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latina journalist

Being authentic helps Latina journalist and event producer Zayda Rivera face challenges

Zayda Rivera is a seasoned Latina journalist and public relations executive who began her company 3L Communique in 2015 after a successful 18-year career in newsrooms, TV studios, and public relations agencies. Creating her company was a way for Zayda to focus on what she was truly passionate about–being authentic, giving back to her community and inspiring the next generation to do the same.

3L Communique focuses on event production and partnerships for Latino, African American, and LGBT communities, combining all of Zayda’s expertise acquired in her past career in entertainment journalism and public relations.

The company began when Zayda noticed that she rarely saw women leading production behind-the-scenes—and even rarely were they Latinas. “I wanted to fill that void,” she explains. “Secondly, I wanted to take charge of my life and career.”

She began by utilizing her network of connections to produce major events– such as black tie galas, award ceremonies, summits, and conventions– for nonprofit organizations and corporations in 2016. From there she then went on to create inspiring public relations campaigns to raise awareness about social issues which disproportionately impact communities of color such as the rental housing crisis and preventable illnesses.

 Proving self-worth a main obstacle in a Latina journalist and entrepreneur career

women of color latina journalist

Zayda Rivera, founder and CEO, 3LCommunique at the 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo

“I still find it difficult to be taken seriously by some,” she says. “I takes time to build a rapport with clients, especially when you’re on your own, a woman, trying to succeed in a male-dominated industry.”

Despite her qualifications and expertise it has still been a challenge to gain credibility in a world saturated with “overnight success stories,” self-described experts, and the multitude of “President and CEO” titles found on professional networking sites.

“It’s difficult to decipher the real from the fake,” Zayda explains. “It is likely that if I worked for a major public relations agency or well respected publication, people wouldn’t second guess my expertise. It’s why being authentic is so important to me. Authenticity goes a long way in a world of posers.”

Not only does Zayda value authenticity when it comes to clients, but it is also the foundation of her relationships with her colleagues in the workplace. As a strong team leader she believes in building people up and celebrating them while giving them direction on how best to grow.

“Creating a work environment out of fear does not work. I know first-hand that when people feel crappy about going to a thankless job, they are less productive,” says Zayda.

Instead she fosters an open environment where everyone’s work is valued and each person can learn from each other. Her career and her way of leading others has been inspiring to many.

Changing lives by inspiring others

She shares a story of how when she was first starting out with her company, she was approached by a young Latina woman at a holiday party for Hispanic journalists. This woman told Zayda how her career had inspired her to pursue her own dreams and goals. This revelation that her work as a Latina journalist could influence someone so much completely blew her away.

“It was hard for me to conceptualize how many people my work was reaching from behind my computer screen.”

latina journalist

Zayda Rivera is a seasoned Latina journalist with over 18-year experience in various media

During this time, Zayda was searching for someone to help her with her business. Ideally this person would be a woman and even more ideally, a Latina. That young woman who approached her at the party just so happened to be exactly the strong, intelligent, go-getter she was looking for. Since then they have worked together on various projects. Zayda describes that the best part of this partnership, however, has been seeing this young Latina excel in her own career and reach new heights through her experiences working with 3L Communique.

“I want to create hundreds and thousands and millions of stories just like this. Knowing that I’ve had something to do with the success and overall development of a younger woman of color, who isn’t afraid of challenges and hard work, is priceless to me.”

Inspiring other Latinas to go after their goals

Latina journalist

Zayda River, CEO 3LCommunique wins 2nd Place at 2018 Latinas in Business Pitch Competition

She says, “Being a Latina entrepreneur, who faces challenges daily, is my way of giving back, simply by showing others that anything is possible with determination and hard work.”

Despite the struggles, Zayda believes it is important to always keep moving forward, to get back up after one stumbles and leave behind footprints for others to one day follow. Additionally she believes one should always be a student of life and never stop learning.

“Not just within your craft, but also in learning all the tools you need to be a strong business owner,” she says. “Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Gain knowledge about what it takes to run a successful business. And keep moving forward.”

Latinista

Latina entrepreneur Dee Rivera launches online magazine LATINISTA

Latina entrepreneur Dee Rivera is taking a formidable step into the publishing arena and launching LATINISTA, an online magazine dedicated to Hispanic women. At a moment when other publications are taking a step back or folding altogether, Rivera is bringing her idea to concretion.

Latinista

Launching the Latinista Magazine

With fifteen years of experience in public relations working with notable brands in fashion, beauty, luxury, and lifestyle industries, she is now the CEO and founder of DCG Public Relations and DCG Group Media, and creator of Latinista Magazine.

She is a native New Yorker and Puerto Rican who began her career working in publishing for magazines such as Modern Bride and Essence Communication. She then spent three years as director of fashion and home decor for Latina Magazine where she created spreads for celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Eva La Rue, Jon Secada, Rosie Perez and countless others.

After this, she decided to explore the world of public relations where she began working for Blye Media Relations. There, she helped produce New York Fashion Week at Bryant Park and her experiences working with celebrity designers and clients led her to entrepreneurial pursuits.

