Reaching The Asian and Latino Markets Is Easier to Do Than You Might Think

Dottie Li

Want a hot tip? Consider sharing your news items with publications that focus on the D.C. Metro area’s Latin and Asian-Pacific communities.

Editors representing those diverse audiences offered insiders’ views on how to get coverage in their publications during IPRA’s November luncheon. They also spoke of the growing impact of media outlets that reach diverse cultural communities.

Addressing the group were Alberto Avendaño, associate publisher of El Tiempo Latino, a Spanish-language weekly newspaper and website covering local and international news for Washington’s growing Latino population, and Dottie Li, writer/editor of Asian Fortune, an award winning English language newspaper serving all Asian Pacific Americans since 1993.

Both Avendaño and Li were united in their opinion that to reach the niche markets, PR pros need to provide information that appeal to the particular audiences. They also agreed that niche-ethnic publications need to make professionalism a goal in their print and broadcast outlets. Avendaño said, “The presence of good quality niche outlets will help improve perceptions and help Americanize the communities.”

Alberto Avendaño

Li said Asian Fortune is designed to appeal to the cultural interests of the broad Asian community, whether Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese or other members of this population. She said that her publication focuses on what readers want to know, including stories about how Asians are making their way in America; Asian cuisine, arts and theater personalities; as well as any other news that highlights Asian culture. She said, “We may review a play at the Kennedy Center that has a Korean playwright, or an Asian American race car driver who has made it big.”

Avendaño pointed out that niche publications, as he calls them, are making an impact in mainstream media. The presence of niche publications is also increasing sensitivities and

cultural awareness about the various communities. While the diverse market publications are separate from the mainstream, he believes the trend is towards more complete coverage of ethnic news. He said, “In the future, media companies are going to have their fingers in many niche publications and broadcast outlets.”

The program provided practical information vital for helping today’s PR pros learn how to reach the growing and diverse population markets in the Washington area. Said Susan Rink, of Rink Strategic Communications, and IPRA membership co-chair, “This was one of the most informative IPRA programs I have ever attended. I wish everyone could have heard it.”

Thanks to IPRA program committee member Dana Vickers Shelley for arranging the event.

Vicki Robb of Vicki Robb Communications is an independent PR practitioner with over 20 years experience, specializing in media relations for traditional, social and online media. She can be found on the web at jvrobb.com.

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One thought on “Reaching The Asian and Latino Markets Is Easier to Do Than You Might Think

  1. I am so glad PR practitioners are addressing this issue. It made me remember interviewing for a public relations position many years ago with the U.S. Marine Band. The interview was going well and the discussion was moving into how I could expand awareness about area concerts and events.

    I was then asked if there were any special initiatives I would undertake, if given the job. I replied yes, I would like to issue press releases about area concerts in Spanish and Vietnamese, as well as English, and otherwise target the media at those communities’ newspapers, in addition to the other media they were already pitching. At that time, the Hispanic community was not as large as it was now, but it was beginning to be, and I was familiar with the established Vietnamese community in Northern Virginia because I have Vietnamese relatives. I had also done some recent study of how arts marketing and PR to these communities had been successful in other areas, such as San Francisco, so I shared that with him.

    I remember he paused and he said, rather carefully and deliberately, as if he were measuring his words, and what if we said that reaching out to those communities would not be an initiative we would support? There was a pregnant silence as what he said sank in — and the reason for it. At that point, I think I rather huffily said, Well, you would have to give me a VERY good reason why not! Because I don’t see why you wouldn’t!

    I think things have changed a whole lot, even since that interview, at least I hope they have. Reading this blog post made me remember my experience and I wanted to share it, as an example of why I am so especially glad PR practitioners are addressing the need head on.

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