Are You Pitching to Latino News? Four Reasons You Should Be

I was at a breakfast the other day and the featured speaker was the station manager for a prominent Latino television station here in Denver. It was surprising to me how few people were at this breakfast. Why were so many people losing out on this opportunity?

Now we got some great tips and advice that I certainly don’t want to share with you (sorry, should have been there), but I don’t want you to leave here empty-handed. Here are four reasons your public relations should be targeting Latino media.

Pitching Latino media has a higher likelihood of success

First of all, don’t get me wrong. Journalists who work for Latino news outlets like Univision or Telemundo have the same strong journalistic standards as reporters who work for your favorite English-speaking news outlet. In fact, this really has nothing to do with the journalists at all.

It’s about odds.

Think about all the times you’ve pitched news stations. How many times have you pitched the Latino stations as well? Certainly not every time, and most of your competition is the same way. Imagine all those pitches sent out everyday to English language news outlets that Latino stations aren’t getting. Why not? Latino stations have daily newscasts similar to English language stations. They are broadcasting to folks who live in the same city and are affected by the same events you see on English news.  The only difference is that Latino stations not bombarded with hundreds of press releases daily. Because of this, your press release stands a much better chance of getting a fair look from a Latino station than it does from an English language one. Why aren’t you taking advantage of that?

Pitching Latino media does not take any more time or effort than what you’re doing now.

A few months back, I was chatting with a fellow PR professional who said “pitching to Spanish language stations  just adds too much work to be worth it.”

Really?

Here’s a tip.  Every English language news station has a different focus for their news, so it makes sense that every press release should be individually tailored to each station. Are you doing that? If you’re not you should probably start.  And if you are tailoring each press release to each station, then it should be pretty obvious that tailoring one or two more in order to target the Latino news outlets shouldn’t be that big of a deal.  Fifteen more minutes of work just doesn’t seem like it’s “too much to be worth it.”  Do you?

You don’t necessarily need to speak Spanish

I want to be clear here. If at all possible, you should give Spanish language news stations something in Spanish. Really look around to see if there is anyone, who speaks Spanish that can help you.  Really, really try to do this first.

That said, if you have a compelling story that is important to Latinos, Spanish-speaking stations will likely still look at it, even if it can only be done in English.  These stations, after all, understand the realities of working in the United States.  They understand that most people speak English, and they might have to translate the stories themselves.

The Latino market is bigger than you think

Look around you. How many people do you interact with on a daily basis who speak Spanish as either a first or second language, or who might have family who came from Latin America? All these people; teachers, restaurant owners, gardeners, car dealers, leaders with the Latino Chamber of Commerce; most of them watch some Spanish language television on a regular basis.

Here in Colorado the latest census puts the Latino population at 20% and rapidly growing. Nationally, Latinos are among the highest expanding demographic in terms of population, and economics. Why would you ignore 20% of your possible audience? Unfortunately, many of us are doing exactly that.

Incorporating the Latino market into your public relations efforts is, frankly, just plain good business sense. Why wouldn’t any PR firm want to increase the chances of successfully placing stories without much extra effort to a segment of the population which is rapidly expanding?

I don’t know the answer, or as the Latinos might say, “No sé la respuesta.”

*Just a note that I will be speaking at the PRSA Western District Conference March 12th and 13th.  Hope to see you there.

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Food Truck Follies: 5 Ways To Avoid A Government Caused Issue

The Cupcake Truck is having trouble with the city of Denver. What you can learn.

I love food trucks.  They have cheap, convenient eats that have food that’s often better than most restaurants.  One of my favorites here in Denver is the Cupcake Truck.

Unfortunately they’re having a problem with the City of Denver.  Apparently, the City of Denver doesn’t know how to deal with these food trucks or the temporary traffic that comes with them.

As a result, these food trucks are finding themselves in a crisis situation that may or may not be of their own doing.  Because there is a gray area here, however, no one is sure who is to blame for this problem.

Now, I’m not here to take sides, but this dispute can serve as a lesson to every business on how to minimize the possibility of  a clash with your local government officials.  Here are 5 tips to help you avoid a crisis situation involving city government.

DOT YOUR I’s & CROSS YOUR T’s

If you want to do business in a city, you need to get down to city hall and talk with more than one person about what forms and licences you need to operate legally.   When picking up forms, make sure to ask as many questions as possible. Get a name and number of someone you can contact whenever you have further issues you need to address.  You see, the more informed you are about how city government deals with your profession, the better able you are to handle interactions with government official in a positive manner.

