PR knows no borders, including those of language.
If you’re working on a national-headline news story, why not add Univision’s newscast to your outreach list? If lifestyle is the coverage you seek, don’t forget Cosmo en Español.
A 2015 study revealed that the United States now has more Spanish speakers than Spain and in the next 30 years, it will become the largest Spanish-speaking nation on Earth. Chances are that for every media outlet you have on your pitch list, there’s another in Spanish that’s never heard from you.
Here are three reasons your PR strategy should include members of Spanish news media outlets:
1. The opportunities are huge.
The Hispanic market is often perceived as minor in mainstream media outlets, but the latest census indicates that one in every five U.S. residents is Hispanic. By 2050, that number is expected to become one in every three.
PR is about getting ahead of the trends, so why not be proactive about reaching this demographic?
In May, I flew to Miami after securing a six-minute segment on Telemundo’s Emmy-award-winning national morning show “Un Nuevo Dia.” The show has a sweet spot for pets, and our pet client Catit loves coverage—yet the two had never even heard of each other.
That all quickly changed as the story took life. Catit was introduced to a market it had previously neglected. The segment not only reached millions of Spanish-speaking viewers during the show’s broadcast, but it also connected with millions more across the U.S. and Latin America as a result of social media and online pick-up. With that segment and its resulting reach, we garnered nearly 18 million impressions.
2. Hispanic media outlets in the U.S. work largely in English.
There’s a misconception that members of U.S. Spanish-speaking media outlets operate in Spanish, such as French radio in Bordeaux, France or Portuguese TV in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Though local-based media outlets in Latin America often work primarily in Spanish, reporters in Hispanic U.S. news outlets often publish stories interchagably in English and Spanish.
There are reporters and producers who prefer to be contacted in Spanish, but that should not deter PR pros from pitching them if they’re the right vessel for a story. Don’t be afraid to hit “send” on a pitch, regardless in which language it’s written.
3. Hispanic media outlets reach far beyond the U.S.
A major bonus of Hispanic media outlets in the U.S. is that although publications and broadcasts physically operate in the U.S., their reach is borderless—often reaching the eyes of millions of Spanish people across the world.
The same way a CNBC article might be relevant for readers in both the U.S. and Australia, a six-minute segment on Univision might be viewed by someone in Boston as well as a consumer in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Not knowing Spanish or being familiar with Spanish-based media outlets is not an acceptable reason to neglect this growing list of potential media relations opportunities. The more you dabble in any media market, the better you can know its rules and guidelines.
If you’re a Spanish speaker it’s a no-brainer, but to PR pros with little-to-no Spanish language experience: Think back to your old foreign language courses.
At first, it took hard work, but it came down to practice and persistence (in PR terms: following up). You probably know more than you think. After a few pitches, your Spanish teacher would be proud. Either way, the results will be worth it.
Jon Salas Is an assistant account executive at the Hollywood Agency.