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Back to Basics

After Hurricane Maria left its mark on Puerto Rico, puerto ricans are fighting back to make the Island better than before. At first there were lines for gas stations, we still don’t have full communications and many do not have light or water; but we are moving forward and becoming a better community for it.

Everyone is trying to move forward and get back to normality, even the media outlets. Agencies are going back to basics, whether it is delivering the ads personally, re-evaluating the media mix or not using measuring systems and relying more on our knowledge/experience.

Media outlets that were suffering before the hurricane– like newspaper and radio– have seen a major investment increase from advertisers since they are the media that reach consumers more effectively. Meanwhile, top media outlets are having trouble reaching their customers, but they are finding new ways to adapt in these trying times. Here is a little of insight into each medias role after the hurricane:


  • We must re-evaluate the way we use this outlet because due to high demand there is a lot of clutter, and clients must try to stand out. It must be understood that having the same presence as before may not help the brand because it may not be heard or is seen as noise that the public does not want to hear. So, we need to increase frequency and think about using our own audio instead of the promoter that is doing all the rest.
  • Since radio has become the main media outlet after the hurricane, it is important to treat it as such. Advertisers should not think about it as a support for television anymore, but develop creative material that stands out and identifies it as a primary medium.


  • All of them are distributing to their consumers free of cost because they know all the public wants to know is what is happening in our island.
  • We can see people from every generation picking up the paper to find out what is happening and reading every inch of it since many do not have telephone service, internet or television. It is a direct way to reach consumers and inform people.
  • We can also see how the pass-along has increased. Many people get their newspapers and give it to their neighbors, family members or read it more than once.


  • The channels are up and running but since many do not have electricity or a way to watch this medium, they are negotiating their rate costs based on the approximate audience they are reaching. For now, we recommend evaluating the daypart split and consider what time people turn on their generators, what shows are informing the consumers and do different things with their personalities that may attract attention or make people happy.


  • Digital billboards without generators are being transformed into fixed billboards which offer an alternative so advertisers can continue to use their company and be the only advertiser in prime areas. But there are more outlets to use in outdoor media, like mobile billboards, D-Boards or flyer distribution, that help us reach our customers in a more unique way.
  • The puerto rican consumer is in the street a vast majority of the time, whether it is in the traffic or in one of the long lines we still have to do. All outdoor media is a way to reach our consumers and capture their attention.


  • Even though there are few cinemas open, they are generating a lot of traffic since people want to get out of the house or not think of what is happening in the island. This is a way to escape our reality and enjoy a couple of hours out for our consumers.


  • Many do not have Internet access or cellular signal but 30% of the traffic in local website comes from Puerto Rico. And even though we are having trouble with cellphone communication, 80% of the traffic is coming from these devices.
  • Some local media outlets are reporting that they will have a 27% to 30% decrease in the traffic levels compared to last year.

We must keep moving forward and be positive that we will be better than before. We just have to go back to basics and be original, be the ones that attract the attention and help people escape. We must think of the clients and our consumers, all of us are going through the same thing and just need to re-evaluate the plans and think of our new reality in these months.


For more information ask to be in our weekly emails, where you can receive LIH media status updates after the hurricane.


Emma Álvarez

Integrated – Media Planner

Lopito, Ileana & Howie

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