlets.The same standards and the same rules apply, with only some fine tuning necessary. Just remember to have your press releases or your promotional materials in Spanish, have a spokesperson or representative who speaks fluent Spanish, and understand the differences between the ethnicities so you can pitch accordingly. ‘Latino’ and ‘Hispanic’ are used to group everyone together, but your biggest mistake could be thinking Latinos/Hispanics are all the same.


(Good luck!)

Authored by Evelyn Tipacti, Community Editor, Profnet.

Do you love ProfNet?  Are you focusing increasingly on Hispanic media?  Then ProfNet en Espanol is for you! Like its English counterpart, ProfNet en Español allows you to respond to media requests for expert spokespersons through a subject matter expert database powered by Hispanic PR Wire. You can also send Expert Alerts with commentary on hot topics.  Learn more about ProfNet en Espanol and PR Newswire’s other multicultural services, and fine tune your Hispanic media relations strategy.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Oquendo

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