The Burson Difference: Know-how and Know-who

Integration is often defined as the inverse of differentiation, but in the case of Burson-Marsteller, it actually sets us apart. As a global strategic communications firm, our main asset is our seamless worldwide network of 77 offices and 85 affiliates, operating in 110 countries across six continents. This breadth grants us access to the top communications experts around the world – not only within our own firm, but across Young & Rubicam and all WPP companies – to ensure we deliver the best results for our clients with the best team suited to do the job. We have both the know-how and know-who in terms of matching talent and respective skill-sets with clients’ needs.

We recently put this to the test when helping a global company address sensitive regulatory and legislative issues on health and wellness. We coordinated a team of public affairs and crisis management experts in multiple countries with the experience to make a difference. By coordinating issues and events around the world, we developed a strategic communications plan to satisfy the client.

In another case, when one of our clients realized how much we can do to help it leverage social media to reach key stakeholders, they asked our StudioB team, led by Ivan Ruiz, to develop a comprehensive strategy that is generating new levels of engagement for the brand through one of its key executives in the Latin American market.

Uniquely positioned in a market considered the Bridge to the Americas, Burson-Marsteller Miami not only serves clients across the Southeast U.S. and Latin America, it is also the headquarters for Burson Latino, our U.S. Hispanic specialty team. We offer a team of multicultural, multilingual professionals who are on in tune with what is happening not only in our own backyard, but across the U.S. and Latin American regions, thanks to close collaboration with our colleagues who provide us with the local intelligence and depth we need to make client campaigns targeted, relevant and effective. This “always-connected” model contributes to what I call the Burson Difference.

Aside from our established presence and long-term commitment to the markets in which we operate, we also rely on a varied talent mix of senior, experienced leadership and young and eager professionals who bring a fresh perspective on how to apply our results-driven business process to achieve client goals.

These are just some of the characteristics that set Burson-Marsteller apart. I am proud of the work we are doing for our local, regional and global clients, knowing that connectivity and reach allow us to assemble the right team at any given time, keeping this business, and my role here, very exciting.  It is a wonderful time to be leading our business from the Miami vantage point and to be the bridge for our clients to the Burson know-who and know-how.

If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me via e-mail or LinkedIn. I look forward to sharing how our employees, not only in Miami, but around the world are truly living the Burson Difference.

Jorge Ortega, Executive Vice-President

“30 Qs with…” Blog Series with Jennefer Melendez

This month we continue our “30 Qs with…” blog series by getting to know Jennefer Melendez, a Senior Associate working with Burson Latino. Every month we invite you to get to know Burson-Marsteller Miami’s talent from a different perspective – these 1:1 interviews will reveal personal anecdotes from their lives in and out of the office.

Jennefer, who started with Burson-Marsteller Miami recently, opens up about her love for public relations and what she enjoys most about honing her craft every day. 

Get to know her better by checking out her interview here or watch it below! #30QsWith #BursonPersons

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: Earth Week 2017

Earth Week, April 16-22, was started in the 1970s by grassroots organizers who wanted to encourage learning of environmental issues. Every year, during this time, school children learn about the diversity of ecosystems found around the world, while being taught how their actions can have a lasting impact on Mother Earth.

But after we enter the “real world”, Earth Week tends to go unnoticed and uncelebrated as people get caught up in their client work and fast approaching deadlines. However, as a self-proclaimed environmentalist, I wondered, “Can we make Earth Week relevant again by bringing issues affecting our local South Florida environment to the office’s day-to-day activities?”

That thought inspired me to consider a new approach for this year’s Earth Week and invite Burson-Marsteller Miami to get in touch with their inner school-child by taking an interest in relevant issues found south of Lake Okeechobee. As one of the organizers of the Earth Week activities, my goal was to get people out of the office and outside to interact with our main attraction: the ocean.

The Green Team, as I dubbed the Burson Miami Earth Week organizers, planned an ocean clean-up at a local Miami beach where instead of our normal Friday happy hour we went to Hobie Island Beach Park, located on Virginia Key. With the sun in our faces and sand between our toes, we set out to collect foreign items such as plastic bottles, cigarette butts, bottle caps, and other waste. About 14 people (and two four-legged assistants!) participated in the clean-up, removing close to 15lbs of trash off the beach.

