'Latina' plans to push circulation

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Executives at Latina Media Ventures' Latina believe it's time for another Latin explosion-in the publication's circulation-and the magazine hired Kathy McDonald to light the fuse as its first consumer marketing director.

"By virtue of our size, we had never had a dedicated circulation department," said Christy Haubegger, president and founder of Latina.

"There are 32 million Hispanics in the U.S., and 11 million of them are adult women," says Ms. Haubegger, who told Ms. McDonald "go get the rest of them." New Census Bureau data reports the Hispanic population at 35.3 million.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Latina had a paid circulation of 202,510 for the six months ending Dec. 31, 2000.

In addition to traditional marketing methods, Ms. McDonald's focus is on developing the circulation through grass-roots tactics.

"This year is [all about] growth and testing," said Ms. McDonald.

She is working on "some innovative renewal and gift programs" surrounding Latina's fifth anniversary and continues to develop subscription drive plans around the title's community and signature events.

She says the publication hopes to "take hold of those events and turn them into opportunities."

This month, the magazine is hosting the Latina Literary Series with Barnes & Nobles and the Association of Hispanic Arts. Ms. McDonald will use in-store events in San Antonio, San Diego and San Jose to push subscriptions. Other event-based efforts include Latina Live at Federated Department Stores' Macy's in New York.

One program in the works partners Latina with Gateway. "They'll provide computers at events which will point to our Web site and subscription area," says Ms. McDonald. "We feel we can make inroads with our customer base once we get the magazine in their hands."

"We were exploring traditional advertising with Latina and said, `What else do you do? What else do we do?' " says Hector Placencia, director of ethnic marketing for Gateway. "It's a clever way for us to get together."

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