Digital Editor Helms Launch of a New Voice in Hispanic Women’s Lifestyle
It was just this time 12 years ago that American audiences were given a new, fresh female voice: Brassy, bold, confident and making no bones about who she was or where she came from. Of course, this refers to none other than the inimitable pop princess and the first American Idol . . . Kelly Clarkson. With a meteoric rise to musical fame, Clarkson quickly became a household name and a strong role model for young women.
Similarly, this month ImpreMedia, publisher of El Diario and La Opinión, has given audiences a unique and fresh voice in the form of Chica Fresh, a new digital lifestyle publication aimed at Hispanic millennial women, overseen by senior digital editor, Trilce Ortiz.
Ortiz has worked with Hispanic media for the past five years, previously a web editor with Meredith’s Siempre Mujer and Ser Padres. However, Chica Fresh is a departure for her and for Hispanic media in general:
“When ImpreMedia first approached me about this project, I wasn’t interested,” she explained. “I didn’t want to do yet another fashion/beauty/gossip online magazine for women. I respect all the media that are out there, but I don’t think that’s really helping Hispanic women in the U.S.; that’s where Chica Fresh is different. I felt a lot of Hispanic media out there weren’t trying to empower Hispanic women like they should.”
While explaining the editorial mission of Chica Fresh, empowerment of women becomes a central focus amid the varied lifestyle content. “We try to be as critical and intelligent in our approach as possible,” she said. “We’re not just trying to deliver gossip, or tell women they need to lose five pounds, or say ‘this is the role model you should be following’ or ‘how to please your man in five tips.’ We’re trying to help Hispanic women embrace the beautiful women they are.”
The passion with which Ortiz engages this mission is palpable, as is her level of critical thinking on Hispanic culture and media, clearly a topic close to her heart:
“I even argue with the term Hispanic,” she offered. “We are seen as this large group that might share some things in common, including Spanish. Ultimately, every country is unique. I’m glad that I have girls on my team from all these different countries that can speak to these different audiences, [girls with] different academic and economic backgrounds who can relate to these women. We’re all about empowerment, advancement, learning and getting new information. Of course we’re on top of trends, but from an informed and critical perspective.”
Chica Fresh comes at a time when Hispanic populations are being targeted by brands as a rich market and Ortiz is quick to acknowledge this, as well as the importance of women in marketing to that demographic. “We are the second fastest growing minority population,” she explained. “It’s not a secret anymore; every single brand is targeting the Hispanic population. People who are specifically targeting women are doing the smart thing, because it’s ultimately women who make consumer choices in the Hispanic household.”
Beyond the identification of Hispanic women as a key market, Chica Fresh specifically aims to serve the millennial generation, perfect for its launch as a digital brand. “The main idea here is that millennials spend a lot of time on their phones,” she said. “People en Español released some research a few weeks ago on Hispanic millennial consumers. Though it shows print has some importance for them over general market millennials, online is the way to go. Eventually we want to create an app for Chica Fresh.”
As a digital and social media-saavy brand, Ortiz has future plans for Chica Fresh to capitalize on their video content. Future initiatives include a segment on DIY beauty, as well as a series of interviews about female empowerment. Ortiz said this will feature “women who are making it in different fields: women who have started their own business, who are awesome hairdressers, who do fantastic nail design, or who are coming out with a new line of clothing for plus-size models. We want to start telling their stories.” Ortiz said Chica Fresh is also building a series on street fashion in New York and L.A., perfect for Pinterest, additionally exploring content partnerships with brands.
When speaking about her career path, Ortiz recommends that any budding journalist focus on online media. “If you really have a passion for a topic, start writing about it, blogging about it, making videos about it or photographing and share on social media. That’s the fastest way to make a name for yourself and get noticed by the media outlets you want to work for,” she suggested.
Certainly, Ortiz has also made a name for herself via her own blog, Ella y Su Sexo, which she launched in 2012. The blog discusses relationships and sex, with a focus on self-love. Ortiz says it’s basically “a conversation between girls,” with the intent of starting discussion about sex amongst Hispanic women. Within Hispanic culture, “to this day sexuality is such a taboo,” Ortiz noted. “Christianity and Catholicism still have a huge impact in all Hispanic communities, whether abroad or here in the U.S. Sex is definitely not something we talk about, but we’re having it. We might as well enjoy it and have long lasting, loving relationships. It is my belief that unless you truly love yourself, you won’t be able to have a sexual or love relationship with another person. That’s something it took me awhile to get in touch with,” she said.
Some journalists, indeed, wait a lifetime for a moment like the one Ortiz has, to helm a modern, unique, bold and confident media outlet with a growing audience, one that needs women like Ortiz to help it find its identity and voice.
Ortiz is open to receiving pitches and press materials, preferring that initial contact always be made via email or Twitter. As for what she is looking for, she said, “Realistically, anything that has to do with empowerment of women, if you want to call that feminism. We cover travel, cooking, interior design, fashion, beauty, culture, things to do. I’m interested in knowing it all because ultimately what we do is grab the story and give it our little twist to make it Chica Fresh.”
With regard to pitching, Ortiz is no stranger to the process: “I worked a lot in traditional media and also did a lot of PR writing. It was frustrating because the companies don’t allow you to be creative. You can be creative with me. Be honest about what you have,” she said.
Ortiz also recommends familiarity with the brand you’re pitching to, as well as advance research and deliberate targeting: “It’s always appreciated by editors that you actually take a look at the media you’re pitching to,” she said. “When we get generic pitches . . . it doesn’t speak to me or my audience. If people do have the time to take a look at the media they’re submitting to, they can find the right angle for a particular outlet. You wouldn’t send a generic cover letter to a job you really want, you want to make it unique and special.”
Photo credit: Adriana Sánchez
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