|HOME||MEDIAVILLAGE.com||WOMEN ADVANCING||HOOKED UP||MEMBERSHIP INFO||MEMBER COMPANIES||MEDIA BUSINESS REPORT||ECONOMIC FORECASTS||RESEARCH|
Published: December 18, 2012 at 05:29 PM GMT
Last Updated: December 18, 2012 at 05:29 PM GMT
Like many New Yorkers, I was affected by Hurricane Sandy when the surge hit on 10/29/2012. I live in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and lost power and heat for 5 days. My neighborhood was a ghost town – there were no lights, few people and everything was shut down. Upper Manhattan WAS not impacted by the storm – electricity was running, heat was on, and restaurants were open. Thankfully, my friend's parents live on the Upper West Side and they graciously took me in the night after the storm. I was feeling emotional and displaced when I arrived. This was the first I saw the news coverage on TV and I couldn't believe it. I knew it was going to be a bad storm but I had no idea the damage would be as horrific as it was. People had lost their homes and their lives were turned upside down. I started seeing pictures on Twitter and Facebook – homes completely destroyed in Staten Island, Breezy Point, Long Beach, Rockaway, Atlantic City, and many others. The stories were heartbreaking. I immediately felt guilty for thinking my situation was bad and felt compelled to volunteer.
I had the opportunity to speak to Kris Magel, Executive Vice President, Director of National Broadcast at Initiative Media who spoke to me about the newly developed "New York Media Cares" – a challenge to New York's media industry to help those hit by Hurricane Sandy by using their hands, not just their checkbook. The Ad Council's media team joined Initiative in this volunteer effort a month after the storm on 11/29. About 20 volunteers went to Staten Island to distribute donated items to countless homes. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to join other media professionals and help those in need. I've volunteered many times in my life for different social issues and organizations. However, this was the first time I've volunteered as part of a relief effort. I don't think anything could have prepared me for what I saw.
Our volunteer effort was organized by Mike "Loco" Hoffman, the area's block coordinator. Mike was leading the operation which was overseen by Congressman Michael Grimm's office in Staten Island. We were each assigned different tasks. Some people were sent to sites that needed demolition work and other people were sent to canvas areas affected by the storm. Mike broke us up into teams, assigned us specific addresses, and sent us on our way.
I was part of the canvasing team and my colleague Janet and I were assigned a couple streets to survey. We were given a notepad and a pen and were told to ask residents specific questions such as, "Do you have power, heat, running water?" and "Are you in need of supplies such as food, clothing, cleaning supplies, etc.?" Seeing the hurricane damage in person made it that much more real and I was shocked by what these homes looked like. Refrigerators and stoves were upside down and furniture and personal belongings were strewn everywhere. A couple houses were lifted completely off their foundation. One of the homes had a candlelight vigil – the owner and his dog had drowned in their house during the storm.
I realized very quickly that a lot of these people just wanted comfort and someone to talk to. One story in particular that truly impacted me was that of Brett Gordon's. Brett's home was completely flooded when the storm surge hit and everything inside was destroyed. He lived in the home for 5 years with his wife and two daughters. Brett, a blue-collar American worker whose parents immigrated to the US from Sicily, took such pride in his home. Like all homes – there were so many wonderful memories that come with it. Brett told us about his daughter's birthday parties, family gatherings, holiday dinners, and backyard barbeques.
Despite the damage, you could tell it was once a home. A cracked photo frame of their family was on the living room floor and dried flowers from his daughter's communion were still intact. He was very worried about the emotional damage and long term affects this experience would cause his children. He also explained the tremendous financial burden he now faces. He is now paying double in living expenses – mortgage on his uninhabitable Staten Island home as well as rent in Brooklyn where his daughters were assigned a school. I couldn't help but feel for Brett and wanted to help him.
The next day I decided to post Brett's story on Facebook to see if I could generate buzz and inspire others to take action. Within hours, I had several people messaging me asking how they could help. I love the power of social media! One friend in particular, Allison LePage, works at The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in Washington DC. CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its programs and leads President Obama's national call-to-service initiative. CNCS has specially trained AmeriCorps members hard at work in several states, providing skilled manpower and managing thousands of volunteers. Within 2 hours of my post Allison was able to connect with the Disaster Service Unit and provide Brett with a single contact to help his family with all of their needs. Allison and I have also set up a donation site for Brett's family to offset the many costs he has right now – especially during this holiday season. We are hoping with the money raised, Brett will be able to purchase some of the items they lost in the storm.
The Ad Council distributed a Hurricane Sandy PSA shortly after the disaster which encourages people to support the relief effort by giving to the many organizations listed on our call-to-action website . To view the PSA click here. Through my career at the Ad Council, I'm able to make a difference every day in lives of many Americans by securing donated media from my media contacts. Volunteering in Staten Island a couple weeks ago reminded me how grateful I am to be working at the Ad Council and doing the important work that we're doing. Our PSAs bring issues to the public and inspire people to make a decision whether it's to raise awareness, donate, or volunteer. There are millions of people that see our PSAs and are inspired to take action. Because I'm not personally involved I don't always get to see the direct impact. Speaking to Brett made me realize just how significant our PSAs are and that these impactful moments are happening ALL the time all across the country.
As Director of National Accounts at the Ad Council, Laurie is responsible for building partnerships and securing donated media space from 100+ accounts including A+E Networks, Comcast, Conde Nast Publications, Screenvision, Time Warner Cable and Viacom Networks. Laurie also manages the NY and Northern NJ markets, coordinating with the local media outlets on issues affecting their communities. Whether it’s national or local, Laurie’s goal is to inspire her media contacts to donate their space to and raise awareness on The Ad Council’s worthy and life-changing causes.
