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Oct 22, 2004

PR Interview: How to Reach Ad Execs Targeting the Hispanic Market

SUMMARY: Have you heard about AdWeek's latest sibling magazine, Marketing y Medios? Don't be confused by the Spanish-language title. This is an English-language trade magazine reaching the 18,000 ad execs in the US who target the Hispanic market. Want to get your company or service mentioned? Check out our exclusive interview with Editor Laura Martinez:
Laura Martinez, Editor Marketing y Medios

-> Reach

18,000 controlled circulation to brand marketers, advertising agency executives and media buyers who buy or influence the purchase of Hispanic media advertising in the US

-> Martinez' background

Before coming to Marketing y Medios, Martinez was an Editor at the Wall Street Journal, first in Latin America, then launching the first US Hispanic product last March.

Prior to that, she had lived and worked on business magazines in Argentina and Chile.

"What's really exciting for me right now is doing something for the US Hispanic market. It's amazing here," she explains. "So many are from the Latin American market but what they want is different. When they come to the US they become a completely different market."

-> Current editorial coverage

The English-language, monthly magazine published by VNU (the same folks who put out AdWeek) focuses on anything happening in marketing, advertising, and media around the Hispanic market.

"You see new products, new campaigns, new accounts, new magazines being launched every day," Martinez says. "Our task is to cover that very closely."

Readers are "big marketers" such as Proctor & Gamble or The Coca-Cola Company that either have a Hispanic strategy or don't have one but are considering it.

"We're not like Hispanic Business magazine," she says. "Their audience is Latinos who are interested in business. We're not talking to Latinos, we're talking about what is happening around Latino media."

-> Best way to pitch Martinez

Email only, sent to the general editorial address. Martinez looks at each pitch and then forwards it to the appropriate reporter.

"To be honest, the story pitches that are good for me are never coming from the companies themselves, they're coming from writers and contributers and people who know the market," she says.

That's because when a company or PR person believes they have a great idea for a story, they don't understand that, because the magazine is a monthly, they won't waste two or three pages on a single company. "We're looking for trends," she says.

And don't assume that because it's an Hispanic publication, your Hispanic press release will be printed.

"In the Hispanic media, things work in a really weird way," Martinez says. Hispanic journalism, she says, tends to be full of press releases and one-source stories. "The whole thing of investigating and having more than two sources in an article is unheard of."

Some PR companies assume that because it's an Hispanic publication, their news will automatically be covered. At the Wall Street Journal, for example, Martinez would be invited to an event, she would attend, and the next day the phone would ring and she'd be asked: "'So when is the article coming?' And I'd say, 'What article?'"

-> What Martinez looks for in a story pitch

You can send your pitch in Spanish or English. Here are two good examples:

a. Something such as: "We have a Web page tracking Hispanic consumer habits. Our results have been X and companies like Unilever or Coke are starting to buy our data because they're getting insights."

In other words, a pitch that includes global insights and clients. "Then I get interested because they're telling what the big picture is and it's not about them, it's about somebody getting something out of their product or service," says Martinez.

b. Martinez received a pitch yesterday from a PR company about a new campaign for Chevy, which was launching its first ever Spanish language campaign in the general market. "She sent a press release, attached photos and high resolution screen grabs, and included details of the advertising agency in charge and a corporate contact at Chevrolet."

Martinez replied to the woman asking if she could see the ad itself online, and received a link to a Web site within two minutes. "That was really smart and it was a process of ten minutes, and if you go to the Web page you'll see the story."

One tip: Donít try to woo Martinez by saying you understand her market.

Martinez will be able to tell that you understand her readers simply in the way you write the pitch. "If this woman tells me Chevy is launching its first Spanish language campaign ever in the English market, she knows that interests me, and by the way she's approaching me I know that she understands it. Some people say they understand and they don't, so the saying is not that important."

-> Pet peeves

"Phone really never works. When you're on top of trying to close and you're doing proofreading and the phone rings, and you pick it up because it might be the printer but it's someone who just doesn't even let you talk," that's a problem.

"I don't know if it's a Latino culture thing but I can be rude and just hang up," she says.

Martinez also dislikes receiving releases unrelated to her editorial focus. "It's related to advertising but is nothing related to what I do. You realize these people are not doing their homework and they're just lazy."

Bad translations of press releases would also be a definite no-no.

-> What she looks for in online press rooms

Specific contact details, with information on who can talk about what

Take a page from the "big companies." Their online press rooms are generally pretty well done, she says.

-> Where you can meet Martinez

While she's not open to face-to-face meetings at the office ("I work better via email") she and her staff do attend conferences and like to talk to people in the industry.

"We go to things that are relevant, and a lot of what we do at conferences is meet people," she says.

-> Favorite professional publication

The Wall Street Journal

See Also:

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