It’s always terrific to see one of my clients moving forward, making new connections, and creating new revenue streams. Even better to hear gushing praise for these efforts directly from readers, advertisers, and partners. Such was the case Friday, June 20, 2014, when the publishers of the Hispanic business newspaper Negocios Now invited me to witness their new venture, the black-tie gala “Who’s Who in Chicago Hispanic Business,” attended by an excited crowd of 300 movers and shakers at the city’s glittering Cultural Center.
Congratulations are in order for Clemente Nicado and Kelly Yelmene, the publishers, editors and pioneers behind Negocios Now. In just a few years, what they introduced as a small startup newspaper (entering the market in rough economic waters) has persevered to become a growing cross-platform brand, also branching into the national marketplace. Judging from comments of many on and off the podium Friday night, it has quickly become a respected news source and an important part of the Chicago business community.
Aside from hard work and dedication, what are the keys to their success and growth? Diversifying and making connections among a variety of platforms and affiliations:
- EDITORIAL BASE: Negocios Now started off by identifying an underserved niche and providing quality editorial, in print and online.
In 2010, soon after its launch, the newspaper was named among the top designed newspapers in a national competition conducted by the Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). It also has received the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for General Excellence from the Chicago Headliner Club. Check out the paper’s website here.
- ALLIANCES: Soon, partly to generate brand awareness and advertising interest, they created aggressive partnerships with local and even national Chamber of Commerce groups, including a presence at Commerce events and solicitation of conference printing contracts.
- NETWORKING: In addition to reporting and commenting on developments and opportunities in the Hispanic business community, Negocios Now is firmly established as a “shepherd” for Chicago workforce networking opportunities, hosting and charging admission for a popular series of after-work events (with great Spanish food) called “Paellas.” A number of speakers at Friday’s gala referenced the importance of these events in building relationships within the community and keeping Negocios Now in the conversation.
- RECOGNITION PROGRAMS: Now the brand has expanded into services such as the just launched ”Who’s Who” directory, in print and online, tied in to events such as the Friday gala. (Such programs are a mainstay of business news publications, with the field likely invented by Crain Communications, for whom I have designed or redesigned more than a dozen titles in the U.S. and U.K.) Explore the launch of this program here and here.
- DIVERSIFICATION: Clemente and Kelly also have dared to venture further into print with the creation of neighborhood news products, such as El Chicago Hispano, serving Rogers Park on the city’s north side. Check out the Hispano website here.
- (After creating the design and visual brand strategy for Negocios Now, I designed the format for El Hispano. Read more about its launch here. I also provide ongoing consult toward marketing kits, digital products, and other design and brand issues as well. Read more about the marketing kit for Negocios Now and campaign services created for my other clients as well.)
To those who say, “print is dying,” I say, not so fast. Start up the presses, but make sure you have a sound editorial strategy on which to build revenue streams across a variety of channels, as these folks are doing. Congratulations to Negocios Now and best wishes for ongoing success!
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