"The reality is that, a good percentage of the time, Spanish-language media has a hard time finding experts that can either speak the language or deliver comments and opinion and expert analysis on key topics," said Christine Clavijo-Kish, SVP of multicultural markets for PR Newswire. "And one of the biggest challenges is that many times, there are one or two people that the media end up interviewing over and over again. This is an opportunity to really broaden the experts that are available to speak with media."
For now, the service will be bilingual, but Clavijo-Kish added that the plan will eventually go all-Spanish when the organization has a solid database. To start, ProfNet en Español has 5,000 Spanish-language media contacts from Hispanic PR Wire's press list, and will be open to outlets from the US, Caribbean, Latin America, and Spain.
Juana Veliz, MD of the Hispanic practice for Lagrant Communications, expects the service to help PR professionals build relationships and reach specific regions and markets that may not be top-of-mind, such as North Carolina or Tennessee.
"This was a component that [ProfNet] was missing, so I think it is great that they have included Spanish-language media in their services," Veliz said. "It's going to be easier to become a resource for our media, and be able to provide the exact things they are looking for at that moment. But at the same time, I think that it's still very important for us to build our one-on-one relationships with the media."
Clavijo-Kish said the service is needed as the Spanish-language media grows in importance and relevance: "We're just really excited that the time has come where Spanish-language media has elevated to the point of needing this kind of service."