Q: I have a client whose products are quite successful, but I think
there is a real opportunity for the company to tap into the Hispanic
Unfortunately, the director of marketing does not agree, and won't even
discuss our ideas for reaching out to the Hispanic community with the
CEO. How can I make him recognize that the company is missing out on a
great growth opportunity?
Ms. D, St. Louis
A: It's hard to believe there are still some unenlightened companies out
there that are unaware of the expansion, spending power, and importance
of the Hispanic market. Some smaller, boutique companies like Procter &
Gamble, MCI/Worldcom, and Sears have been ahead of the pack in reaching
out to the Hispanic community, according to Hispanic business news
Surely Staple Removers, Inc. or a similarly erudite brand might
recognize the importance of this growing and savvy group of potential
Such enduring ignorance never fails to amaze Manny Ruiz, CEO of Hispanic
PR Wire, which was launched last year in response to this burgeoning
Previously, he helped form Porter Novelli's Hispanic practice.
Ruiz recommends employing hard facts to educate the client. "It is a
continuous challenge for PR firms to be able to translate these
increasingly compelling statistics to clients," he says. But it is vital
that the client gets a clear picture of what they may be missing.
Do some research on how other companies in this client's sector have
responded to the expanding opportunities in the Hispanic market and
present some case studies to your client. Ruiz also offers a range of
useful data that helps illustrate your point. One is that the Hispanic
population in the US is the same as the population of Canada, at about
The US Census Bureau reported that the Hispanic population has increased
58% since 1990, represents 13% of the total population, and is the
fastest growing minority group in the country.
Q: I am pretty new to the media relations side of PR. I have been trying
to build relationships with journalists in my sector, and have found it
to be really difficult. I have invited some of the more important
writers out for cocktails and have tried to win them over so they'll
cover my clients, but I haven't had any luck. A couple of them have
attended events that I invited them to, drank the wine, ate the food,
and left without interviewing anyone. I feel like I am doing everything
I can, but still my clients are not getting the coverage they want.
Mr. V, New York
A: How exactly did your firm train you, Sweetie - tie you down and make
you watch reruns of Absolutely Fabulous? Your whole attitude needs
Journalists, we know, won't often turn down a chance to snarf copious
amounts of gratis alcohol and hors d'oeuvres. You can lead writers to
the bar, you can even make them drink, but that doesn't mean they will
be any more inclined to write about you.
The only way to get ink is to pitch relevant ideas to journalists that
are within their coverage areas. In order to do that, you have to
educate yourself. It sounds like you are focusing on media relations
without understanding that your first priority is getting to know your
clients inside and out.
Talk to the people that head up the accounts for your agency, and get
them to help you uncover the compelling stories that journalists want to
Do you have a problem that no one else has been able to solve? Try
Pandora. E-mail her at email@example.com.