Humility, Patience and Empathy: Johnny Mendez

Johnny Méndez G.
Corporate Comunication Manager McCann Worldgroup Latin America & Caribbean McCann Worldgroup Latin America & Caribbean

Describe your job to us, what’s your title & what do you do?

I'm the Corporate Communication Manager for Latin America and The Caribbean.

What do I do? It´s a very interesting question, many people believe that PR and Corporate Communications are just about media management, but it goes much further beyond that.

For me, Corporate Communication is about building meaningful relationships with the public interests of a company to influence the business sustainability.

My job involves many areas where building an articulated story is very important to take account of the distinctive attributes of the most integrated network of Latin America & Caribbean with more recognized markets in awards of effectiveness and creativity, including +26 markets, in ´20 countries where it is present and it has 8 marketing communications disciplines: McCann (advertising), MRM//McCann (data-science/technology/ relational marketing ), Momentum Worldwide (brand experience ), McCann Health (specialized communication), CRAFT (production), UM (media) Future Brand (branding) and Weber Shandwick (public relations) with a global and multilatin client portfolio such as : GM, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, LATAM Airlines, Sodimac, Mastercard, L’Oréal, Ripley, Aval.

In carrying out my responsibilities, one important role is to impact the relationships of McCann Worldgroup with its internal audience, +2.500 collaborators to create a professional experience that allows them develop as people and as professionals and to encourage the creative capacity of each of them; with clients and potentials, McCann Worldgroup has already a solid reputation as a global leading company in marketing solutions, ranked as the world's most creatively effective marketing services company commitment for its clients' brands, so it is a challenge to remain as an opinion leader about creating brand strategies and advertising and continue growing a meaningful relation between brands and audiences.

As multinational company that provides professional services, we also interact from a corporate vision with other companies, so we are present in Advertising Agencies Chambers, Business Associations and Awards Festivals, where we come from the area of corporate affairs. And as Corporate Citizens, we have a bond and responsibility of our actions towards the society.

Therefore, corporate communications go far beyond of media management, this is just the channel, a PR professional has to generate meaningful relationships with audiences.

How did you arrive at your current role?

I originally studied Politics in Venezuela and specialized in CSR and worked for many years as specialist in Sustainability and international cooperation for the Social Development.

Advertising was totally unfamiliar to me. By thinking of migrating due to the problematic situation in my country, I wanted to develop myself in the Corporate Affairs area, understanding that it precisely deals with areas such as Sustainability, Public Relations and Corporate Communications, I decided to take a Master´s degree in Strategic Communication in Chile, getting closer to my aim of reinventing myself.

I arrived at McCann Worldgroup through a job offer in LinkedIn, and a challenging process of recruiting and selection, with a deep faith in me, I didn´t even know about the existence of a Lion, not even an El Ojo or an Effie. The person who hired me, and I will always be grateful, saw the potential in me and gave me the opportunity to reinvent my career, in an industry that personally has allowed me to go on growing as a professional but also it has awakened in me a passion and interest for the creativity and innovation that I didn’t know I had it. I find it, a challenging business but completely addictive and passionate.


What are your main tasks at the agency?

My main task in the agency is to keep the top of mind and the engagement of our internal and external stakeholders and the legacy of McCann Worldgroup in a region that is reinventing itself every day and has social, political and economic challenges.


What key skills are required to thrive in this role?

I believe humility, patience and empathy for others, communications and experiences can´t be built or managed by one single person with a unique vision, it involves joint work by professionals, leaders, people that have a common goal, in the case of McCann Worldgroup, we want “to be meaningful” with our stakeholders and partners. By the own dynamism of the business, one of the own abilities of the area is to be multitasking, with a rapid response and reaction capacity, because non-reaction also says something. And though, in a world where the digital platforms have taken over the communications, it´s very important to ensure and create person to person interaction that enables the building of closer and honest relationships.

It´s difficult to speak just about the most rewarding, certainly to work with people full of skills and potential, that support me every day to build a better workplace, with whom I can sit as a client and a partner, and to start a brainstorming where everybody feels happy and comfortable because we are doing what we like and we are impacting people, we are all together building, meaningful ideas and seeing them come true.

Not staying away from the Social Development and to be able to contribute to popular culture and in diversity and inclusion, is one of the things I enjoy a lot of my job.

A lot of actions can’t be achieved with the motivation and commitment to connect people so that things can happen.


How has PR evolved since you first began working in the field?

Corporate Communication for advertising agencies at least in Latin America, where I can speak from, is an emerging area that has to strengthen further, because it has great responsibilities that are not in the core of the business such as the area of creativity, of strategy, digital or Accounts, but they undoubtedly contribute to build reputation and engagement of stakeholders of the agency.

What advice would you give to a newbie?

To listen and understand the needs of your stakeholders in order to build relationships where the different involved parties can achieve their own goals, agency-collaborators, Agency-companies, agency-same industry, agency-media, agency-society.

Work in communications is not just one´s responsibility. Working in a business where the production capacity consists completely of people and no machines, it´s important that the initiatives of communication will be co-built among the different involved parts to influence meaningfully.