Why Nothing Matters More in PR than Creativity


Originally posted on D&AD.

Following the introduction of the new D&AD Professional Awards category for PR, Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR, offers some award-winning creative PR examples and tips. She explains why, in the ever-changing landscape of creative communications, PR matters. Continue Reading →

Why Awards Matter to PR


Originally posted on PRWeek.com.

The ever-shifting landscape has brought seismic changes to PR, and now creativity matters more than ever.

Continue Reading →

Corporate Branding Digest, October 12, 2015

Ethical Mantra ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Becomes ‘Do the Right Thing’ for New Google Parent
(Marketing Land, 05.10.15)

The Wall Street Journal points out that Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet, has a new code of conduct and a new ethical slogan: “Do the right thing.” The code states in its preface, “Employees of Alphabet and its subsidiaries and controlled affiliates (‘Alphabet’) should do the right thing—follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.”

Airbnb Targets ‘Super Brand’ Status as It Outlines Community-Led Marketing Strategy
(Marketing Week, 05.10.15)

With Airbnb now appearing on the high street thanks to a new partnership with STA Travel, James McClure, its general manager for the UK and Ireland, has told Marketing Week that the disruptive travel startup is committed to developing into an “iconic super brand.”

How to Develop a Stellar Employer Brand
(Entrepreneur, 28.01.15)

When it comes to attracting talent, a strong employer brand can positively influence the recruiting process. Consider companies such as Google and Amazon. Candidates might not flock to these employers merely for a job but rather to also be part of a creative and exciting workplace.

Why Transparency Is Essential to Building Corporate Branding
(Business2Community, 16.01.15)

The growing demand for greater corporate transparency, especially among Millennials, should not be news to anyone. Trust in business has reached new lows, as reported by the latest 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer (e.g. only 50% of Americans trust financial service companies), and insufficient transparency has been one of the key reasons.

“Presentation skills are key. People who work for you represent your brand. You want them to present themselves—and represent you—in a certain way.” —Marc Benioff

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, May 21, 2015

How One of Healthcare’s Hottest Startups Avoided Being a Middling Wellness Company
(MedCity News, 20.05.15)

More healthcare startups need to talk about their pivots: the moments when the idea they first started with crumbles and—through sheer force of the marketplace—is changed to what business should have been all along.

7 Companies with Amazingly Unique Corporate Wellness Programs
(Mashable, 15.05.15)

Corporate wellness doesn’t have to solely consist of health scans, gym memberships and reimbursements. There are more creative ways of cultivating a healthy office environment.

Patients and Physicians on Using Technology and Sharing Information
(MediaPost, 27.03.15)

Technology is advancing how medicine is practiced, giving patients the chance to participate more fully in their healthcare. These new developments have the potential to elevate the provider-patient relationship, and are being welcomed, for the most part, by both groups.

Viewpoint: Putting Analytics into Commercial Strategy
(Medical Marketing & Media, 27.02.15)

Data. The life sciences industry has a lot of it. The widespread adoption of cloud computing has led to exponential growth in data mining, yet for the most part life sciences lags behind other industries in putting this data to good use in its commercialization strategies.

“The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation.” —Bob Iger

Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 26, 2015

7 Essentials for Smart Social PR Strategy
(Ragan, 18.02.15)

Practitioners face many obstacles to building and engaging online communities for their clients and brands. These guidelines can help.

Pop Stars and Craft Beer: Lessons in Branding and Trademarking
(Inc., 02.02.15)

Using trademarks to build and protect a brand is a great strategy for small businesses, but without the proper considerations, it can ultimately cause more harm than good.

The Smell of Creativity
(CMO.com, 27.01.15)

For me, it often takes just 10 minutes to understand whether an organisation is open to new creative ideas. I can smell it in the air. And I think that most of us have this skill, the ability to understand the unwritten rules of company culture.

A Bit of Empathy Might Be the Best Marketing Strategy
(Entrepreneur, 14.01.15)

It was a cold morning, which is not uncommon in St. Louis, even in the summer. Maybe it was due to the rain, but that cleared away soon, so I don’t know. I was wearing what she would have wanted to me wear. It was a Friday and it was my grandmother’s wake.

“When the reward is the activity itself—deepening learning, delighting customers, doing one’s best—there are no shortcuts.” —Daniel Pink

Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 24, 2015

What Brand Storytellers Can Learn from the Oscars
(PRWeek, 24.02.15)

Global brands and their creative agencies often cite films and the storytellers behind them as inspiration. But they need to sit up and take note of how the great auteurs of the film industry are creatively reimagining storytelling for a new audience that has a growing appetite for honest, powerful tales. An appetite demonstrated in this year’s nominations for the Oscars’ Best Picture, a list that values true stories alongside pseudo dramas and confected creativity.

