MIAMI – The efforts of clients like Walmart, Procter & Gamble and AT&T in responding to humanitarian crises in Mexico and Puerto Rico demonstrate “authenticity and doing the right thing,” says the CEO of Omnicom Media Group’s LATAM operations.

“Brands belong to society and are part of society,” Julian Porras says following the launch of STAND WITH PUERTO RICO, an new initiative to generate awareness and provide support to storm victims.

“The first priority always is to make sure that our people are doing okay and their families are doing okay,” Porras says of the disasters’ aftermath in this interview with Beet.TV. “Our clients and other partners of the community and industry. Luckily no one was harmed, but certainly the impact of those natural disasters have slowed down business.”

In Puerto Rico, six weeks after Hurricane Maria, “it’s just simply been a hardship not only for business but just day to day getting to your routine, getting to your family, getting to your friends. It’s just been tough going.”

Asked what the advertising and media community and its clients should be doing to help storm victims, Porras cites creating awareness and helping to keep the devastating living conditions in Puerto Rico front and center.

“In the news cycle that we live in, news comes and goes very fast and we forget about things. We want to make sure that folks are aware of what’s happening and how the industry can contribute both on the media side, on the agency side and on the client side.”

Launched at this week’s Festival of Media/LATAM conference, STAND WITH PUERTO RICO is joint effort by Omnicom Media Group and Beet.TV, with AT&T AdWorks and Teads as Founding Sponsors. Its goals are:

• Brief the industry on the immediate and long-term needs of the island

• Match media, creative agencies and marketers with NGOs

• Brainstorm creative solutions using technology, social media and traditional media

• Enlist volunteers to accompany relief groups to Puerto Rico

• Build key partnerships to make this effort ongoing

“It’s not something that’s kind of the flavor of the month,” Porras says of brand marketers stepping up to help provide humanitarian aid. “It’s what companies stand for and they simply just go ahead and do it. They do the right thing for the community, for their employees and for the markets and communities where they make business.”

Stand With Puerto, The Industry Steps Up 

This video reports on the pressing issues facing Puerto Rico and the organizations that are having an impact. It is part of a media industry initiative titled Stand With Puerto Rico. It is organized by Beet.TV and Omnicom Media Group along with founding partners AT&T AdWorks and Teads. Please find additional videos from the series here. The series was recorded in Miami at the Festival of Media/LATAM on October 30.