April 12, 2012
/ by Jenny Wittman
In the last decade U.S Hispanic population has grown a staggering 43 percent, and with that America media has found a fruitful market for Latino-based publications published in English. One particular magazine that will fill a need in the beauty and lifestyle market is Cosmopolitan for Latinas, set to hit newsstands on May 1.
Stemming from the popular Cosmopolitan brand, the semi-annual publication will be distributed nationally, with a heavier concentration in markets such as Texas, California, Florida, New York, and others with a high Latino population.
Michelle Herrera Mulligan serves as editor in chief and is excited to launch the May issue as well as engage with the unique bi-cultural audience.
“I truly am living the dream. My job is to hunt for the hottest new trends, styles and issues that affect my community,” she said. “I scour everything from Facebook chats to designer look books to find the latest on Latino entertainment, fashion and beauty. I spend plenty of afternoons meeting with my staff and colleagues discussing what it’s like growing up bi-cultural. There are so many issues unique to us that still haven’t been addressed.”
Inspired by influential women journalists like Joan Didion and Alma Guillermoprieto, Herrera Mulligan moved to New York City after college without a solid plan or place to stay. “My dream was to write about women like me, who navigated two cultures and languages in this country and lived in the best of both worlds,” she said.
A few months after her move to the Big Apple, she got a job as an editor at Latina Magazine. She went on to work for several different women’s magazines and published two books. “I’ve covered a lot of different beats in my career including health, entertainment and the arts, but I’ve always loved the Latina market most,” she said. “I’m so excited to be living my dream!”
This excitement extends out to the future audience as well. The feedback Herrera Mulligan has received so far has been positive and encouraging. “Readers seem most enthusiastic about a playful, sexy take on the Latina culture, something that sounds more like the way they talk among their friends,” she explained.
Since Cosmopolitan for Latinas will be only printed twice a year – in May and October – social media will play a large part in staying connected to the audience. The website, along with the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest profiles, will continually be updated with the latest trends and lifestyle information.
“My long-term goals are to create a multimedia platform for our brand and to build a place where women can have an honest, intimate conversation,” she said. “I want to create a relationship with my readers.”
Defining what it means to be Latina is not always easy when Latin American roots mix with American culture. Balanced coverage can be a challenge. “One of the most exciting and challenging things about covering the Latino community is that there are so many different ways to be Latina. Our families are from various different countries and cultural backgrounds, so we have to work to be inclusive of everybody,” Herrera Mulligan said.
The customized content will speak to Latinas’ unique experience of everyday life in America, and will feature topics such as fashion, relationships, sex, family and beauty. Herrera Mulligan is optimistic with keeping her audience satisfied and inspired. “I hope to learn what the twenty-something Latina yearns for in a publication. I hope to learn to serve her every need,” she said.
Herrera Mulligan prefers to receive press materials by email so that she has a good sense of what product or event is being promoted before she speaks to anyone.
She finds that fun and informative pitches that are tailored to her readers will catch her attention. “Someone sent me an arthritis patch the other month. That just shows me they don’t know my publication,” she said.
She is interested in learning about new launches, events, restaurants, and other venues specifically geared toward Latinos. Some topics that she is interested in include entertainment, entertaining, fashion, beauty, celebrity and food.
She also doesn’t mind follow-up phone calls or emails if it’s for a time sensitive event or issue that is perfect for her audience. “I’m working with a small staff, so reps need to understand if I can’t take or return everyone’s calls right away,” she explained.
She responds to those who truly understand her readers’ demographic. “I’m most impressed by pitches that show that people understand our community, such as our specific beauty concerns or aesthetic,” she said.
Cosmopolitan for Latinas 300 W 57Th St New York, NY 10019 212-649-2000
Michelle Herrera Mulligan, editor in chief @mhmwriter
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