The Pink Elephant in the Room
(The Wall, 12.02.15)

Branding and political parties are much more closely aligned than people think. Both are based on delivering clever dressings of selective truths designed to build a perception, drive a desire or solve a problem. What they truly represent however, is not based on what marketing agencies, clever creative or politicians tell people they represent.

7 Navy SEAL Sayings That Will Keep Your Team Motivated
(Forbes, 20.01.15)

Whether you are an entrepreneur, working in corporate America or building a startup, it is imperative to continually seek new ways to stay inspired and driven. Being a self-starter is a fantastic quality, but we are all human and get distracted by the minutiae of our day-to-day responsibilities.

Ask Yourself: Who’s Protecting Your Company’s Brand? (Video)
(Entrepreneur, 05.11.14)

To protect a brand, everyone in your company must understand what your brand represents, what it doesn’t and the experience it’s delivering. In this Google Hangout, branding expert Karen Leland and customer service expert Brad Smith explain how staff education can lead to positive brand experiences for customers.

“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” —Daniel Pink

Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 11, 2015

5 Ways Brand Managers Can Avoid a Social Media Crisis
(Ragan, 03.02.15)

Though online fires are common, PR and marketing pros can quell the flames with the following tips.

Business Lessons from Nikola Tesla’s Brilliant (If Spotty) Career
(Inc., 30.01.15)

The original mad scientist would serve as inspiration for everyone from Elon Musk to Jack White. And though he was an awful businessperson, you can learn as much from his failures as you can his victories.

Thinking Outside the Box, Within Reason
(Forbes, 20.01.15)

Businesses yearn for innovation, yet seem to get stuck on how to harness creativity within their organizations. Instead they often seek assistance from outside agencies to do the ideation for them. As a result, we’ve seen some unbelievable yet underutilized talent and are often stumped as to why they have their blinders on. Below you will find some of our secrets to climb outside of the box, while still grounding those ideas in reality.

Why Your Brand Is More Important than Your Product (Video)
(Entrepreneur, 19.11.14)

Push aside your business plan and stop obsessing over your product dimensions. First, you need to think about your brand.

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” —Confucious

Corporate Branding Digest, Jan. 22, 2015

6 Ways to Finding Your Brand’s Next Strengths
(Branding Strategy Insider, 19.01.15)

How do brands keep improving? If you’re already a market leader, where should you expend your energies to future-proof your business? A lot of the advice we read in the business press focuses on weaknesses and vulnerabilities and what needs to be fixed and updated. But if highlighting what isn’t working doesn’t work for your brand culture, maybe take your cues from the strengths movement and focus on further improving where you already shine.

Why Customer Engagement Is the Future of Ecommerce
(Entrepreneur, 01.13.15)

The rush of shopping that typically begins just after everyone has had his or her fill of turkey and cranberry sauce has dramatically changed. Both online shopping and mobile devices are having an effect on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to eMarketer, 41 percent of online retail traffic on Cyber Monday was attributed to tablets and smartphones. That represents nearly a 10 percent increase from the previous year. Now that consumers are able to purchase practically anything they desire on whatever device they wish and wherever they happen to be, the ecommerce experience has changed dramatically. As a result, businesses need to ensure they are ready for those changes and are prepared to focus on customer engagement to drive long-term success.

Biggest Marketing Fails of 2014: Apple, Coors and More
(CBC News, 29.12.14)

Bad luck, bad judgment and horrendous timing turned some creative marketing campaigns into PR disasters this year. Here’s a roundup of some of the more remarkable ones.

Why Bad People Make the Best Leaders
(Forbes, 14.11.14)

Most of the modern leadership development industry is based on a myth. It’s a feel-good myth, spread by consultants and academics and “gurus,” about how the best leaders are collaborative, compassionate, empathetic and free of most defects of character.

“Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” —Steve Jobs

Corporate Branding Digest, Dec. 22, 2014

Make a New Year’s Resolution to Humanize Your Marketing for 2015
(Entrepreneur, 15.12.14)

People do business with people they like. That adage rings will ring as true as ever in 2015. To improve your ROI on marketing, you will need to humanize your communications.

The Inescapable Paradox of Managing Creativity
(Harvard Business Review, 12.12.14)

When facing the challenge of unleashing organizational innovation, many leaders fail. Some attempt to help their teams flourish by granting almost unlimited freedoms, only to discover that they have created chaos, not high performance. Others try to force their employees’ creativity through prescribed programs and activities, which usually yields humdrum results at best.