On Monday April 24th, following the beach clean-up, my fellow Green Team member, Nicholas Komisarjevsky, and I prepared a presentation to inform our colleagues about the ever imminent threat of Sea Level Rise in South Florida through a Lunch and Learn. We concluded our presentation by providing each team member with a reusable plastic bottle, acrylic paints, and inspiration to decorate their bottles as they see fit, in an effort to cut down on the office’s plastic water bottle waste.

The key message that I tried to impart to my peers through our Earth Week initiative was the importance of thinking globally, while acting locally. As a global Public Relations and Communications agency, Burson-Marsteller always looks to provide our clients with culturally relevant and locally focused support. We utilize our global network to share ideas, talent, and perspectives while giving our clients a boutique agency feel. We think globally, but act locally.

I think that provides a great parallel to the importance of Earth Week because it reminds us to focus on the small details in order to spur greater change. Deciding to tackle climate change alone can be a daunting task. However, choosing to use ceramic mug for your morning coffee instead of a disposable paper cup is manageable. Perhaps getting the office to stop printing documents is unrealistic, but instead of simply throwing the pages away after their singular use, considering upcycling them into a notebook is doable. Thus encouraging the office to consider how their daily actions have a larger environmental impact.

As the world continues to get smaller through enhanced communication abilities, we must think globally, but we cannot forget to act locally. Together, making more conscious efforts to do our part in lessening our carbon footprint can act as the catalyst to larger changes.

As April comes to an end, I challenge everyone to not forget about the meaning of Earth Week. The realities of global warming, sea level rise, and other environmental issues are pertinent every day, especially in South Florida. While Earth Week encourages us to focus on the importance of the environment, it is critical that we adopt sustainable habits like reducing, reusing, and recycling to lessen our carbon footprint globally. Individual contributions do make an impact. Share below with your commitment to Earth and the environment for the coming year.


Kelsey Flitter, Public Affairs Practice

COA Symposium and 22nd Bravo Business Awards


As a longtime member of the Council of the Americas (COA), Burson-Marsteller is thrilled to share that we have been selected as PR and communications partners for their upcoming Symposium and 22nd BRAVO Business Awards, taking place October 28 in Miami.

The annual symposium gathers more than 400 CEOs, senior government officials, and other high-level decision makers to discuss economic and social development issues that are transforming the Americas.

This year, our very own Ramiro Prudencio, President and Chief Executive Officer, Latin America, will moderate the CEO Roundtable Breakfast, a by invitation only meeting that will bring together CEOs from major multilatinas and multinationals to discuss how Latin American companies and institutions are building an innovation mindset and agenda for the region.

We are glad to be a part of this time-honored event that has recognized excellence and leadership in the Americas for more than two decades. This year’s BRAVO awards recognize eight leaders from the public and private sectors including:

  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil
  • Marcos Galperín, CEO and Founder of Argentina’s MercadoLibre
  • Francisco Garza Egloff, CEO of Mexico’s Arca Continental
  • City of Medellín (Accepted by Mayor Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga)
  • José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico’s Secretary of Finance and Public Credit
  • Ali Moshiri, President of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company
  • Patricia Villela Marino, President of Brazil’s Humanitas360 Institute
  • Eduardo J. Padrón, President of Miami Dade College.

Padron’s recognition marks the first occasion the BRAVO Awards recognize a local leader for their contributions to the region. What a milestone!

If you are interested in being a part of this exciting event, you will join sponsors including HSBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Burson-Marsteller, AES, CAF – Development Bank of Latin America, The Boston Consulting Group, Bombardier, Chubb, Emerson, Microsoft and Softtek. Partners include CNN, The Financial Times, ProMéxico and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Should you have any questions or need additional information feel free to contact me.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Posted by Jorge Ortega 

Two Reasons to Work with a Public Affairs Expert and One Way to Find the Right One

By Lucas Silva, Director of Public Affairs- Miami

Every company in the world works within a regulatory framework, answering to decision-makers and governments executing political strategies that, hopefully, aim to strengthen the country and increase the well-being of its people. For this reason, many companies and organizations have a public affairs department, because they believe that they are not only a business, but also a key stakeholder in the environment in which they operate.

Whereas many public affairs professionals within a company have deep knowledge about their role, their deliverables and their political environment, decisions in this field are critical for the operation of the entire business. That is why more and more companies are looking for skilled public affairs advisers in order to develop strategies that will define their relationship with key stakeholders. But, why do they need this kind of advice?

I believe that there are two overarching reasons to work with a public affairs expert and one way to find the right one.

