Success: In Any Language

When the most popular glossy magazine in the Hispanic market got a new publisher two years ago, People en Español already topped the Spanish-language competition in the publishing industry. What more was there to do?

Under the guidance of Jacqueline Hernández-Fallous, that’s when the real fun and hard work began. Her tireless efforts to increase the rate base each year, integrate advertiser-supported events for franchise issues and tap multimedia platforms make her Adweek sister publication Marketing y Medios’ Executive of the Year.

“Jackie is one-of-a-kind,” says Paul Caine, the People Group publisher at Time Inc. “She does brilliant marketing and is an absolute professional.”

In the magazine world, business acumen is measured by dollars, and People en Español’s 12 percent revenue increase last year puts it solidly among the big players in any language. Publishers Information Bureau reported the monthly title sold 863.08 ad pages in 2005, pulling in $39 million, the highest among Hispanic magazines. The rate base surged to 450,000 last year, from 425,000 in 2004. Currently, the magazine boasts a rate base of 475,000.

In addition to the first single-sponsored Kraft special supplement in the fourth quarter, the annual franchises “50 Más Bellos” and “Estrella del Año” have integrated more marketing opportunities with returning sponsors Matrix, Maybelline, American Airlines, Johnnie Walker and Pontiac. The star-studded “50 Más Bellos” event from New York made 166 million media impressions in 2004, compared to 200 million last year, in both Hispanic and general-market media. Telemundo produced a two-hour special around the event.

“It’s not about creating something for every month and then trying to fit edit in and then trying to create a program,” Hernández-Fallous says. “It’s the reverse. It’s the editorial that drives it. We look at how we can take that and integrate it and give it arms and legs. Whether with broadcast, radio, online or an event, that’s where we deliver it.”

And marketers see the delivery where it counts most: in stores. Stephanie Rinaldi, assistant vice president of marketing for Maybelline/Garnier, calls the outreach from the “50 Más Bellos” event “outstanding.” She also calls Hernández-Fallous a “close friend and great work partner. She knows the importance of the consumer and creates programs that benefit the reader.”

Like the celebrities covered in People en Español, Hernández-Fallous is a rock star among advertisers and her colleagues. Caine says, “She exercises her innovation skills and brings every program that she [undertakes] to a whole 360-degree model.”

A partnership with AOL Latino and the “Conéctate” section in the magazine also are driving more readers to the redesigned Web site. She may offer exciting new partnerships, but she only accepts advertising befitting the title, says Richard Pérez-Feria, editor in chief of People en Español. “What Jackie does better than most publishers, and I’ve worked with plenty of them, is she understands the driving force of any magazine is not only its people, but also the editorial and creative content.”

Hernández-Fallous, 40, a native New Yorker of Spanish descent, relies heavily on research, particularly the commissioned Hispanic Opinion Tracker (HOT) study. “Last year, we did a deep dive for the first time,” she says. “We didn’t just look at the marketplace. We measured [specific] brands in automotive, beauty and retail.”

Her work has not gone unnoticed at Time Inc. In 2005, she served as interim publisher of Teen People, which led to a new role overseeing Hispanic initiatives at Time Inc., and also launched the first Latino youth study. There will be cross-promotional opportunities, with 5 million People en Español readers, nearly the same number of Latinos reading flagship title People, and 24 percent of self-identified Latinos choosing Teen People.

Pérez-Feria says what Hernández-Fallous won’t do is as important. “It’s a very fine line between the sell, sell, sell mentality of many publishers, and make no mistake, she’s a killer in that regard,” he says. “But she knows that if push comes to shove, 100 percent of the time she’ll defer to the editorial integrity if that thing brought it to question.”