Five years ago, Manny Ruiz started something big. The long-time publicist, papi blogger, and founder of the Latina Mom Bloggers & Hispanic PR Blog made Hispanicize into one of the most sought after Hispanic events in the U.S. Latina got the mastermind behind Hispanicize to tell us what's new for 2014, the do's and don'ts of blogging, and what's next on his bucket list.
What are some of the new additions at Hispanicize this year? The event seems to get bigger and better every year!
The newest additions are a major new Latino Startup Alliance Summit as well as a new food and fashion showcase. In addition to these, we're expanding the size of our music showcase and making our journalism showcase focus on the topic of media entrepreneurship. I'm not God but I can tell you this event should far surpass the quality of all our previous Hispanicize events combined.
Which Latino bloggers do you read on a regular basis? Why?
We have a lot of fine bloggers in the nation so this is a very tough question. I would say I really enjoy the YouTube work of Jorge Narvaez of Reality Changers, Nicole Presley of Presley's Pantry, Kathy Cano-Murillo of Crafty Chica and Jose Sanchez of Piccolo Mondo in Puerto Rico. The common thread among them is that they are all great communicators and very creative.
What would you tell a first-time attendee to expect?
The first rule of the Hispanicize event is you never know what to expect. We change it up every year in order to keep it fun and engaging. The main thing everybody can expect is that they will meet the Who's Who of influential Latinos in social media, journalism, marketing, film and music. You can come to this event with the confidence you will meet incredible people who you may partner, collaborate or even gain as a client. Hispanicize is always packed with a lot of business transactions.
Every year there's one party that everyone hopes they get the invite to – which party is it this year?
Every night of Hispanicize 2014 will feature some sort of big music event with A-listers and other rising talent. If I was to pick just one major event that will be the highlight of highlights I would have to elect the 3M Positive Impact Awards because it will honor 20 outstanding Latinos who are regular people but do extraordinary good. This is going to be the hottest event of the entire Hispanicize 2014 but all of our music nights will be special with top talent and fun activities that will make people say, "Wow, that was cool!"
What's the one tip you would give a new blogger starting out?
Don't be a flake. Do your work, be consistent and work real hard at building your platform and social media following.
What are the biggest mistakes bloggers make in your opinion?
The biggest mistake is that they will focus more time on developing long content than in using social media to build engagement and conversation. The best bloggers that brands want are not necessarily the best writers and photographers but the ones that have the most engagement and real followers and fans.
You've had a very successful career in PR, running Latina Mom Bloggers & your own blog – who inspired you growing up to be the best you could be?
My biggest professional influence was my late Pastor Mel Santiesteban. I learned how to be a man from him. He was incredibly influential in how I think as a leader, communicator and entrepreneur.
What's next on your career bucket list? What about your bucket list in general?
My biggest bucket list is to devote my life to writing, directing and producing top quality films. That's what I really, really, really want to do when I grow up.