MediaCom teams from across North America, under the leadership of CEO Carlos Calancha, have been working hard to assist colleagues from Puerto Rico as they work to recover from the impact of Hurricane Maria.
The island has been suffering from massive damage to infrastructure, with safe drinking water in short supply, food supplies limited, petrol rationed and areas of the island cut off. Puerto Rico is also under a nighttime curfew.
Thankfully, all staff have survived the initial ordeal, but the team has also assessed staff to see if those with young families or elderly dependents need to leave in order to receive medical care.
In addition to this work, the team have also been working hard to ensure client messages continue to reach residents, relying on emergency power from a generator as the main electricity supplies are down.
With traditional media restricted – only one of the three TV stations is up and running, newspapers are not reaching the whole island and the OOH infrastructure has been mostly blown down – the focus is on ensuring clients provide important, relevant information to residents rather than continuing existing messages.
MediaCom has also been working with client Suiza, the biggest dairy company on the island to help the firm use its fleet of trucks to deliver supplies and meals to people across the country.
GroupM’s President of [m]Platform for the US and Canada and former CEO of North America at MediaCom North America, Phil Cowdell, has flown to the island with 170lbs of emergency supplies of batteries, solar power and hand-cranked torches, water treatment as well as other basic supplies as existing delivery services are not yet functioning again.