Friday, August 15, 2008

Hispanics Media Outlets Boom While Other US Media Sources May Plunge

According to a recent PRWeek article titled “Hispanic outlets expand in size and reach,” PR Week healthcare reporter Jaimy Lee highlights some interesting findings involving the Hispanic traditional media market. While other U.S. media sources are suffering due to the increased popularity of the online news sources, Hispanic and Spanish-language TV stations and publications are booming! Why is this?

Lee attributes several reasons for the increased success with Hispanic media outlets like Univision. According to the US Census Bureau, there has been a rise in the Hispanic population from 35 million in 2000 to 44 million in 2006 which in turn affects the viewership / readership of ethnic media outlets. Another reason for continued success of Hispanic media is that these niche media outlets cater to a specific audience, more specifically immigrants who are still adjusting to new surroundings. Some of the experts highlighted in this article believe it is a sense of community that keep minority media outlets thriving. I think it also has to do with the Hispanic culture in general. These publications and TV stations are providing familiar pieces of culture this specific audience gravitates toward.

Lee also sheds some light on an interesting fact that ethnic media outlets have a history of playing an advocate role in its communities. “Spanish-speaking viewers tend to view media outlets as part of a community dialogue, calling up news stations with crime tips and watching for news from their home country,” said Manny Ruiz, president of PR Newswire's multicultural services and Hispanic PR Wire. Another ethnic media expert noted that, “The community emphasis is a main reason for the new growth in the Hispanic media market.”

On the other end of the spectrum, traditional U.S. media has and continues to emphasize hard-hitting news coverage and expresses opinions through outlets like blogs and some journalists who take an opinionated stance in their writing.

How is this important in PR? With an increase in ethnic news outlets, at least two publications for every 50,000 Hispanics in a community, the need for targeted stories and ideas has also increased. More media outlets mean a greater opportunity to communicate your message. The need for constant research and audience identification has become paramount and this idea piggy-backs on Rachel’s recent PR Lawyer blog post regarding “The Average American.” She addressed the topic of knowing your audience and I completely agree. I believe that it is important to tailor your message and really know who you are trying to reach. This is all equally valid when serving an ethnic community.

Intimately knowing the Hispanic culture, its sense of community, advocacy role and encouragement of dialogue will indefinitely help you craft the most effective messaging. This is not only true for the Hispanic and ethnic communities, but for all industries. It is important to know what makes your audience tick.

Since starting my internship with Furia Rubel, I have found it interesting to keep an eye on communications and marketing efforts that are geared toward minorities. Furia Rubel works with a variety of clients in a plethora of industries. I have learned that it is important to constantly educate yourself on the needs and wants of your audience; keeping abreast of new trends and happenings allows for the freshest ideas and creativity and allows for you to become a true expert.

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