The National Association of Hispanic Publications Inc. Annual Convention took place March 17th through the 20th at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Kirk Whisler, president of the Latino Print Network, and publisher of Western Publication Research, presented data showing a clear trend toward an increase in the number of bilingual publications. NAHP's member publications are still mostly Spanish-language pubs (127 Spanish-language, 68 bilingual, and 25 English).
Mario García, president of the newspaper design firm García-Media, emphasized that editors should put more effort into “selling” stories to the public. He also stressed that newspaper and magazine publishers should be aware of and leverage the tremendous power of their brands. “MiamiHerald.com gets more hits in a week than HomeDepot.com in a month,” García concluded.
Of importance to publishers at the NAHP convention, for obvious reasons, was which advertising categories have most potential in Hispanic print. According to Whisler, travel, telecom and entertainment look good. To back this claim, he said that Hispanics are 26% more likely to fly in an airplane than non-Hispanic whites. Additionally, he noted that Latinos spend more on phone-bills than any other sector of the U.S. population. Finally, Whisler said that, per capita, “no audience goes to the movies more than Hispanics.”
…need for more research…
Gary Meo, senior VP of print and internet sales atScarborough Research, pointed out that for every US $15 invested in TV research, only US $1 is invested in print media. To Ray Durazo, president of Durazo Communications, “there is a clear need for more accountability and audit reports. Additionally, publishers need to produce more market research info.” He added that “print is every bit as important as broadcast, and in some respects more. There is an audience of decision makers, such as politicians, business leaders and academics that can only really be reached through print.”
Some publishers present at the NAHP convention complained that the NAHP tends to be more effective for larger publications. This, together with increased competition, is threatening the survival of smaller publications. Jesús Sánchez Cañete, publisher of La Nación USA (Washington D.C, paid daily US $0.25, circ. 13,000) noted that if the “NAHP does not do something, most of its members will disappear.”
…a virgin market…
Providers of newspaper promotional materials (CDs, encyclopedias, books, DVDs, etc.) were represented at the NAHP convention. Argentina's Visor and Spain's Planeta and Civisa sent sales representatives to Los Angeles. Planeta and Visor have an important presence in Spain and Latin America, but the US Hispanic market is basically “virgin territory” to them. Executives from these companies noted that the Hispanic market is challenging because of the proportionately low number of newsstands existing in the US. Additionally, around 80% of US Hispanic publications are available at no cost, and must rely entirely on advertising revenue. Newspaper publishers use promotional products to encourage sales at the newsstand. Even among dailies, advertising sales are by far the largest revenue source. Javier Aldape, publisher of Diario La Estrella, noted that while general market daily newspapers, which on average cost US $0.50, tend to have an 80/20 advertising/circ. breakdown, for Spanish-language dailies that ratio tends to be 90/10. Despite the challenges, the market for newspaper promotional material has great potential in the long-term. Planeta sells approximately US $22 million in this market (70% in Spain and 30% in Latin America).
…and some advice…
In a marketing seminar, Carlos M. Olea, associate publisher of La Raza, highlighted the importance of “unduplicated reach,” especially in markets like Chicago with 40 Hispanic publications circulating. Cesar Pizarro, business manager at Miami's El Nuevo Herald, noted that advertisers are also interested in overlap between areas of heavy credit card usage and a newspaper's area of distribution.
Several executives from large general market newspaper sales reps (e.g. Metrosuburbia, see “HNAA strikes deal with Metrosuburbia,” page 1, Portadatm No. 8, March/April 2004) participated in the NAHP conference. They strongly encouraged Hispanic publications to pursue general market advertising dollars. According to these sources, it is in the cross-over budgets where the largest revenue potential lies.
…local ads are still the “bread and butter.”
According to a study conducted by Western Publication Research, 2003 local ad revenues for Hispanic publications were US $801 million, while national advertising revenues were US $311 million (including magazines). Publications represented at the NAHP conference had a variety different advertising mixes. For instance, El Aviso, a large Los Angeles weekly with a circulation of 150,000, relies heavily on local advertising. El Aviso charges local advertisers a CPM of US $9. For national advertisers, like JC Penney, that figure goes up to US $20. At The Valley & Town Crier in McAllen, Texas (weekly, circ. 272,000, TMC product), national advertisers like Target and JC Penney account for 50% of advertising revenues, and 20% of the total number of accounts. El Hispanic News in Portland, Oregon (weekly, bilingual, circ. 19,950) gets 70% of its advertising from national accounts – mostly financial institutions and telecommunications companies.
Nile Wendorf, advertising manager at Chicago's Extra (weekly, circ. 63,000), told Portadatm that the importance of classified advertising in each paper plays a key role in determining the revenue mix between local and national advertising. The breakdown for Extra is approximately 40% classified, 35% national and 25% local display advertising. Miguel Blanco, associate publisher-sales at El Aguila in Westchester County, NY (twice-monthly, bilingual, circ. 30,000), explained that regional advertisers like Entergy and the Department of Health, have a strong presence in his publication, while national advertisers are not significant. Among local advertisers, clinics and healthcare institutions are important buyers. El Aguila charges local advertisers US $2,016 for a full page (CPM US $67.20) and US $3016 (CPM US $100.50) to national advertisers. According to Blanco, El Aguila focuses on “local content with a Latino twist.”