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Ecuador 2013 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Enrique Marquez de la Plata, Commercial Engineer of Expreso, on innovating to keep the reader informed and loyal.

Enrique Marquez de la Plata
BIOGRAPHY
Enrique Marquez de la Plata holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Denver, USA, and a Master’s degree in Marketing from the University of Cartagena, Spain. His career began in 1987 as Purchase Manager at Ara Services, and prior to his current position at Expreso, other roles have included Media Planner and Media Director at McCann Erickson, and Director of Sales and Marketing at GamaTV.

Since its foundation in 1973, what role has Expreso played in transforming the local media landscape?

Expreso has positioned itself as an innovative newspaper. It was a pioneer of the subscription system in Ecuador, and has developed benefits for its subscribers, penetrating the digital world and the mobility of tablets. Ever objective, Expreso is known for its well-researched editorials and coverage of the major stories in domestic and global politics and economy. We aspire to maintain our strict standards of journalistic integrity, and continue to deliver quality news content to the Ecuadorean public.

What prompted Expreso's shift from a focus on Guayaquil to a wider national coverage?

Expreso is basically a Guayaquil newspaper. And while it does address national and global issues, it's focus remains on Guayaquil, which is Ecuador's main port and economic capital. Naturally though, we cannot be estranged from the wider issues of our country, and so we cover news from other regions to keep our readers informed.

How would you characterize the changing nature of demand for information in the local market?

Readers increasingly want more concrete information that is personalized to their interests and needs. They also want immediate access, which explains the huge popularity of social networks. Of course, these networks lack the high quality research capability of a newspaper, which is what makes us indispensible for our readers. As a newspaper, we have to reinvent every day and create the best product so that our readers feel the need to buy a copy every day, confident of finding well-written and accurate stories.

Has Expreso sought to increase its international presence?

It's a complicated business for a newspaper to have a high international presence, although we provide the many Ecuadoreans living abroad news coverage via our e-paper, website, and on tablets. By these means, they feel connected both to their country and to the paper.

How would you describe the newspaper's readership base and how many people subscribe to it?

We have an important subscription base that guarantees our readership, mainly from Guayaquil and nearby cities. Subscriptions go beyond being a mere payment system, as they allow is to become familiar with the reader, and more informed in terms of what kind of service they want from us. This is important when it comes to developing new products and content.

How has Expreso adapted to technology in terms of marketing and newsgathering?

Expreso has always been closely associated with technological advances, be it for printing, distribution, merchandising, or other forms of marketing. Today, when considering the news business, digital technology immediately springs to mind, but let's not forget that behind the technology is a team of professionals that has led the company to its achievements. And concerning the content itself, having access to imagery and agency texts, and being associated with newspapers such as Le Monde, El País, and El Mundo, among others, guarantees that we produce the best possible coverage of international affairs.