Broader Perspective. Nowadays, competing goals need to be accomplished at the same time, and it is easy to confuse urgency and relevancy. Public affairs professionals in a company need to resolve multiple problems at the same time, and in some cases multitasking is a barrier to focusing on real and relevant matters. A good public affairs expert will always analyze an issue with a broad perspective, keeping in mind all of the different pieces that could potentially impact the business.

Neutrality. Decisions made by a public affairs practitioner directly affect business, and that may also impact their job. That is why, when facing an important issue, the close, personal nature of a public affairs matter could play a critical role. When the time comes, a public affair professional’s neutral, impartial advice will be necessary.

Now that we have established the reasons why companies need an experienced public affairs adviser, the question remains: how do you find the right one? And there is a simple answer, yet difficult to put in practice, as it requires one to set aside one’s ego and think rationally about the best adviser on whom they could depend.

If you know a public affairs practitioner who is, or could be, a loyal friend, is quite possibly smarter than you, and you believe that they could do a better job than you, this means that you have found a public affairs adviser on whom you can rely.

This person can not only help build a brighter future for your organization, but also a stronger future for your own career. Go forth and find your trusted adviser. Your business will thank you for it.

“Detrás de la noticia” Interview

Our Public Affairs practice leader, Lucas Silva, was interviewed yesterday by Russia Today’s Spanish-language program, “Detrás de la noticia” on the importance of Latino voters for the 2016 presidential election.

Burson Latino, our U.S. Hispanic practice, recently conducted a survey on Latinos and their views on the candidates and current issues. Congrats to Lucas on a successful interview!

The Latino vote: Groundbreaking New Hispanic Survey

With South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s recent endorsement of Marco Rubio, and the Nevada caucus around the corner, I am excited to share with you the results of a groundbreaking study “The Latino Vote“, that Burson Latino, our firm’s Hispanic practice, recently conducted across the Latino registered voter population. We noticed a distinct lack of information on how Latinos view the upcoming U.S. presidential election and the issues that the next president will have to address.  We examined how Latinos viewed the candidates and issues as we head into the Nevada caucuses, a state with a substantial Latino population.

The results of this nationwide poll were certainly intriguing – and we were surprised ourselves to find:

  • Latino registered voters nationwide are strongly in favor of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
    • Rubio takes an 11-point lead over a Donald Trump and Ted Cruz tie; Hillary Clinton leads by 35 points over Bernie Sanders.
  • Independent voters could hold a huge surprise in the coming months.
    • Of those who said they were independents nearly 49 percent of them said they would support one of the two Democratic candidates. Nearly 28 percent of these independent voters said they would vote for one of the Republican candidates.
    • This leaves a sizable swing segment among Latino voters that could cause surprises. Their support could influence the candidates’ primary results in the coming months, but could also prove to affect the general election in November.
  • No single issue can define the race among Latinos.
    • Education and the economy are the dominant issues of importance. Regardless of party affiliation, education and the economy were the two most important issues to Latino voters.
    • Additionally, Latinos favor health insurance coverage for all. A broad majority of Latino Democrats (87 percent) and independents (73 percent) said that health insurance coverage for all was an important issue. A narrow majority of Latino Republicans (52 percent) agreed with this view.
    • However, social issues lack traction among Latinos. Abortion (50 percent Democrat and Republican), gay marriage (42 percent Democrat, 28 percent Republican) and legalization of marijuana (33 percent Democrat, 23 percent Republican) were all rated of relatively low importance to Latino voters in the study.
    • Immigration and border control take a backseat to economic issues. New job creation, job security and the ability to receive a raise all ranked much higher in importance than immigration policy and the potential of a wall being built on the U.S.-Mexico border.

This survey, The Latino Vote: Surprising Sentiments on Issues and Candidates, represents the kind of innovative, forward thinking for which Burson Latino stands. It was conducted in collaboration with Research Now, New American Dimensions and the Center for Multicultural Science.

The Latino Vote: Surprising Sentiments on Candidates and Issues a Burson Latino Survey.

I invite you to take a look at the hispanic survey results here, and look forward to sharing more on our Burson Latino efforts as Latinos continue to shape and influence the fabric of the United States.

Un abrazo,


Posted by Jorge Ortega

Burson-Marsteller Named Latin American Agency of the Year 2015 At SABRE Awards

Burson-Marsteller, a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm, today announced it was named Latin American Agency of the Year at the 2015 Latin America SABRE Awards and also won seven gold SABRE Awards. Presented by leading industry publication The Holmes Report, the awards provide the premier showcase for the best public relations campaigns across the Latin American region. The Latin America SABRE Awards were presented at a ceremony in Sao Paulo on December 2, 2015.

