August 30, 2010

Latinos Hit the Road by Plane, Train or Automobile

Roxana Lissa is CEO of RL Public Relations.  She offered her insights on Latinos and travel in this week’s PRWeek Insider Blog. The article is also featured in its entirety here.

Whether it's a trip to my homeland Buenos Aires for the holidays or a quick getaway to Catalina Island on a weekend, there's one thing that's certain: Latinos are not staying indoors.

They are adventurous and they love to travel and visit new places. It makes me wonder: Has the sluggish economy really had an impact on Latinos and travel?

During recent outings with family, I was one to scan my surroundings. The young couple holding hands in Aruba? Latinos. The family of four laughing up a storm while sharing a slice of pizza at Legoland in San Diego? Latinos.

According to the latest statistics by the US Travel Association, there are roughly 16 million Hispanic adult leisure travelers. They took a combined 50 million domestic and outbound trips, spending nearly $59 billion on travel. This number is expected to skyrocket as the Latino population continues to rise. Not only do we work hard, but we play harder.

The overwhelming numbers shouldn't come as a surprise. Hispanics value time spent with friends and relatives; it can be as simple as a carne asada on a Sunday afternoon at the park to more luxury vacation spots in Europe. After all, this is how we bond and create memories. Growing up, most of conversations with mama began with “Remember when …”

Through my travels with my family, I spread the joy of being a Latina. At the same time, I'm contributing to the economy's piggy bank by way of airlines, hotels, car rentals, theme parks, and much more.

Advertisers are taking notice. And because we're the fastest-growing minority market, there's future business ahead. As more Hispanics gain increasingly disposable wealth, they are more prone to leisure activity. The Hispanic buying power in California alone is about $228 billion. How many trips can that buy you?

Let's crunch more numbers. Recent stats suggest that US Hispanic spending growth dwarfs the general market. While the general public as a whole continues to tighten their belts, Hispanics continue to loosen their wallets including a 14% increase in entertainment spent on fees and admissions.

Do you know where will you be next weekend? There is a lot to do and see, and we, mi gente, are going by the masses … Somos latinos y nos gusta vivir nuevas experiencias!

August 9, 2010

Bloguera Power!

For thousands of female bloggers who descended upon the streets of New York City last week, BlogHer 2010 had the buzz and feel of the “big dance,” the Super Bowl.

That’s because BlogHer is the largest blogging conference for women who breathe all things social media through vehicles like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, among many, many others. This yearly extravaganza brings together an army of women with names like New York City Mama, SpanglishBaby and Bilingual in the Boonies – influential bloggers valued by PR firms for their ability to act as ambassadors to a brand.

Since first reaching out to the so-called mommy bloggers more than two years ago, I’ve witnessed firsthand the Latina social media explosion and ever growing presence of Blogueras on the blogosphere. I remember the surprise of one Latina mommy blogger when I invited her to a Licuado/Milkshake event after reading about her children who she endearingly called: Mexipinitos. Apparently, she had never been approached by a PR firm because she responded with a, “You’re inviting me, really?” Today, she’s seen as one of the founding Latina mommy bloggers.

These ladies, wielding their laptops, blackberries and iPhones to tell a story, have become a strong force to be reckoned with. Today, these Latinas are celebrating their success outside of the World Wide Web and attending conventions like BlogHer, being interviewed by major newspapers, and acting as guests on TV where they talk about the way they’ve shaped marketing to women.

On the first day of the three-day conference I spoke with Ana Flores, the woman behind She had just enjoyed a stint on the Today Show wearing a bright red shirt complemented by a toothpaste smile. She had come along way, but she’s not alone. Latinas are outpacing the general market in the growth and use of social media. Plus, they are now seeing much more interest and engagement from big-name brands and companies. Still, she tells me, I was “her first.”

Ana was one of seven prominent Latina bloggers who were fully sponsored to attend this year’s BlogHer conference in the Big Apple. This, she said, represents the most bloggers from any market ever sponsored by ONE single company. Blogging has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Nowadays, there is money to be made, fame to be earned and influence to be gained.

At BlogHer 2010, the Latina influence was palpable, very prevalent with more Latinas attending than ever before; In fact, BlogHer featured  its first-ever all Latina panel and it was no coincidence that it also included a big social fiesta hosted by Latinas in Social Media.

Why is all this happening now -- According to Sophia Mind, Hispanic women in the U.S. are one of the fastest-growing online demographics, and more than 85 percent of Latinas visit social networks on a regular basis. U.S. Hispanics are tech-savvy and love the Internet. The AOL Hispanic Cyberstudy reveals that online Hispanics tend to be young, affluent, with large households and are “more enthusiastic about the benefits of the Internet than [is] the general market.”

And if you’re still asking yourself, why PR practitioners including those at RLPR yearn to be featured in stories by Latina mommy bloggers, that’s because word of mouth is king among Latinas. More than 90 percent of all consumers report that the recommendation of a friend, family member or expert is the leading influence on their purchase behavior. And with 77 percent of Hispanics engaging in some kind of online socializing, social media is quickly becoming the battleground in which brand allegiances are won or lost.

So who are the Latina Bloggers that received the full “scholarship” to the big dance?

Ana Lilian FloresSpanglishBaby

Carol CainThe Adventures of a NYCity Mama

Carrie Ferguson WeirTiki Tiki Blog

Melanie and 40weeks Plus

Rory LassanskeMamá Contemporánea

Roxana A. SotoSpanglishBaby and MimosBlog

Silvia MartinezMamá Latina Tips

This blog is dedicated to you FABULOUS SEVEN. Thank you for continuing to help brands spread the word in English, Spanish and Spanglish con sabor.