A Day in the Life of Latina's Digital Audience Development Manager Irina Gonzalez

A Day in the Life of Latina's Digital Audience Development Manager Irina Gonzalez

As the Digital Audience Development & Marketing Manager for Latina, it’s my responsibility to make sure that you—our audience—are seeing and interacting with our stories on a daily basis. This means that I oversee all of the social media channels for both Latina.com and The Latin Kitchen, which is no easy feat since we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for both as well as Google+ and Tumblr for Latina. I also manage any partnerships we have with other publications (like Fox News Latino), start our daily calendar with a morning “what’s happening in the world” email, work with the magazine staff to make sure the right digital call-outs are going into every issue, hire our online editorial interns and work with the editors to assign them work while also teaching them about the industry, and coordinate with our marketing department to make sure any social media or digital campaigns are being put into place. Beyond that, I come up with creative ways to put up new content (like quizzes or voting galleries), help oversee our traffic growth month-to-month, attend conferences and events on behalf of both Latina and The Latin Kitchen and, of course, write and edit for both sites.

Just as with our Director of Digital Operations, Dan Koday, and our Senior Online Editor, Samantha Leal, there isn't such a thing as a typical day for me. But in order to give you a little taste of what my work life is like, I'm writing about last Tuesday.

I typically aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night so that when my alarm clock starts blaring at 7 in the morning, I am ready to start what is sure to be (as always) a really busy day. I start my day off almost immediately by checking email, then Twitter and Instagram to see if anything major has happened. Then I  open up my favorite app (The 7 Minute Workout) and go through the exercises twice. I started this in the beginning of the year and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.

The rest of my day is off to a running start. While getting ready for work, I am multitasking by watching the news on TV, making breakfast and reading through the latest news online. At 8 a.m., I sit down to work on an email of the latest news, which I send to the digital staff by 8:30. In it, I include the latest in Latino news and entertainment from Google news, People magazine, Us Weekly, E! Online, Fox News Latino, Huffington Post Latino Voices and more. I typically spend another half hour reading through more sites (like Perez Hilton, Just Jared and Buzzfeed) while periodically checking my email for the daily lineup from Sam. 

One of the more fun things about working at Latina is that we usually have beauty products around that I love to test. Sam, who handles a lot of our beauty and fashion coverage, is always getting products from companies who want us to try something out. As the resident addicted-to-coloring-my-hair girl (in the past year I've gone from light reddish brown with highlights to auburn to very blonde to auburn again and now back to my brunette roots), I’m typically given the hair products for color treated hair. I like to test out one a week and this week it’s all about John Frieda’s Colour Refreshing Gloss, which I am very much liking. Not taking my eye off email while I make myself a Cuban cafecito using the Kreurig Rivo System (I’m kind of obsessed), I finally finish getting ready and make it into the office by 10 a.m. on a typical day. 

Once in the office, much of my morning is spent on emails. I set up our weekly content exchange with MamasLatinas and YourTango, work on a Twitter party script for the marketing department, check how our April 2014 issue (with Shakira on the cover!) is doing on social media and send an email to the editorial staff about how we did yesterday, including our traffic and which stories were our top hitters. Once it’s time for my lunch break, I run out (late, as usual) to meet with a friend who works for another publication so that we can talk about a potential partnership between us. I scarf down a Cubano sandwich, because I can’t get them out of my head ever since seeing a cooking demo with Jon Favreau, Roy Choi and an intro by John Leguizamo at SXSW, before running back to the office. 

Once back, I spent another while looking through and answering emails about SXSW—the film, music and interactive conference in Austin, Texas, that I just came back from—before putting up the interview I conducted while there with Wilmer Valderrama and Eiza Gonzalez, who are starring in Robert Rodriguez’s TV reboot of his cult classic film From Dusk Till Dawn. Did I mention how gorgeous Eiza is in person? I make a note in my calendar to watch the show tonight on El Rey Network. Although I saw the first episode already, I’m excited for the premiere because I am a huge fan of the movie and the very diverse cast doesn’t make me feel guilty about adding one more show to my TV addiction. 

Afterward, I head over to The Latin Kitchen’s Pinterest and Instagram and spend a couple hours adding and curating new things. It’s definitely one of the more fun parts of the job, and I spend probably too much time looking at hard-to-resist dulce de leche desserts. Typically on Tuesdays we would have the weekly The Latin Kitchen editorial meeting, but it’s cancelled this week. Instead, I spend another hour seeing what our competition is up to, what fun food stories are trending and what everyone is talking about in the food world. Since my main editorial experience is in food and health, I like to stay on top of what’s going on. I catch up on Mark Bittman’s New York Times column “What We’re Reading Now” and get lost catching up on what the government’s new nutritional labels mean (including news of the new “has added sugars” and more realistic portion sizes). 

When I finally go back to my inbox, it’s flooded again and I spend the rest of the day answering emails, including confirming a lunch with a publicist I keep meaning to connect with. Every day isn’t usually this email heavy, but some days just call for it. 

Just after it hits 6 p.m. on the clock, I am done with most of what I had to do for today—except one thing. I run out of the office and head to the launch party for Tincup American Whiskey, which is being held at Middle Branch in midtown NYC. On a regular Tuesday through Thursday (and sometimes Monday or Friday), I often leave the office for an event and today is no different. At the Tincup launch, I spend a couple hours chatting with other writers and editors, Jess Graber (the founder and whiskeymaker, who told me all about the unique blend of corn, rye and malt used to make this whiskey) and the bartenders mixing up cocktails. Of course, I also get to try the whiskey (I’m completely in love with the refreshing take on the mint julep) and some snacks throughout the evening. 

Once back home after the event (which I’ve of course already tweeted and Instagrammed), I settle on the couch for the last couple of hours of the day. Typically, this is when I watch some TV while catching up on the rest of my day. I pull out my iPad and read through some of what we put up on Latina.com and TheLatinKitchen.com today, then browse through Google News, Buzzfeed, Mashable and some of my favorite food blogs. Before I know it, it’s time to head to bed—and start another (equally crazy) day tomorrow!