This week’s Hispanic PR Blog interview is with Hispanic PR bloggers Carrie Ferguson Weir and Marta Darby, the dynamic duo behind the Tiki Tiki Blog. Weir and Darby created the blog for sharing stories about growing up and living Latino in the United States. We recently caught up with Carrie.
HPRB: Tell us about your self, any relevant journalism experience you have and why you started your blog?
Carrie Ferguson Weir (CFW): Though, I have a very un-Latina name, I am for sure a Cuban-American raised in Miami among a big, loud tribe of relatives. I currently live in Nashville, where – believe it or not – there is a nice, big group of Cubans. I am a veteran journalist, with nearly 20 years of newsroom experience as beat, general assigment and features writer.
I started blogging at Bilingual in the Boonies in 2006 to keep up with my writing and promote my business, Los Pollitos Dicen (http://www.piopio.biz), after I left daily journalism. The Tiki Tiki Blog, a Latina group blog, launched in May 2009 to create the space for sharing the stories about growing up Latino in the United States. We think of it as a daily fiesta with friends, and encourage contributors to share their stories and videos on the Tiki Tiki.
My Tiki Tiki partner, Marta Darby, of My Big Fat Cuban Family, is an artist and graphic designer. She is a homeschooling mother of four children, who often writes about Cuban cooking and design. She lives in Southern California and we first met online.
HPRB: Who is the target audience of your blog and what data can you provide us about the size of your audience?
CFW: Our target audience on the Tiki Tiki is U.S. dominant, bilingual Latinos, most of whom are first- and second-generation Americans. We receive 200 to 300+ visitors a day who come to read the essays, watch the videos and get the weekly round-up of news and links to other great blogs we find. Our goal is to grow much bigger, and we’re actively working on that. We also have daily conversations with followers on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
HPRB: What makes your blog unique?
CFW: We are about heart and connection. The Tiki Tiki knows what it is like to grow up watching telenovelas and School House Rock; speak Spanish at home, English at school; roast a lechon, but eat lots of BK, too; have a quince and a Sweet 16; get asked “where are you from?’’ even though you were born here. Most of us have gotten la chancleta.
We are the children of immigrant and exiled Latinos, all grown up and Americanized, but joyful and grateful for the cultura we got at home. And, we’re working hard to maintain that culture, even as we raise our own American Latino children.
HPRB: Do you have any accompanying Twitter, Facebook or other social media contact information you would like to share?
CFW: Yes, we embrace and love social media.
Twitter: @TikiTikiBlog http://twitter.com/tikitikiblog
Facebook: Facebook.com/TikiTikiBlog http://www.facebook.com/TikiTikiBlog
HPRB: What is your blog’s web address and how frequently do you update your posts?
CFW: http://tikitikiblog.com/ We publish new content at least three times a week.
HPRB: What is the key contact information for you and or your blog?
HPRB: What topics are of special interest to your blog and which ones are definitely not?
CFW: We focus on column features, food, news, culture, self-help, with a dose of entertainment, reviews and giveaways. We are apolitical and we keep the content PG-rated.
HPRB: What are the best days and hours to reach you and/or your staff with a specific type of story or interview? What are the worst days/times?
CFW: We’re always connected, but 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST weekdays are the best.
HPRB: What are your policies in terms of accepting press kits, photos and/or multimedia video files?
CFW: We would ask publicists and marketers to read our PR policy before they pitch us. We are very specific in what we cover, what giveaways and reviews we do. It must be of benefit to, and relevant, to our audience.
Is there anything you would like to add about your blog or about working with you?
CFW: I may be a blogger, but I cannot shake the years I had as a journalist. Publicists who offer us well-targeted and correct, newsworthy items win with us…and we win with them.
We especially love publicists who like to get creative with us. Pitching a book review? Well, how about your author does a video post for us? Got a product to pitch? How about a Top 5 Ways your Abuelita would Diss this Product You Definitely Will Love? You see, mostly, we’re about fun. In Spanish and English.