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Executive From People en Espanol Unveil Survey

By Graeme C. A. wood, Contributing Writer

Executives from People en Espaol, the Spanish-language edition of People magazine, unveiled a new survey yesterday that they say is a major step in business and marketing research among Hispanic communities.

Speaking at the Graduate School of Education, Lisa M. Quiroz '83, publisher of People en Espaol, and Roan Kang '96, the magazine's marketing manager, said the consumer data, which was collected over the past two years, could be used by businesses to target a growing new market of Spanish-speaking consumers.

The data, which is based on a telephone survey of 1,500 Hispanic Americans during the last year, revealed a strong desire to read and watch Spanish-speaking media.

"It's this new population that's stealing the show. It's the 'Nuevo Baby Boom,' the Latino Wave," Quiroz said.

According to Kang, 84 percent of Hispanics speak English at the workplace, but 87 percent of them speak Spanish at home.

"This is a very bilingual community. This is of great importance for businesses: Do you want to speak to these people in the language of business, or the language they use with their family and spouses?" Quiroz said.

But Hispanics strongly dislike being characterized as "Hispanic first, American second," Quiroz said. "Latinos don't want to be seen that way. It's very easy in our minds to be both."

Kang said the survey was the first of its kind. "It's fully national--not just isolated to certain pockets of Hispanic communities. We made every effort to make this represent Hispanic Americans nationwide."

"We're hoping that it will become a definitive source that anyone interested in the Hispanic community can turn to."

Politically, the Hispanics surveyed reported that they are more interested in education and crime than in any other issues. Civil rights and affirmative action were extremely low among their political priorities, Quiroz said.

Quiroz also said that the survey respondents listed Gloria Estefan as the most "trusted" celebrity, followed closely by Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lopez.

Kang said the data would initially be used for in-house marketing at People en Espaol, but that eventually the magazine hopes to work with the Rockefeller Center to make the data public.

Quiroz and Kang have previously presented the data to advertisers, but not to academic audiences, said Ellen Sullivan, a development associate with the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Affairs. The center co-sponsored the event with the Askwith Education Forum.

The idea for the presentation came from conversations between Quiroz and Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs John Coatsworth, Sullivan said.

Professor of Education Marcelo Surez-Orozco introduced the speakers and emphasized the economic and political importance of the Hispanic community.

"I've felt like Paul Revere, telling everyone 'The Latinos are coming, the Latinos are coming,'" Surez-Orozco said. "This shift will be increasingly important over the next few decades."

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