- The State of the Business: Depending on location
Depending on the part of the country their newspapers are based in, publishers offered Portada different views of the current business activity.
As newspapers revenues typically come to 70% from local advertising, local economic growth is a crucial factor for local advertising. National advertising expenditures were regarded by most publishers as stable.
The downturn of the economy, to a large extent due to the plunge in real estate prices, has hit South Florida particularly hard. Newspaper publishers in that region reported an important decline in their local advertising revenues. Most Texas based publishers noted that the business environment was relatively stable, although not as much business has come in year-to-date as by the same time period last year. According to them this is due to the fact that many agencies have not yet signed many 2008 contracts. Publishers in border regions (e.g. Mc Allen, TX, or San Diego, CA) noted an increase in Advertising due to the weak dollar exchange rate versus the Mexican Pesos. This is raising the attractiveness of the U.S. side of the border for Mexicans to go shopping.
- Opportunities in the dearth of Spanish-language (online) content
Alicia Morga, Founder & CEO of Online Advertising Network Consorte Media, highlighted the high growth rate of the Hispanic online advertising market. She emphasized that the highest growth rate is currently occurring at the Spanish-dominant sub-sector of the market. Morga encouraged publishers present at the NAHP conference to bring content online in appealing ways. She noted that there still is a lot of demand for Spanish-language content.
Another panel concentrated on Digital Newsprint: Ideas for the Future. Among other issues the panelists discussed ways publishers can leverage their brands through mobile communications.
- Ad Buying Strategies: The Example of Wal-Mart
Martha Montoya, Chair of NAHP Procurement Committee, moderated a session whose main goal was to show publishers how to gain greater access to national advertising.
Juan Carlos Balarezo. Assistant Media Planner at San Diego based Ethnic Print Media Group, showed the perspective of the Hispanic Newspaper Advertising buyer, while Jeanette Millan, SMG – MV42, Activation Director Wal-Mart, shared the agency perspective.
Lorenzo López, Wal-Mart senior manager of multicultural media explained how Hispanic media is bought by the Bentonville, AR, based retail giant. López advised publishers to try to tap from three different Wal-Mart budgets:
1) Media Budget (through SMG-MV 42 Wal-Mart’s agency)
2) “Foundation Money” (Funds the company targets to non-for profit organizations and Foundations)
3) Wal-Marts’ Regional Ad-Buying Managers (particularly suitable for community newspapers).
He also advised ad-sales executives to “keep calling,” because budgets and marketing objectives often change throughout the year.
(For more on information Wal-Mart’s Hispanic media buying strategies look on www.portada-online.com next week).
The role of Advocacy
Monica Lozano, publisher of La Opinion, highlighted the advocacy role Hispanic media properties have to fulfill to defend the rights of their audiences, particularly as it pertains to immigration. According to Lozano, ImpreMedia’s chain of independently run Hispanic newspapers is in an excellent position to fulfill this role. “We have independent brands with strong roots in their communities” she said.
Next year’s NAHP’s Annual Conference and Expo is going to take place in Mc Allen (Texas). The exact date is yet to be determined.