Give La Opinion Credit

Over the past 20 years, I have effectively utilized La Opinion as part of a number of marketing strategies for a wide range of clients in varied product and service categories. I have also watched the L.A. Times wrestle with the Hispanic market with less effective initiatives such as Nuestro Tiempo and Para Ti. After reading your article entitled "Underachieving Spanish Daily Paper to Get a Boost" (Sept. 27), I couldn't help but think that it was not La Opinion, but rather the Los Angeles Times that is really getting the boost. You even include in your article a reference to the fact that the L.A. Times is bundling copies in an effort to boost Times readership among bilingual Latinos. Certainly, La Opinion benefits by going along for the home delivery ride, but this is clearly an L.A. Times initiative motivated by the Times' desire to penetrate the Latino community.

The article went on to compare La Opinion's growth to the national growth of Latino-oriented publications as well as to quote a newspaper analyst who suggests that the Lozano family had not been paying attention to business. What I did not see was any further understanding of why the Los Angeles Times did not do a better job of working with La Opinion over the past nine years of their partnership so that this "boost" could have happened almost a decade ago.

The article concludes with a quote that once again reminds us that broadcast is the way to go in the Hispanic market, because according to the source, print is not the way to go for getting corporate messages out to the masses. For that matter, you could make the same statement about English-language broadcast when compared to print usage among non-Hispanic consumers. But let's not forget that there are other types of marketing efforts that are not as corporate and not as mass in which newspaper plays a valuable role. Additionally, like the L.A. Times itself has figured out, there is more to La Opinion than its circulation. The Lozanos have worked hard to build a brand that means something in the community. It has awareness, respect and credibility as a brand that far exceeds the number of copies that have penetrated the market.



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