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Hispanic media relations training: What to do when Hispanic media call

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 29, 2006

By Elena del Valle, MBA
Principal, LNA World Communications

Elena del Valle, MBA

Elena del Valle, MBA

Photo: Cristian Lazzari

You are a spokesperson for your company, representing it for public speaking and media interviews. You are going about your everyday affairs, granting media interviews on a new product or service your company launched or a timely topic of general interest. All is going well and a Hispanic media representative calls. What should you do?

Should you respond to the request as you do with other general market requests? If you are wondering about the reach and importance of Latino media and Latino audiences nationwide, note that Hispanic buying power is estimated at around $700 billion a year and increasing rapidly. At the risk of stereotyping, remember Latinos are loyal buyers, especially for high ticket items, spend more than mainstream and other minority market buyers on basic products and like to purchase the best they can afford.

Is there a significant Latino media presence? Yes! Familiarize yourself with major media outlets such as Univision, one the largest which includes TV, radio, cable and online coverage; Telemundo, the second largest TV network; El Nuevo Herald in Miami, one of the highest circulation Spanish language newspapers in the country; and Terra.com, a Latino market web portal.

Deciding whether to accept the media interview opportunity will depend on a number of factors including your goals, the type of product or service to be discussed during the interview, your media interviewing abilities and Spanish language proficiency (if the interview is in Spanish). Keep in mind that many Latinos are English dominant (their only or preferred language is English) and a number of Hispanic media are in English or bilingual. This means your interview could be in English. Should you prepare your interview responses as you do with general media interviews? What steps should you take to get ready for the interview?

As with any other media interview make sure to practice, prepare and rehearse; don’t “wing it.” The viewers can tell when you are prepared. Unprepared speakers often leave the audience with a disappointing impression. As part of your preparation, find out as much as you can about the media outlet and the audience of the interview.

Following are links to some Hispanic media websites (in Spanish), to visit if you speak or read Spanish and want to learn more about Latino media:

For additional information on Latino media and Hispanic media training refer to the Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations book (Poyeen Publishing, $49.95).  It includes chapter on both topics. Federico Subervi, Ph.D. and Heidi Eusebio co-authored “Latino Media: A Cultural Connection,” a chapter on Latino media. In another chapter, I discuss Hispanic media training in “Cultural Understanding Key to Effective Hispanic Media Training.”

To make the best impression consult a Hispanic market expert and/or a Latino media relations coach. He or she can help you position your product or service among Hispanics. Make sure you craft your message with the specific audience you are addressing in mind, review the information for the interview, and develop Hispanic relevant message points (a reminder of the key points you want to emphasize). Make sure your company is equipped and ready to respond to any Latino market responses resulting from the interview.

Elena del Valle is a 20-year marketing and communications veteran. She is editor and contributing author of the chapter on Hispanic media training in the Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations book (Poyeen Publishing $49.95). Additional information is available at HispanicMPR.com


“Latino Media and Hispanic Media Training” audio recording

Federico Subervi, Ph.D. Elena del Valle, MBA

Presenters Federico Suverbi, Ph.D. and Elena del Valle, MBA

To purchase a downloadable or CD audio recording with presentations on Hispanic media training by Elena del Valle and on Latino media by Federico Subervi, Ph.D. visit the HispanicMPR.com Resources Section