Being Social@Telemundo

As you know, I recently went down to Miami at the invitation of Telemundo. What you probably don’t know is that it wasn’t just to attend the Latin Billboard Awards or tour their studios.

Myself and nine other blogueros, were fortunate enough to participate in Telemundo’s very first Digital Influencers Summit. Telemundo’s new digital initiative is called Social@Telemundo.

From the Press Release:

Social@Telemundo will focus on delivering its fans across Facebook & Twitter interactive experiences tied to TV programming. With dedicated Social Media resources tied to each of Telemundo’s shows and novelas the Social@Telemundo aims to take the entire TV viewing process to a more engaging level. Building of the success of its Interactive Broadband Series “Telemundo Live” and Mobile social initiatives Telemundo plans to expand its focus on sharing more access to its Studios, Shows and Talent in Spanish and English.

Borja Perez, Vice President of Digital Media and Integrated Solutions

I wrote about this experience from a more business-minded perspective on LatinaBloggersConnect.com – but here I’ll share some of the more personal chisme.

As you might expect, the room where the meeting was held contained a long conference table surrounded by chairs and a screen on the opposite wall to give presentations. Large framed posters of Telemundo shows hung on the other walls. I knew that I wouldn’t be meeting the cast of my favorite telenovela, Los Herederos del Monte, since the show is filmed in Colombia, but I wanted my photo taken with the next best thing.

(For the record, I didn’t intentionally style my hair like Paula’s. It was a happy accident… Do you think Juan del Monte might mistake me for her? …Okay, maybe not.)

During the meeting, one of the executives asked which one of us was the novelera – I raised my hand and they asked what attracted me to Los Herederos del Monte. Now, to answer this professionally or honestly? I went with honesty, responding, “Okay, at first it was because the guys are hot…” But I did explain that I later came to appreciate the complexity of the storyline and the quality of filming.

Admitting that I began watching Herederos for the eye candy made it a little hypocritical of me to ask the question I asked later – which was if Telemundo was actively trying to step away from portraying women as sex objects in their programming. (Spanish language TV in general has a reputation for this and I know it’s something that bothers a lot of Latinas.)

The President, Don Browne, welcomed the question and answered that yes, they are producing programs that portray both real and fictional women as strong, intelligent and independent. (Examples – Kate del Castillo in Reina del Sur, Dra. Ana María Polo on Caso Cerrado, Jenni Rivera, and Maria Celeste of Rojo Vivo.) They really want to break a lot of the stereotypes about Spanish language television and consciously work social issues that affect, not just women, but other segments of the viewing audience, into their programming.

We got a lot of great insight into just what Telemundo, and mun2, are about from various executives who attended the meeting, and just as importantly, we had the opportunity to give them feedback, advice and ideas. Mutual respect flowed between Telemundo and the bloggers and the atmosphere was fun yet intellectually stimulating. Telemundo has a rare chemistry, passion, creativity and positivity there which has to be experienced to really be understood. I definitely felt like I was with mi gente. (Did you know that some of the Telemundo staff, including the President himself, are “Latinos de corazón” like me?)

For lunch, we were joined by Telemundo talent; Gaby Espino, Jorge Bernal, Vanessa Hauc, Enrique Acevedo, Karim Mendiburu, Sammy Sadovik, and Jessi Losada.

Left to right: Vanessa Hauc, Gaby Espino, Jorge Bernal, Karim Mendiburu, Sammy Sadovnik

We all introduced ourselves and explained a little about our background. This conversation centered around the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. They had a few questions (such as “What is a good tweet?”) for the bloggers, and they shared with us how they use the websites to connect to fans, etc.

All of them were really down-to-earth. While we chatted in real life, we were also tweeting each other – and those tweets were being projected onto the wall for everyone in the room to see, which was a fun idea.

As you can see, I thought Jorge Bernal was especially funny. After lunch he gave me a big kiss on the cheek and said, “Adios, gringa!”

Me and Jorge Bernal of Al Rojo Vivo

Me and Karim Mendiburu, of Titulares y Más and Ritmo Deportivo

Disclosure: I was invited to the Digital Influencers Summit at the invitation of Telemundo. All opinions are my own.

13 thoughts on “Being Social@Telemundo

  1. I’m glad you brought up the gender equality/treating woman as sex objects in your conversation. Gracias! I’m also pleased with their response and hope they are really intentional about it. Honestly, one of the MAIN reasons I don’t tune in to Spanish language television is because of just that! It’s not so much the telenovelas that both me (because it is fiction although it is annoying), but it’s the news programs and the morning shows that really bother me. Women can be, and ARE, fantastic journalists and broadcasters, without ‘bearing it all’. It makes me feel embarrassed to watch and a little distracting, to say the least and I find it hard to take it seriously. I’d love to see some change so I can watch more tv en español, pero necesito más que ‘eye candy’, quiero calidad.

    • Well said, Melanie. There are a lot of women who really relate to that. I understand it’s inevitable to some extent in the industry, but I like that Telemundo is aware of it and taking steps to offer more diversity in its representation of women. They seemed sincere and the President mentioned a couple upcoming telenovelas which will feature strong female heroines – so vamos a ver!

  2. Tracy, hermana, I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished in the short time that I have known you! You are inspiration to so many. Did you ever think that Latinaish.com would bring you to such heights of blogger stardom? ;) jeje! I know in my heart that is not the pinnacle, but only the beginning of many more exciting adventures and opportunities for you and your family. I must admit, I am still curious to know what Suegra thinks of all this. And Clementino! If he only knew that his crush was such a rising star! But I guess I will just have to wait for that post…lol
    Fe y Abrazos~Victory ♥

  3. hubba hubba!

    The first thing I thought was that it was remarkable how your hair style and “Paula”s look so very much alike (I thought you staged it, but it’s so much cooler that you didn’t!)

    I am impressed at your telenova experiences

  4. So, Telemundo me esta escuchando eh? Ok, aqui esta me opinion “I wanna go next year!!” Hahahaha! No really, very good points, and although probably not very PC, I laugh when I see the bimbos. I don’t take it offensively that somebody is making money by looking sexy. Let them shake it while they have it to shake, lol. But on the same subject, do I turn to it when I want some serious information? No, of course not. It’s entertainment, not CNN. Y que guapa te ves en esta foto de el poster!

  5. Awesome job Tracy! Telemundo was on point inviting you to attend and getting your personal feedback!
    What an exciting opportunity! Congrats on all you’ve got in the works.

    Love your pic in front of your favorite “novela!” You look beautiful!

  6. Wow. I’m so impressed with ALL that you did in Miami. You always ask the great questions and have great comments so I’m glad some people in charge are listening to you. Felicidades on this opportunity!! (Oh, and your hair looked just like Paula’s! So funny!!)

  7. Aaaaahhhhhh! OMG, Tracy! How totally cool! What a great experience. I’m sure Telemundo loved you and that you’ll soon be getting your own show. :) And now that my local cable company once again has Telemundo, I can’t wait to watch. :)

    You look totally gorgeous in with the Herederos del Monte pic. ;)

  8. Pingback: Behind the Scenes of Telemundo Studios « Latinaish.com

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