Media Relations: Minority Media Matters

Your boss just stopped by your office. He tells you that he has decided to put you in charge of a major upcoming news release. He wants you to reach the broadest possible audience. He explicitly tells you to leave no stone unturned.

You respond by promptly ignoring 38 million Americans.

According to New California Media, 13 percent of the U.S. population now turns primarily to ethnic media. If you only pitch publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Time, you will leave out a huge chunk of your potential audience. More than ever, a complete media strategy requires reaching out to ethnic publications.

You might consider a publication such as Latina Magazine, with its 800,000 upscale Hispanic female readers.

Or Chinese Daily News, with its 720,000 Asian readers in California.

Or Black Enterprise, with its more than one million professional African-American readers.

In fact, ethnic media is so hot, that categories such as "Black," "Hispanic" and "Asian" may simply be too broad. According to The Washington Post, specialty magazines are being published for groups as specific as Indians in Silicon Valley and Arab American business leaders.

So how can you reach the ethnic media? Here are three ways:

1) Work With Your Ethnic Expert: Do you work at a law firm with an Arab attorney? Is a verdict about to come down in a high profile lawsuit the Arab community has been following closely? Contact an Arab news publication and let them know you have an Arab expert available to comment.

2) Use a Translator: Foreign language ethnic media means having to translate your story not only into another language, but to another culture. If you are having your story translated into Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin, for example, use a translator who can also point out any potential sensitivities you may have inadvertently included in your release.

3) Spot a Trend: Have African-American youth suddenly started buying your product? Have Hispanic women suddenly started volunteering for a particular cause in record numbers? Has a group of Korean men started taking ballroom dance lessons at your studio? These types of "trend" stories are likely to appeal to ethnic media.

Working with the ethnic press may take extra work. But with an audience of 38 million Americans who otherwise wouldn't have seen your story, it just may be worth your time.

Brad Phillips is the founder and president of Phillips Media Relations. He was formerly a journalist for ABC News and CNN, and headed the media relations department for the second largest environmental group in the world.

For more information and to sign up for free monthly media relations and media training e-tips, visit http://www.PhillipsMediaRelations.com

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