NEW YORK—Burson-Marsteller has launched a new Cuba specialty team, a US-based offering that will provide clients with counsel on the political and economic environments in both the US and Cuba, as well as advice and guidance in planning for and communicating effectively about eventual Cuba market entry.
The move comes at the same time parent company WPP has taken the first steps to commence trading operations in Cuba. Under a contract with the state-owned Palco Group, WPP now has a permanent executive based in Havana who will be backed by an established local support team. The company is looking to partner with firms in consumer insight; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing.
"The Obama administration's decision to reinstate diplomatic ties with Cuba, and the evolving regulatory situation, make clear there will be significant opportunities for many enterprises in Cuba," says Donald Baer, Burson-Marsteller's worldwide chair and chief executive officer. "To take advantage of those opportunities successfully, organizations will require counsel that provides comprehensive expertise about this evolving market."
The new team provides a portfolio of services including real-time analysis of US government policy developments and strategic communications planning and execution, including digital and social media outreach. It will be led by Ramiro Prudencio, president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Latin America, based in Miami, and include professionals across Burson-Marsteller and several sister firms, including grass-roots communications firm Direct Impact and public-opinion research firm Penn Schoen Berland.