Latinista

Latinista Magazine – Holiday Issue (Photo courtesy of DC Group Media

Wanting to explore new ways of producing events, Dee began to host pop up events—way before pop up events were a “thing.” Brands began taking notice of her pop ups and wanted in. Dee then began using her PR skills to market and promote these events for the brands, expanding their brand exposure and securing press for them. Now she runs her own PR company, DCG Public Relations, specializing in digital marketing and advertising.

Latinista

Dee Rivera at WPIX11 Living Style (Photo courtesy of DCG Group Media)

Some notable clients include: Bloomingdales, IMAN Cosmetics, Celebrity Designer Cesar Galindo, SONY, WH Design, Vera Moore Cosmetics, Sirius XM, Helen Yarmak, Plush Vodka , AsSeenOnTv, PretAFleur, and more.

Through her connections and clients, Dee has made some strong friendships that have helped her along her journey. She shares one story of her friendship with celebrity designer Cesar Galindo. She had worked with him early in her career when she was the fashion editor for Latina Magazine. At the time he was just starting out too. Then, twenty years later she bumped into him again as she was starting her new venture, Latinista. They reconnected and have been friends ever since.

“He has truly been a mentor and a supporter along the way. #Familia.”

Sharing important lessons as a creator

LatinistaThroughout her career, Dee shares that one of her biggest lessons and obstacles has always been copycats. She says that there are many people out there that will copy you and try to imitate your success. This can be a frustrating experience for any creator.

“However,” Dee says, “one powerful ‘aha moment’ is realizing they can never be you. And second, they can never have your creativity and can’t have the freedom to truly be proud of something they actually created from scratch.”

She also advises all creators to keep a paper trail of everything they make, just in case they need it at a later time.

Success comes from hard work, not from cheap imitations. She says, “There are no elevators to success, just many, many stairs. Don’t take shortcuts. Do the work. Work hard.”

She believes that putting in the work is what makes one resilient. “If you don’t do the hard work you will create a sense of entitlement,” she says, “and eventually you won’t be able to be resilient. In business you have to be resilient of you won’t survive.”

In addition to resilience, she is also incredibly driven and goal oriented.

“I am what you call a pit bull,” she says. “I never give up.”

Working on Latinista, the new platform for Latinx and GenXLatina

Dee keeps a vision board that she works on daily, always aiming for her goals. She works tirelessly for her clients, securing top print outlets and high profile digital publications. Additionally she is a writer and forthcoming author of Today’s Inspired Latina Volume IV (2018) and Chick Flick Love (Second Edition 2019).

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Currently she is working on her new online platform, Latinista, which uses her creativity and skills in past industries such as fashion and beauty. The lifestyle magazine aims to bridge the gap between the LatinX and GENX Latina, offering content in fashion, beauty, cooking, and home decor.

Branding your business: Keep it honest

Multiethnic People Holding Signs With TweetBy Jesse Torres

One reason for social media’s ubiquitous evolution is its communal characteristics and society’s attachment to it as an honest and transparent information sharing mechanism. It makes people feel good within our technology-dominant society.

An interesting evolution of social media is how it has become a self-regulating and self-correcting medium where the participants, or “community members,” call out each other when activities or motives have been found to be questionable.

Paul Gillin, in his book The New Influencers, writes that “millions of writers of all ages, interests, languages and motivations are together forming a set of shared principles, operating standards and behaviors without any kind of central coordination.”

This phenomenon of self-regulation has created a system that places significant value on honest and straightforward communication over “salesy” methods. As such, organizations must consistently evaluate the potential reputational harm that might arise from their business practices as a result of the shift in power from enterprise to consumer that has resulted through social media.

“There are almost limitless ways that companies can look bad publicly,” said Jared Wade. “But the digital world offers many new ways for companies to hurt their own brands.”

How big companies can hurt their brands

A frequently cited reputational risk story is Wal-Marting Across America. In 2006, a couple decided to blog about their experience of traveling from Las Vegas to Georgia. The couple decided to travel in an RV and stop each evening at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Since Wal-Mart provides RVs with free parking, the use of Wal-Marts among the RV community is a common staple..

The blog seemed ordinary enough. The blog was a couple’s diary that described their experiences on the road and their interactions with Wal-Mart employees during stop overs. What was not disclosed until it was too late was that Working Families for Wal-Mart was providing the couple with their travel budget. Working Families for Wal-Mart was an organization that was significantly funded by Wal-Mart Stores.

The result was the beginning of a public relations nightmare for the retailer. “Wal-Mart has hired fake people,” said Jonathan Rees, a labor historian and associate professor at Colorado State University at Pueblo.

Any time an organization undertakes social media activities intended to mislead the community, the organization risks that the social media community will respond in an adverse manner. The danger lies in the potential for the backlash to take on viral characteristics that spread the negative publicity to an extent that causes serious damage to the organization.

 

 

 About Jesse TorresJesse_Torres

Jesse Torres has spent nearly 20 years in leadership and executive management posts, including executive management roles at financial institutions. In 2013 the Independent Community Bankers of America named him a top community banker influencer on social media. He is a frequent speaker at financial services and leadership conferences and has written several books. He hosts an NBC News Radio show called Money Talk with Jesse Torres.
Follow @jstorres or contact  Jesse@JesseTorres.com