A big part of the transformation includes taking a community-first approach to business in Estrella’s content and philanthropy. This has meant increased reporting on immigration issues, which are top of mind for the company’s customer base, and a partnership with the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition to raise awareness about the census process through public service announcements.
Markham believes that a platform-agnostic approach, coupled with a corporate culture that empowers employees through training, tools and the freedom to do their work without being micromanaged, will breathe new life into the media company.
It’s also helping them deal with the chaos caused by coronavirus. “While COVID has presented many challenges for our business, our company and culture have been strengthened by how we have responded, as a team, to the pandemic,” Markham says.
His staff has had to rethink every aspect of business operations, deploying technology in new ways and pivoting how they bring new products to market.
“We’ve had to change the way we work together and create content for our community, all with the health and safety of our team members as a top priority,” Markham says.
In response to global lockdowns and social distancing, his team created the “Safe Set” concept for competition shows and concerts, which aims to keep talent safe while allowing a virtual live audience to participate.
In addition, Estrella launched the #SiSePuede (Yes We Can) community empowerment and awareness initiative to provide an expanded hub for information and resources, and encourage the community to come together during these trying times. “We felt it was important to have a unifying rallying cry for our audience and our employees,” Markham says.
Looking to the Future
It’s still early in Estrella’s reinvention, but Markham is already seeing an expanding audience and increasing ad sales. “Turnarounds never go as fast as you’d like them to,” he says. “But these positive signs show we are going in the right direction.”
Photo by Piranka/Getty Images