Named as one of the most influential Colombian-Americans in South Florida by The Americas Community Center and Broward County, and awarded as one of the Top 20 professionals younger than 40 in South Florida by Brickell Magazine in 2013, Sabina Covo brings on to projects more than fourteen years of journalism, writing and communications consulting experience, both in the United States and Latin America. She has been a reporter, TV and radio host news anchor, and correspondent for Telemundo 51 where she started her career in 2000, Mundofox, Cadena Ser, La W and Caracol radio, Canal Cartagena and ADN Chile. She co-hosted La Ventana in Caracol along Pedro Sevcec from 2008 to 2010. Sabina has interviewed personalities such as Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Colombian Presidents Alvaro Uribe and Juan Manuel Santos and international star Julio Iglesias to name a few. She has covered elections since 2004 including both democratic and republican national conventions. As a panelist Sabina has been on Mega TV’s implicados, Maria Elvira Show, multiple America Teve Shows, Ricardo Brown on Mundofox and others in Latin America. As a political news anchor Sabina currently covers AN5 in America Teve. She writes a Sunday politics column for EL Nuevo Herald since 2008.
How did you get into the industry?
As a former full time, Hispanic broadcast journalist, column writer, and mother of two young boys, 9 and 5, I wanted to become independent at some point. Being able to manage my schedule and find a balance between a very demanding on-air position on a TV station and family life was the most challenging decision I probably made in my life as a professional. I wanted to create an agency that brings together different components of my life in media: a. creative communication strategies, brand representations, creative story ideas, production, writing, and travel. I had traveled Latin American countries as a journalist and then as brand ambassador for Audi Latin America so I also figured I had to bring Latin American and the Hispanic market into the equation. Besides, I am from Cartagena, Colombia! So that is how I created in conjunction with my sister Valeria, who is an entrepreneur, Covo Boutique PR, a public relations agency that targets specifically the Hispanic and Latin American markets in the region.
Any emerging industry trends?
PR has changed enormously, as well as journalism and media. People don’t run to want the newscast anymore because they have everything on their hand (intelligent phones and tablets). Social media has transformed the way people see journalism and even public service. I believe what is more emergent at this point will be influencers on social media, acting as communicators, but really being followed more than journalists and PR professionals ourselves. This is an opportunity for media to reinvent!
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
This is my favorite part! Seeing challenges as opportunities and converting them into new ideas. Creating a department in our agency, specifically targeted to each new industry trend has been very fulfilling and fun. We are now in the implementation process. Influencers need to become allies of each firm as well as journalists have been our allies. Technology is telling that you tube is the new way of watching TV, so press releases are no longer only print documents, they need to be video releases and podcast or audios, this increasing the opportunity of being successful news. On another note, our market of operation is Latin America, a region with an ever-changing political situation. At COVO we need to be very well informed in order to advise clients in a right way.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
COVO is inspired by the need to communicate, travel, and the love for Latin American countries. We strongly believe that Latin America and its emerging markets are key for the business development of the United States. We envision a future in where we will be assisting many US companies who will find in Latin America a market of operation and viceversa. Globalization won’t stop, it is a matter of seeing it as an opportunity, not as a challenge to our current US economy.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We are launching a very special online magazine!
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
We have a very nice alliance with Worldwise PR, an worldwide agency network that brings international services to our clients. So if we have a client interested in promoting themselves in Dubai, we have a sister agency that has the same ethics and values as us that we can refer them too.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
Difficult moments, many, however it is very challenging to find people who can write and speak almost perfect English and Spanish, human resources is sometimes a challenge. For us, this is key for the success of our business. We want to work with passionate, creative people who love journalism and PR (both). Very specific profile.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Our multicultural knowledge. Latin America is very diverse, each region within each country is diverse itself.
How do you motivate others?
Being happy and staying calm, even when challenges arise.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Work with the industries you love. It is easier to promote a product in PR, if you believe in it.
What do I do best?
I think I am really good at talking! Since I was little I had to listen to stories in order to shut my mouth up (my mom would give me audio books all the time). Now I’ve learn to control the need of expressing myself continuously through writing, doing TV, being on radio, and now having my PR firm.
What makes me the best version of myself?
What are my aspirations?
To live in a very unpretentious, serene way. See my children grow. I see myself at some point writing books and living in an island.
My Biggest Success?
Two things: having my two children and then, COVO PR grew in one year 200%. I think for a person like me who didn’t go to school for business, but for journalism and political science this is such a great accomplishment.
My Most Challenging Moment?
I went through a divorce. It was not traumatic but it was not of course ideal.
Never stop creating.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Favorite people: My mother Hilda Juan, who is actually COVO PR’s CFO and my father German Covo, a very successful dermatologist. My children Pedro and Paulo 9 and 5 teach something new every day.
Business Role model: I admire very much Sissy de Maria, she is the co-owner of Kreps PR, a national public relations agency here in Miami. I also admire the journalistic skills of Fernando del Rincon, a CNN in Spanish anchor, colleague, I am currently a contributor on his show.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Everything ocean. Love the Ocean: Cartagena, Miami, Tulum, Mexico, Barcelona, Cozumel, Mexico, Rosario Islands close to Cartagena, Santa Marta, Colombia. So many!!
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My Chanel Allure perfume. All the rest could be changed and replaced, not this!
My Current Passions?
I dance flamenco. (Spanish dance)