With many general market publishers now publishing parenting magazines for Spanish-speaking audiences, the question of whether Hispanic parents have unique content needs compared to “Anglo” parents is more relevant than ever. The answer to this question is a clear “yes.”
Ruth Gaviria, Executive Director of Hispanic Ventures at Meredith, the largest publisher of Spanish-language parenting publications (Espera, Primeros 12 meses, Healthy Kids en español and the recently acquired Ser Padres) says that, more than the average American, Hispanic women want how-to, service oriented information.
According to Isidra Mencos, Editor of New Parent en español, Hispanic parents need articles written from a Hispanic perspective that take into account their culture, traditions, habits, education, financial situation, even sense of humor. “In some cases, they have particular concerns that Anglo parents just don’t have – issues related to sharing two cultures, raising kids that adjust to the U.S. while respecting their origins, understanding how things work differently in the U.S., or how to preserve culinary traditions.” Mencos says that Hispanic parents also want to see Hispanic people portrayed in the magazines they read. “If they don’t find topics, points of view, styles, interviewees and visuals that they can relate to, they will feel alienated and the magazine will not succeed.”
Lesley Oviedo, Publisher of Somos Padres, a bilingual publication launched last December which targets Latino parents in New York City, agrees that Hispanics prefer information written from a Hispanic viewpoint. “The key is to provide location specific practical and educational information.”
Of course Hispanic parents, mostly mothers, are also reading other magazines. Buenhogar and Vanidades, both published by Editorial Televisa, are widely read by Hispanic parents, mostly mothers. Seventy percent of Buenhogar readers have children living in their homes. Vanidades is also popular with Latina mothers.
BILINGUAL OR ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS?
While Hispanic men’s and women’s magazines are increasingly published in English or bilingual formats, most Hispanic parenting titles are available only in Spanish. Most advertising campaigns targeting Hispanic parents have been Spanish-language focused as well. For the most part, publishers and advertisers have assumed that general market parenting magazines are reaching English-dominant Hispanics. However, there seems to be a demand for bilingual or English-language publications targeting second and third generation Hispanic parents. Somos Padres’ Oviedo says bilingual publications offer the reader an opportunity to use the publication as a learning tool. “First and second generation Hispanics will be attracted to the cultural value of the publication. It reaches out to the Hispanic child in that it recalls a world of Hispanic culture and values while allowing them to read in English, which may now be their preferred language after living in this country for many years.”
“Let’s not forget that the younger generation might feel equally or even more comfortable in English,” says New Parent en español’s Isidra Mencos. “In that respect, a certain measure of bilingualism is always advantageous because it makes sure you cover the whole market,” explains Mencos. “However, I am seeing a cultural trend that is reinforcing Spanish. This year the Latin Grammy’s were broadcast entirely in Spanish for the first time and the audience went through the roof!”