Penni Barton just started in her new position as Publisher of Al Dia Texas. Portada interviewed Barton on her approach and objectives as the new leader of the Dallas, Texas, Hispanic newspaper.
The Integer Group, where you worked until recently, is specialized in shopper and retail marketing. What insights did you gain there that are particularly useful to increase Al Día’s revenues?
Penni Barton, Publisher Al Dia Texas: “Today many CPG clients are thinking about marketing from the store back and in essence have taken the traditional purchase funnel and turned it upside down. Instead of just thinking about driving awareness they’re thinking about how they can close the sale at retail. By understanding how marketers are approaching marketing and media to target their shopper, we will be better positioned to integrate Al Día into their plans. Al Día is the largest Spanish-language newspaper in North Texas and because of our targeted in-home distribution, we have loyal readership base that is engaged with our newspaper and content.”
The World Cup is the most important news event for Hispanics every four years.
You lived in Uruguay in your childhood, what differences do you see between Latin American and U.S. Hispanic audiences?
P.B.: “I think the most obvious and biggest difference is that while the US Hispanic population is growing, Hispanics are still not considered mainstream and we still need to educate on the importance of our target segment and compete for media dollars. While the values our Hispanic audience shares are very similar to Latin American audiences (religion, family) the specific issues they face are very different – how to navigate the education system, immigration and health care. Hispanics are not only the faster growing demographic in the U.S. and the largest minority, but also the average income and spending habits continue to grow year over year. This makes for an attractive proposition for advertisers and media companies alike.”
What opportunities in terms of new advertising and (maybe) circulation revenue do you see related to the upcoming 2014 Soccer World Cup?
P.B.: “The World Cup is the most important news event for Hispanics every four years. It’s the Superbowl, Final Four, World Series and NBA Finals all in one. This represents tremendous opportunities for Al Día. We’ll explore expanding our portfolio of print offers via special supplements, insertion campaigns, themed-content sponsorship’s and magazines. Likewise, we’ll explore leveraging opportunities for digital, mobile channels and events.”
Our role is to provide independent, up-to-date local news that are of relevance and impact to our readers.
What are in your view the main features of the Hispanic newspaper of the 21st Century?
P.B.: “Our role is to provide independent, up-to-date local news that are of relevance and impact to our print readers’ lives, as well as important issues like immigration, education, the economy, health care, among others. But Al Dia is also positioning itself as a source of news updates and up-to-date information on our website (aldiatx.com) and mobile products. At the end of the day, we strive to be a trusted resource for the Hispanic population in the North Texas area.”
What advantages and disadvantages do you see in Al Dia Texas being part of the Dallas Morning News?
P.B.: There are no disadvantages to Al Día being a part of the Dallas Morning News. Being part of the Dallas Morning News family of products gives us access to national accounts and we’re able to leverage scale in terms of sales, marketing, distribution and production. We are an autonomous publication with our own editorial staff that has been serving the Spanish-language audience in North Texas for the last 10 years; but we also are able to leverage the benefits of belonging to the largest news media company in Texas with 127 years of experience.”