Describe the company you work for. I head up Hispania Public
Relations, a recently-launched Miami-based PR firm specializing in the
US Hispanic market. Our clients include General Mills,
Unilever-Bestfoods and Gerber Baby Products. The results of the 2000
Census have opened marketers' eyes to the importance, diversity and
profitability of the 35 million-strong Latino market, creating the
demand for standalone Hispanic PR agencies, of which we are one of only
Tell us something interesting about your company. We're extremely fast,
creative and results-oriented. Just to give you an idea, we came up with
our name, designed our logo and developed our website all in the record
time of one week!
How did you get into PR? Ten years of living on a journalist's salary -
including three as a State Department correspondent for the Voice of
America, and another three as an editorial writer for The Miami Herald -
led me to accept an offer in 1991 as PR manager of Spanish-language TV
network Telemundo. I was promoted to PR director of its 24-hour cable
news channel, TeleNoticias.
What is your greatest achievement? My four greatest achievements are my
three children, Sergio, Christiaan and Carolina, and Marta Rosa, my soul
mate who I have been married to for 21 years. A distant fifth would have
to be founding Hispania at age 46, with zero debt and projected billings
of half-a-million dollars in less than one year.
What was your best pitch? Persuading my wife to marry me after knowing
her a grand total of two weeks. I proposed with a poem.
What was your biggest screw-up? During my first few months at
TeleNoticias, I was on my way to a very important, black-tie, network
press event when my car conked out in a dark and isolated area of town.
It was night, and I couldn't leave the car alone. I phoned my boss to
drive over and pick up the press kits in my possession, while I stayed
to wait for the tow truck. Needless to say, I never made it to the
What's the most daring thing you've ever done? Walking out of a job
without one to fall back on. My boss was a jerk. I couldn't take him
anymore. After the incident, my morale was so high that only eight days
later, I had three different job offers.
If you could work on one account, what would it be? The first
post-Castro, democratic government of Cuba.
If you were an animal, what would you be? Jonathan Livingston
Which historical figure would you most like to represent? Mahatma Gandhi
or Martin Luther King, Jr. I still have an idealistic streak in me, and
am a perennial seeker of justice.