Up and Running and Giving Back


Morpheus Media, the digital media agency, is a monthly contributor to The Makegood. This column was composed by Shenan Reed, Chief Media Officer.

It was the day after Hurricane Sandy and we all scrambled to our computers to count noses, check on our own and get back to making certain the storm didn’t delay our client projects.  It was early and we still didn’t really have an understanding of the havoc that had just been wreaked on our beloved city.

We are one company, but with 3 office locations in New York City – all of them below 34th Street and each providing different services to our clients with their own separate infrastructures.  Little did we know this would turn out to be our biggest advantage.

We jumped on an agency wide call around noon to get a pulse only to learn that our web dev and creative offices on West Houston Street were without power and would be dark for quite a while.  We also learned that our photography studio (West 26th and 11th Avenue) was in a building that not only didn’t have power, but was also pumping water from the basement, with no chance of getting back up and running anytime soon.  However, good news, our digital marketing and strategy offices nearby in Chelsea were fully operational.

Then we did what any bootstrap startup grown into a big company would do – we jumped in our cars, drove into Manhattan, loaded servers and computers from the two non functional offices into the cars and deployed them at the functional office to restore full operations in less than 24 hours.  Okay, maybe not something most companies do, but we are passionate about our work, our clients and our people and to be honest it was kind of a rush to see what we could accomplish under pressure.

In less than one week’s time, power and internet were fully restored to our other offices and we moved everything back.  For most of us (other than those who commuted on the PATH train) life pretty much went back to normal.

We then realized that we were the lucky ones.  So many of our fellow New Yorkers spent weeks without power, water, heat, or access to transportation and suffered long delays in recovery efforts and numerous other challenges.  We asked ourselves, what could we do to help?

Many of us volunteered at shelters handing out food and relief supplies or helped with the cleanup efforts.  But as a combined force we knew we could do more.  We decided to tap into our talents and our friends to try to raise additional money to support the continued recovery efforts of New York Cares for Hurricane Sandy.

RE/CREATE New York is a platform for creators to give back.  We reached out to friends and clients and asked them if they would like to help us do something really cool.  We asked them to donate personal items for a charity auction with 100% of the proceeds going to New York Cares for Sandy relief.  The response was both heartwarming and humbling.

We ended up with over 50 one-of-a-kind items donated by members of our creative community including, Kanye West, Kate Moss, Anne Hathaway, Marc Jacobs, Chloe Sevigny, Alexander Wang, Julianne Moore, Nicola Formichetti, Tilda Swinton and Arrianna Huffington, among many others.

Our vendor and media partners also blew us away with their eagerness to participate.  eBay ran the auction engine, Spotify helped us manage and promote celebrity donor playlists, Rackspace gave us the most amazing cloud based hosting solution, Pointroll built creative ad units, and media partners like New York Magazine, City Search, Glam, Google, Rocketfuel, Lucid Media, Salon, Snooth and Time among others are donating upwards of 20 million media impressions to help us spread the word.  Our creative team built the site, our photography studio shot all the images and our platform CTS ( powered the site.

Nothing excites me more about living in New York then our ability to come together as a community to help those in need.  It is also one of the things that excites me about working in the field of Digital Marketing. It’s a small industry and sometimes we really are all in it together and here to help each other.  Check it out and let me know what you think.