Companies in the advertising and media industry can provide relief for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico not only by their contributions but also by raising awareness of the dire conditions on the island, says Congressman José E. Serrano, D-NY. “Use their clout to let the federal government know that this is a humanitarian crisis,” Rep. Serrano advises in this video interview. “This is reaching the point where it’s really getting out of hand.”

Aid for Puerto Rico will be front and center on Oct. 30 when some 600 marketing, media and adtech executives gather at the Festival of Media/LATAM conference at the Turnberry Isle Resort in Aventura, FL. That morning, a program called STAND WITH PUERTO RICO: The Industry Steps Up will launch to galvanize action for victims of the hurricane.

STAND WITH PUERTO RICO is a joint effort by Omnicom Media Group and Beet.TV, with AT&T AdWorks and Teads as founding sponsors. The day-long call to action will seek industry help by driving global awareness to the problems on the island, highlighting current and planned initiatives by the private sector and presenting the relief work being done by nonprofits.

“We don’t even know, we can only estimate, how many people may be dead,” says Congressman Serrano. “How many pets may be dead or infected with disease once the waters subside.”

The goals of STAND WITH PUERTO RICO (#SWPR) 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

Puerto Rico is receiving two kinds of aid: federal assistance and volunteers. “It also needs dollars to be able to do things,” says Congressman Serrano. “To provide food. To provide clean water for drinking. Corporate America can play a major role in that.”

The STAND WITH PUERTO RICO program on Oct. 30 at the Turnberry Isle Resort. It will be co-hosted by Julian Porras, CEO of Omnicom Media Group LATAM; Andres Claudio, GM Hearts & Science Puerto Rico; and Andy Plesser, Publisher of Beet.TV.

The program will include: A video briefing on the state of Puerto Rico by Congressman Darren Sota (FL-D); a video address by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY); presentations by NGO’s that are currently in Puerto Rico, including the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico, the Humane Society, executives from San Juan of Omnicom Media Group LATAM agencies OMD, PHd and Hearts & Science; and other media and creative agencies along with adtech companies that are supporting Puerto Rico.

Andy Plesser is the founder and publisher of Beet.TV, a media industry video publication.  He and his wife have a home on Vieques, Puerto Rico and have been involved with the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria.

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.   

STAND WITH PUERTO RICO