Targeting English-speaking media, planning VNRs, more

As a Hispanic company, how can I target English-speaking media and not be disregarded due to language barriers?

As a Hispanic company, how can I target English-speaking media and not be disregarded due to language barriers?

"The company should work with a professional - or someone they trust to represent their company - who is totally fluent in English," says Manny Ruiz of Hispanic PRWire. "In my experience, in stark contrast to Spanish-language media, the English-language press are generally intolerant of being pitched or spoken to by people with accents."

The reason, he opines, is because outside of the arena of hard news, most general-market media infrequently field calls from people who don't speak much English.

"In general," adds Ruiz, "Spanish-language media are used to calls from non-Spanish speakers. That partially explains why they are more tolerant of people who don't speak Spanish."

Press kits

What can we do to make our press kit stand out?

It's important to recognize that a press kit no longer means just a printed folder with inserts. Web-based virtual press kits provide interactive, measurable tools to reach audiences previously unavailable with printed kits.

"Truly top-notch press kits can speak not only to journalists, but directly to consumers, buyers, and other target audiences," says Tom Becktold of Business Wire. "With that in mind, remember the fundamentals of PR when creating your content. Make sure to lead with a compelling, timely news release. When possible, relate your news to a current trend or news cycle."

In addition, he suggests you supply visually interesting online photos, graphics, and multimedia elements that play to your different target audiences. This will enable print journalists, consumers, and Web sites to all use them.

"Consider non-media audiences by providing specific background information of interest to them, such as purchasing or pricing data," adds Becktold. "Include an audio podcast that positions a spokesperson as an authority in your field, and use RSS tags to stream your content and capture audiences."

Becktold also recommends including links to your press kit throughout your communications efforts: in news releases, e-mail pitches, integrated marketing campaigns, and in viral marketing efforts with blogs and forums.

"The days of printing a thousand press kits are gone," he notes. "Instead, well-designed online press kits can have an ongoing shelf life with constantly updated content."

VNRs

What are some common errors made in planning VNRs?

"When planning VNRs, clients will sometimes present ideas and concepts that have a commercial edge to them," says Chris Sweet of VNR-1. "From the company's view, this seems to be advisable because the messaging is being presented in a way that will entice viewer action."

However, Sweet advises that it's best to avoid this practice if you are reaching out to local or network TV stations as your primary target for VNR pickup.

"A commercial message will turn them off," he says, "It's best to find an appropriate news hook, whether that idea is attached to a time of year, a holiday, a product rollout, or an event that a station will consider to be noteworthy."

By buying time on "in-flight" networks or other outlets more suited to info-tainment, Sweet adds, you spend a little more money up-front, but you end up with a guaranteed or at least a "built-in" audience.

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