Business magazines: Publishers offer various ways of reporting about “el sueño americano”

September 1, 2003:
Magazine categories, Business magazines: Publishers offer various ways of reporting about “el sueño americano”

Research supports the case for business magazines geared toward Latinos. Hispanics read Latino business publications almost exclusively and often neglect general market business publications. According to research by MRI, only 30.2% of Hispanic Business readers read The Wall Street Journal, only 28.4% of these readers read Business Week and just 13.2% read Fortune.

Advertising driven…

Advertising makes up 90%-95% of revenues for most Hispanic business magazines, which have a “controlled” (free distribution at conferences, airports, hotels, trade associations, gyms, etc.), instead of a “paying” (circulation sales) subscriber base. The high percentage of advertising revenue compared to circulation sales is also due to the fact that many Hispanic business magazines are still in the early stages of development. “Excellent content will eventually convert controlled subscribers into paid subscribers,” David Yanovich, executive editor and president of PODER, tells Portadatm.

…and emphasizing how-to articles…

Market research firm Santiago & Valdés Solutions recently published a study which found that some Hispanics, finding few opportunities for advancement, choose to leave Corporate America to start their own businesses.

Hispanic Trends, based in Coral Gables, FL, and modeled after Bertelsmann's Inc magazine, is an English-language quarterly which emphasizes “how-to” content for start up entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized companies (see “New Trends in Hispanic Business,” page 3, Portadatm, No. 1 January/February 2003).

…and Latino success stories.

Latino Leaders Magazine, a bi-monthly magazine (circ. 100,000) focusing on success stories, is written in English and published out of Carrollton, Texas by the Mexican company Ferraez Publications of America Corp. Through interviews and feature stories, Latino Leaders covers the most important leaders in the US-Hispanic community.

Hispanic Business, the bi-monthly magazine published by Santa Barbara based Hispanic Business Inc., has more high-end editorial content than Hispanic Trends, but still emphasizes how-to and success stories. Written in English, the magazine targets second and third generation Hispanics who are proficient in both English and Spanish. Hispanic Business sees itself as a “truly national” magazine, covering the Hispanic economy as one national market instead of many local markets.

Taking a wider approach

Other Hispanic business magazines offer a wider range of topics. Hispanic Magazine, which like Hispanic Trends is published by Hispanic Publishing Corporation, covers general interest topics, with a focus on business, career, politics and culture. The fact that automobile, and not financial, is the major advertising category reflects the wider appeal of Hispanic magazine's audience, which is relatively affluent, the average HHI is US $70,600 , and young – 53% of its readers are between 18-44 years old.

Diversity Inc. (circulation 100,000) targets Hispanics, as well as other minority groups. Its editorial mission is to provide education and clarity on the business benefits of diversity, by positioning diversity as a strategic business opportunity. Diversity Inc. co-founder Luke Visconti tells Portadatm that approximately 20% of the magazine's readers are Latinos, while 40% are African Americans.

The Hispanic business elite

Miami-based PODER (“power” in Spanish) magazine targets the US Hispanic and Latin American business elite, with separate editions for the US, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia. Fifty percent of PODER's readers are CEO's and company presidents with high acquisition power (average income of $200,000/year). PODER's affluent readership is reflected in the main advertising categories of the magazine – Florida real estate, banking and finance, technology and travel.

How do PODER US advertisers differ from advertisers in PODER Mexico or PODER Colombia? According to Yanovich, PODER's executive editor, “PODER reaches the business elite. It is a vehicle for luxury brand advertisers, banks, automobiles, etc. These companies are generally global, however many companies push local brands. For example a bank with a local promotion, or automobiles that share a common design under different brands in different countries.”

The Miami edition of PODER is different from its US counterparts. It is targeted not only to the Hispanic community, but to the business community as a whole, and includes local advertising (real estate, banking, health care, etc.).

The Mexico edition of PODER includes local ads, as well as major advertisers like Banco Santander, Banamex, Chrysler, Tiffany.

Transcontinental promise

Latin Trade, while focusing on the Latin American business man, has a strong readership in the US. Fifteen thousand of its 93,000 copies are distributed in the US. “We only cover the US Hispanic market as long as it is connected to the Latin American market,” Mike Zellner, publisher of Latin Trade, tells Portadatm.

His magazine was owned by Irvine, Calif. based Freedom Communications until the magazine was bought out by its management in 2001. Publications such as Latin Trade, and to a lesser extent PODER, offer what marketers call transcontinental promise. The US Hispanic market acts as a bridge to Latin America. This can attract many global marketers like Ford, L'Oreal, Avon and Procter & Gamble.

A magazine about business ideas?

How about Harvard Business Review en español? “We may enter the US Hispanic market in the future,” says Ricardo Zisis, founding partner and current president of Impact Media, who owns publishing rights for Harvard Business Review in Latin America and the Hispanic US for the next

10 years. Zisis has spoken with Harvard Business School Publishing, the Boston based publisher of Harvard Business Review (circ. 240,000), about launching a US-Hispanic version of the magazine. “Compared to Hispanic Business, which is a magazine about business stories, Harvard Business Review is a magazine about business ideas,” Zisis argues. “There probably is a market for a business ideas magazine in Spanish; however it is a small one.”