Martin Diaz, responsible for both English and Spanish-language media relations at News Generation, shared these additional insights.
Regarding media relations, what differences do you see between Spanish-language and English-language station when you pitch them?
Spanish radio stations know what they want. They are extremely loyal to their sources and they gladly provide tangible tracking for the stories they cover.
They tell you exactly who will be covering the story or doing the interview. With Spanish-language radio stations, relationships are built at a personal level. Once you establish yourself as a trustworthy source, they will consider you as part of their news desk. They are always eager to receive more information from me once I prove myself to be a dependable source of content/news.
Are there topics that Spanish-language stations are more interested in than English-language stations?
Yes, absolutely. They are always looking for any news that will touch their audience. They are always interested in topics such as immigration, education, health, community, and government, but they also love stories of celebrities, music, artists or anything that will entertain their listeners. And as the feeling of belonging to this society becomes more evident, they appreciate when national news has positive ramifications to our community.
What can clients do more of (or less of) to reach this audience effectively? What topics work? How they present information?
Organizations need to stay in front of this Spanish-language radio audience. In other words, a client or a company cannot expect to be covered after months of silence and focus elsewhere. They need to demonstrate support and keep the community informed about their activities and services. Once again, if the client is looking for support from the Latino community for its products, services or news, they have to show support for this target.
Also, this reporting and end user audience always looks for a more personal approach instead of a more formal, corporate one. Again, they would love diverse topics related to preventive health, mental health, adjusting to a new culture, education, domestic economy, business, arts and entertainment, sports, culture, style, information about immigration policy, and other specific laws and regulations related to family care in the U.S.
Any other thoughts you’d like to add about Spanish language media relations?
As the Hispanic Market continues to grow rapidly in the United States, it’s important to understand that this group is not just one big group that responds to media and messages in the same way. Rather, there are many different segments within this population, but two primary groups that emerge when considering Spanish-language media relations. Hispanic-Americans are those individuals either born or raised in the U.S. from an early age. English is their language of choice to conduct business although they tend to be extremely close to their Latino roots. Even though this group relates to the circumstances many Latinos go through here in the United States and in their countries of origin, they never actually personally experienced them. For example, for the most part, they have never dealt directly with issues related to immigration.
On the other hand, Latinos who immigrated into the United States either as teenagers or as adults relate to others from similar circumstances from a more sympathetic point of view. This is the point of view that only going through those life experiences at a personal level allows you to develop.
Therefore, I believe it’s critical that clients not assume that just because news content or a press release is in Spanish that it will effectively reach every Latino media outlet/person out there. Working with these journalists and stations and networks day-in and day-out I work from a much more personal perspective, understand the unique relationship each has with its audience and then adapt the client content to create the best fit to benefit all involved.
For more perspectives on bi-lingual media relations , read part 1 of this interview.