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization that marshals volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to deliver critical messages to the American public. The Ad Council produces, distributes and promotes public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well being and strengthening families.
The Ad Council has endeavored to improve the lives of all Americans since first creating the category of public service advertising in 1942. Ad Council icons and slogans are woven into the very fabric of American culture. From our earliest efforts including "Loose Lips Sink Ships" and Smokey Bear's "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires," to the iconic “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” and of course, "A Mind is a Terrible Thing To Waste" - Ad Council PSAs have been raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives for more than 70 years.
Who Controls the Digital Eco-System?
Ever since the first man clicked on the first ever online ad, and the first blogger penned the first essay on all that’s wrong with everything digital, one question has under-pinned much of the discussion and debate. Who’s in charge?
PBS’ “Poldark”: An Improbable Summer Sensation
A best in show has emerged from television’s busiest summer ever. The distinction may strike some as improbable during the season in which popcorn entertainment generally rules. This fine program has nothing to do with aliens, zombies, cops or killers. It is a first-class remake of a historical drama from the Seventies that probably sounds like a snooze. And while such declarations are generally a matter of individual taste, from where I sit it’s more entertaining than anything else on broadcast, cable or stream right now.
ARF Rocks Research World with Measurement Mandate
This year’s ARF Audience Measurement Conference, a top research-oriented conference, focused two of its 2 ½ days on the challenges in cross platform measurement. Cross platform continues to be a major initiative of an industry that has historically focused predominantly on television. But the days of linear TV dominating the discussion and the historical buying and selling of spots and dots is just about over.
Sold-Out ARF Conference Incites Industry Action
“Who sells out a research conference?” asked Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) CEO and President Gayle Fuguitt to the, yes, sold-out audience at the Foundation’s recent Audience Measurement Conference held at the sleek Conrad Hotel in Manhattan’s Battery Park City.
Data, Data Everywhere in the Upfront: An Overview -- Part 5
This is the fifth and final part of a series examining the new data initiatives of major data companies. Parts 1 through 4 outlined the many data initiatives, their scalability, whether their services were gaining traction in the industry and the issue of a standard metric to link systems and platforms. Here, I ask about the role of research in the Era of Data. Is its role changing? Is there a future for research as we know it?
CARPE DIEM: Advertising and the Media
Published on Apr 13, 2015
Broadcast Milestone: A Summer Stunner
It’s the first week of summer, and didja notice? Something rather remarkable happened last night. CBS, NBC and ABC offered three hours of original series programming. Further, Fox’s two hours were filled with original shows and one-half of The CW’s two-hour primetime block was occupied by a brand new episode of a long-running series.
Hard Truths from Universal McCann’s David Cohen
When a senior advertising executive who handles money matters appears at an industry event and speaks his mind in a public forum, as Universal McCann Chief Investment Officer David Cohen did at last week's Online Video Advertising Summit here in New York, everyone should pay attention.
Capturing Your Consumers in the First 5 Seconds
This week, we are celebrating the endless creativity of the advertising and marketing worlds at Cannes International Festival of Creativity. We’re really excited to recognize and revisit this year’s slew of brilliant campaigns on Cannes’ international stage. There are so many great contenders -- the ads that moved people to tears, others that made them laugh and of course those that inspired them to take action.
Video of the Week: Jon Stewart's Quiet Expression of Outrage
Jon Stewart on Thursday night opened his Comedy Central program “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in serious commentator mode, talking about the mass murder the night before at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Pride Report: Rainbows Over Madison Avenue May Lead to Pots of Gold
In their never-ending efforts to sell, sell, sell, advertisers long have found inspiration in the calendar, borrowing interest from holidays such as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, the Fourth of July, Halloween and, of course, Christmas. In recent years, reflecting the increasing diversity of the consumers they seek to reach, advertisers have added Dr. King's Birthday and Cinco de Mayo.
Elon Musk: The Edison/Tesla/Ford of the Digital Age
I have been an admirer, yes, even a fan of Elon Musk ever since I first learned about Tesla Motors ten years ago. I state that because now it seems that Elon Musk is everywhere in the media -- online, magazines, a best-selling biography (which I have purchased but have yet to start) -- simply because he is out to change the world and people are finally taking notice.
Remembering Ralph Roberts
Ralph Roberts was one of the good guys. Along with Bill Daniels, Bill Brazeal, J. C. Sparkman, Irving Kahn and Bill Bresnan he was always ready to lend a guiding hand to those of us who were (in the late 1960s, some years after Ralph bought his first system in Tupelo Mississippi) new to the industry. I remember Ralph with special fondness as he accepted my early long-haired, hippie journalist persona, inviting me (off the record) to join his annual dinner with his top guys, including the late Dan Aaron (who had been the selling negotiator in Tupelo) and the great Julian Brodsky, his financiers and, after a couple dinners, Brian, too. I was privileged to learn a lot that way.
Rehabilitating a Fragile Direct Response TV Ecosystem
“Whenever possible, one should focus on removing fragilizing interdependencies rather than imposing additional structure and activity that will only increase the fragility of the system as a whole.” -- Nassim Taleb, Rupert Read and Yaneer Bar-yam; from the paper, Precautionary Principle*
“TREotM”: The Sixties
Chapter 10, Part 4