JUMP THROUGH EVERY HOOP NECESSARY

Generally speaking, governments solve problems by making new rules.  These rules may seem frivolous to you, but to other folks they might be essential.  Make sure you follow every rule and regulation.  Anything you ignore, or miss opens you up to getting in trouble with your city.  You don’t want that.

KEEP CURRENT

A judge once told me that “ignorance isn’t an excuse.”  I hated hearing it, but it’s true.  Laws don’t happen overnight.  If you don’t pay attention to how a government is dealing with your industry, you will get burned.  Keeping current on your industry’s regulations will ensure you don’t run afoul of your local government.  Keeping city officials happy will make you happy.

ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE

Look.  No one likes to deal with government bureaucracy.  It is tedious, repetitive, and time consuming.  The problem, however, is that if you want to work in a city, you have to deal with it.  The quicker you understand this, the better off you’ll be.   Make sure you deal with everyone in a positive manner.  If you are in a positive mind frame when dealing with people, even bureaucrats, they will be positive.  And positive people tend to be more helpful, which is nice when your dealing with a government agency.

HAVE A PLAN B

Keep your options open.  You never know what may happen when dealing with local government.  They may have a good reason for shutting you out of operating in their city.  If you have a backup plan, the frustration of running in to that brick wall won’t be as devastating.  Additionally, a good backup plan might give your local officials a reason to rethink their policies toward your type of business.

Now, I’m not saying that the Denver food trucks didn’t follow these steps.  What I’m telling you is you can never do too much to satisfy a bureaucracy.  So follow these 5 tips and avoid those government hassles.

Hope this helps you out.

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here to access my resume.)

Turning Press Releases Into Press Coverage: Five Areas of Your Business To Find Great Newsworthy Stories

Here's some ways to turn press releases into press coverage

I was at a holiday party this past weekend and had a chance to talk with some reporters and PR folks.  I asked each person what was the biggest problem businesses faced when trying to pitch stories.  I was shocked that nearly all of the reporters and PR professionals agreed that finding a compelling story was the one thing businesses had the most trouble doing.

It is always amazing to me that businesses can’t seem to figure out the stories that make them interesting.  In that vain, here are five areas of your business where you can find that great story that can turn your press releases into press coverage.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR GOOD DEEDS

There’s one thing that most, if not all, news people bristle at is the perception that all they’re interested in is bad news.  It’s just not true.  News folks are interested in stories that are not “normal.”  Those stories can be good or bad, just not typical.  Here’s how this can work for you.  Do you as a company raise millions of dollars for a good cause?  Do you give away free products to the disadvantaged?  If you do, you need get a press release out, stat.  You see, you’re not “normal.”  There are many businesses out there who don’t do charity so finding one that does is newsworthy.  Reporters love positive news stories just as much as bad news stories, and the fact that your company is so charitable is news.  Let them know.

“SUPER” EMPLOYEES

Support and highlight your employees who are doing something super

What do your employees do when their not working for you?  If you don’t know, you should find out.   Too many Support and highlight your employees who are doing something super businesses don’t think about how their employees non-work actions can affect them, but it can.  Learn about your employees and support them when they do extraordinary stuff.  It would be a shame if you had employees that went to the mountains every weekend to help disable kids learn how to ski and you didn’t help them and tell the media about it.

OFFICE CULTURE

Why do people like working for you?  Yes, it might be that you give them 20% more money than anyone else, but more likely it has something to do with your office culture.  Do you allow dogs?  Do you have flexible hours?  Do you have a swimming pool in the main lobby?  If you do, I bet a news organization would love to do a story on it.

GENUINE INNOVATION

This area is where most businesses try to get news coverage but fail.  The reason is that their products are not interesting.  Look, I understand that to a company that makes rugs, using a brand new type of thread is interesting, but to the rest of us its not.  If you are using thread, however, that makes your rugs last for 200 years, or makes sure that nothing will ever stain them, or it makes your rugs fly…THAT is genuine innovation.  If your company is doing something that makes the average person on the street go “wow,” that’s a reason to let the press know.  By the way, that should exclude about 98% of the things businesses are currently writing press releases about now.

Are you an expert? Let reporters know.

EXPERTISE

Are you an expert in your field?  Do you have people on your staff who are experts?  I mean real “other folks come to you asking for help” expert, then you should notify the press.  Reporters are always looking to stack their Rolodex with experts they can call at a moments notice to help them with a subject.  Even better, tie your expertise in with something that is happening in the news.  You’d be surprised how often reporters are looking for experts.  Writing that press release will let those reporters know that you are the expert they should call.

To be sure, the hard and fast rule about sending out press releases is “less is more.”  But by examining these five areas of your business, you might just find a great story which will help you succeed in turning your press releases into genuine news coverage.

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here for more information.)