Burson-Marsteller Miami also won Seven Gold SABRE Awards for Campaign Work

In addition to being named Agency of the Year, Burson-Marsteller also won

  • Gold SABRE Award in the Mexico Category – “360° Storytelling” — Ford Mexico with Burson-Marsteller Mexico
  • Gold SABRE Award in the Caribbean & Central America Category – Honduras’ Country Brand Contest—The Government of Honduras with Burson-Marsteller Miami
  • Gold SABRE Award in the South America Category: The Technology for Peace-Building—Microsoft with Burson-Marsteller Colombia
  • Gold SABRE Award in the Public Affairs Category – Yacimientos No Convencionales—Asociación Colombiana del Petróleo with Burson-Marsteller Colombia
  • Gold SABRE Award in the Food & Beverage Category – Sagres-Amstel Launch: Giving the Consumer Freedom of Choice—Heineken with Burson-Marsteller Brazil
  • Gold SABRE Award in the Healthcare Category – Diabetes Urbana—Novo Nordisk with Burson-Marsteller Colombia
  • Gold SABRE Award in the Not for Profit Category – Gen Cero— Fundación Éxito with Burson-Marsteller Colombia

“We are thrilled once again to be named Latin American Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report,” said Don Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller. “Burson-Marsteller has been committed to this crucial global region for nearly four decades and our thriving team remains dedicated to excellence on behalf of our clients. This honor and the seven Gold SABRE awards we won tonight showcase the demonstrable impact we make for our clients across industry sectors through our commitment to ideas-driven, evidence-based, results-oriented communications.”

Added Ramiro Prudencio, CEO, Burson-Marsteller Latin America, “We are extremely grateful to again be named Latin American Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report and for the continued trust our clients place in us to help them build their businesses in the region. This honor and the campaign awards underscore the incredible work being done every day throughout our network of 13 wholly owned and three affiliate offices. In 2016 we will celebrate 40 years in this region whose critical importance to the global economy increases every day. We look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence in the region for many years to come.”


Inside Burson-Marsteller Miami: Get To Know Us – Lucas Silva

Meet Lucas Silva, our talented and worldly Public Affairs Manager, whose passion for global issues is apparent in the exceptional work he does for our clients.

Lucas Silva, Public Affairs Manager at Burson-Marsteller Miami

Andres Lucas Silva Wood is a man of mystery. Born in Chile as the only brother to many sisters, he went on to travel through Europe and later live in Mexico and settle in Miami. He is a journalist by title, but a public relations and public affairs expert by passion. Before joining Burson-Marsteller Mexico, where he began his public relations career, Lucas worked as the press consultant for the  Regional Representative of Latin America and the Caribbean of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), based first in his hometown, Santiago de Chile, and later in Mexico. After designing the communication and public affairs strategy for the Special Programme for Food Security, implemented with the Secretary of Agriculture of the Mexican government, he began his public relations career at Burson-Marsteller Mexico, working closely with the government while deepening his affinity for tequila and a very distinct selection of tacos.

After working with remarkable clients and campaigns such as Cadbury, Kraft, GSK and the H1N1 Virus in Mexico, Lucas had the opportunity of relocating to Burson-Marsteller Miami and buying the paddle board he had always wanted (but has yet to do so). By now it shouldn’t be a surprise if we told you that, aside from having written and published many opinion articles in Chile, Mexico, and the US, he also wrote a book titled “La Agricultura Chilena en el Siglo XXI”. In Burson-Marsteller Miami, he is currently the head of the Public Affairs Practice, and leads one of the office’s main and most interesting clients: the country branding campaign for the Honduras government. He has passionately led a movement to transform the public perception of a country that faces severe challenges despite its great potential. Lucas has managed to do great things and publish optimal articles in top-tier international publications to position Honduras as it wants to be seen before the world. When he is not ‘chambando’ in Honduras, Lucas oversees a collection of other diverse clients including Mexico’s PAN, Grupo Pellas, Sumitomo and Dior.

Besides being an impeccable professional, Lucas is always willing to help and guide his team and those around him. He inspires confidence and optimism, and is considered by his team to be a great source of advice. Stop by and talk to Lucas to further your knowledge of the mystery man or if you have any (really ANY) questions about Excel.