Saturday, October 26, 2013

Know the Hispanic audiences -- all of them

Versión en español aquí.

Tony Morejon likes to tell the story of a community outreach program that failed because the government agency in Tampa, Florida, did not understand differences between Hispanic groups.

Tony Morejon: "All Hispanics are not alike."
The government wanted to offer health services to the Mexican immigrants who work on local farms. But instead of hiring Mexicans to do the surveys and health screenings, as Morejon recommended, they used their own employees, mainly Cubans and Puerto Ricans. The reasoning was that since the employees spoke Spanish, they could persuade the Mexicans to enroll.

It didn't work, said Morejon, Hispanic community liaison for Hillsborough County. The Mexicans politely declined to volunteer information about household health issues. Even though the outreach workers spoke Spanish, the Mexicans perceived them as authority figures to be feared rather than trusted.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Journalism marketing for Colombia, via Silicon Valley

At National Congress of 8,000-member Periodismo de Hoy
About 90 would-be journalism entrepreneurs signed up for a workshop I gave recently in Medellin, Colombia.

The focus was on how to make a journalism website financially sustainable. We did some exercises in marketing, in analyzing web traffic and presenting to investors.

Like most journalists, this group had never been taught a couple of important business concepts:

  • The journalism we want to create may not be the journalism that anyone wants or needs. In other words, think first about the audience. Create a community. Build that community around high-quality journalism content. Without a community, there is no business. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

News entrepreneur advises, 'Don't think about it - do it'

Olga Lucia Lozano, creative editor
of  La Silla Vacia
Versión en español aquí.

The cofounder of one of the most important investigative journalism sites in Colombia, La Silla Vacia (The Empty Chair), has some advice for those who are thinking about creating their own website, app or whatever:
"Don't think about it, do it. Doing things is the best way to learn. To try means to fail. To fail means to learn."

Olga Lucia Lozano, creative editor of La Silla Vacia, recently shared what she has learned in the nearly five years of working on the site during a "Journalism Hangout" (in Spanish, she comes on at the 30-minute mark).