Friday, July 31, 2009

Manny Ruiz > www.HispanicPRWire.com

Manny Ruiz, President, Multicultural Markets & Hispanic PR Wire.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
In some good and bad ways being Hispanic does influence the way I do business. Early in my media and marketing career I realized that while being Hispanic often made others label me in a discriminatory way it also helped me because I made being Hispanic my niche. When you come from a blue collar background like I did, you grasp at the lowest hanging opportunity that you can and that’s what I did. I embraced my Hispanic culture in the niche field of PR because I knew I would be one of the few to do so. While some Latinos think it’s bad to be seen as Hispanic I've used it as my strength. I said to myself, if I'm going to be labeled Hispanic because that's just the way things are, I'm going to be 1000% Hispanic. So I called my first company Hispanic PR Wire in case anybody had any doubt what I knew best. It worked!

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
First of all, my faith in my Lord Jesus. The good Lord has given me the wisdom, courage and ability to overcome things in life and business that I couldn't have done alone. The other thing that deeply motivates me is my intense desire to succeed for my family. I come from a blue collar family and we d me that I have to I come from a working class family and I want to help my children rise higher than I will.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
In business it was starting Hispanic PR Wire with a limited business background and no money to compete against a determined, huge competitor that on paper should have beat me to the pulp. The irony is that the huge competitor I'm referring to, PR Newswire, is now my former competitor because last year PR Newswire bought my company and I'm currently the president of PR Newswire's Multicultural Service division. To their credit, PR Newswire not only has preserved Hispanic PR Wire but we've even expanded our multicultural services to include Hispanic multimedia and web marketing tools.

If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I wish my grandparents who raised me and my dad were still alive. I would love to share my successes with them because they gave me the foundation I needed.

What was your childhood ambition?
My earliest ambition was to be a soldier because my earliest hero was John Wayne and all the movies I saw when I was little was of him in World War II. Once I realized we weren't in war, my realistic child ambition became to be a professional NFL quarterback and to direct movies for Hollywood. It's too late for me to join the NFL but my other dream is alive and well.

Tell us about three people that you admire?
Billy Graham for his faithfulness and integrity.
Dan Marino, former quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, because he inspired my passion for sports.

Director Robert Rodriguez because he's the ultimate, multi-talented Hollywood director and it's a bonus that he happens to be a proud Latino.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
How's this for irony? For seven years I owned a well respected media company but through those years I couldn't afford to have cable TV at home. I spent years watching my beloved Miami Dolphins games in the homes of friends, ANYBODY really, that had cable TV.

What is your favorite quote?
Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all things shall be added unto you. Jesus said that quote and the reason it's significant to me was because it was only when I aligned my life and thoughts with God that I was able to see the opportunities he opened up for me. The Christian life is a daily struggle and its the most challenging thing to do right because we're all fallen by nature.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Quite the opposite. At this stage in my life I find it terribly difficult to be conventional. Being conventional is "safe" but it is boring and unmemorable and I'm a bit of a risk taker. To make your business stand out, you need to strive for being unconventional in every way you can.

Biggest mistake made?
My biggest mistake business mistake was not having the right accountant to start it. Not having the right accountant to work on my business cost me more than $300,000 over the long run. That's a costly lesson.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
There are very few people that can be called innovators. I would probably count the Steve Jobs and Walt Disneys of the world in two hands. Those folks are innovators. The bulk of everyone else in business, myself included, have simply modified ideas that existed before and dressed them up with our own brands and interpretations. People compliment me for creating Hispanic PR Wire and I'm flattered by that but in reality I didn't do anything new. PR Newswire invented the paid news wire business and all I did was simply Hispanicize it to perfection for a niche market interest.

About the Company
PR Newswire provides electronic distribution, targeting, measurement and broadcast services on behalf of tens of thousands of corporate, government, association, labor, non- profit, and other customers worldwide. Using PR Newswire, these organizations reach a variety of critical audiences including the news media, the investment community, government decision-makers, and the general public with their up- to-the-minute, full-text news developments.

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