How to Create Exciting Content for a Boring Industry
(Hubspot, 05.12.14)

As I interview new candidates for content marketing positions on my team, there is one question I feel necessary to ask: “How will you handle writing for B2B accounts?” What I am really asking is, “Are you OK writing for what may be considered boring topics, and how will you make each piece interesting?”

The Perfect Case Against Microsoft CEO’s Remark that Women Shouldn’t Ask for Raises
(Fast Company, 14.10.14)

The Microsoft board member who publicly called out the CEO’s disastrous remarks last week shares the opportunity in the blunder.

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” —Steve Jobs

Corporate Branding Digest, Dec. 15, 2014

Top Women CEOs on How Bold Innovation Drives Business
(Forbes, 17.11.14)

Today 26 Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs. Personally, after interviewing more than 400 CEOs, I recognize patterns and believe that women are generally far better at seeing synergies between businesses. So I want to go on the record and say, if America has one strategy to advance our economy it should be to have at least 50 women CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies.

Half of Employees Don’t Feel Respected by Their Bosses
(Harvard Business Review, 09.11.14)

When it comes to garnering commitment and engagement from employees, there is one thing that leaders need to demonstrate: Respect. That’s what we saw in a study of nearly 20,000 employees around the world (conducted with HBR and Tony Schwartz).

Uncommon Sense: The Problem with Your Brand Value and What You Should Do About It
(Nielsen, 30.10.14)

The problem with brand value is really simple: no one agrees on it.

To Be a Brilliant Leader, Mindset Is Everything (Infographic)
(Entrepreneur, 22.10.14)

When it comes to brilliant leadership, there’s no cookie-cutter mold for success. Vastly divergent styles can work equally well, which explains why many of our most respected leaders in business and tech often fall on opposite sides of a large number of spectrums.

“You can’t suppress creativity; you can’t suppress innovation.” —James Daly

Corporate Branding Digest, Dec. 10, 2014

Dan Formosa on 9 Things to Stop Doing in Innovation
(Forbes, 10.11.14)

“Everybody wants to innovate, nobody wants to change,” said Dan Formosa, a New York-based design research consultant during his recent talk at Oslo Innovation Week. That phrase also relates to the central idea to the Berlin School of Creative Leadership and its mission to train creatives in leadership and to help corporate leaders in developing creativity. Part of defining buzzwords such as “innovation” and “creativity” is defining what they are not.

Why Your Company Needs to Offer a Unified Brand Experience
(Marketing Profs, 03.11.14)

Even more important than a logo and tagline is the way your brand manifests itself to consumers across all touchpoints. Every encounter—viewing a commercial, visiting a website, chatting with a customer service rep, reading a confirmation email, and receiving a product in the mail—is an opportunity for your brand to deliver on its promise and convey its purpose. Those encounters can strengthen the overall brand experience.

Lessons on Life and Harmony from Bruce Springsteen
(Fast Company, 15.10.14)

The performing artist proves that success can come as a consequence of, and not at a cost to, family, community, and your private self.

Motivating the Negative Nancy on Your Team
(Entrepreneur, 02.09.14)

A “Negative Nancy” is someone who overgeneralizes in labeling situations and people, focuses on the bad in each situation, jumps to conclusions and constantly redirects the blame. In a business setting, these behaviors can result in harmful effects, such as reduced productivity, decreased group morale, increased stress, wasted time, hindered creativity and innovation, and higher employee turnover.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” —Steve Jobs

Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 21, 2014

To Encourage Innovation, Make It a Competition
(Harvard Business Review, 19.11.14)

The competition format has fueled major successes in business. Fortune 500 companies like AT&T and American Express often sponsor online creativity contests to inspire innovation among their customers, while Kickstarter and other crowdfund platforms have ideas compete to win funding. And organizations can also use competitions to drive innovation within their own workforces.

How to Make Transparency Part of Organizational Culture
(Forbes, 13.11.14)

Organizational culture can make or break business success. A viable product is only as good as the people who possess the aspiration and drive to make it better—for the company and for the customers. Without a workforce giving it their all, organizational culture can quickly morph into more of a social toxin than a social treasure.

The Anatomy of a Corporate Content Team: 5 Models Your Brand Can Follow
(HubSpot, 29.10.14)

Every organization is in the media business now, which means there’s a growing number of corporations that are building out full-blown newsrooms. By producing original journalism, these organizations establish themselves as industry thought leaders, supplement income with an advertising revenue stream, and get discovered by the people who will eventually become customers.

Why You Should Hire People Toughened by Failure, Not Those Coddled by Success
(Entrepreneur, 07.08.14)

When Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, launched its grocery delivery service AmazonFresh, he chose a surprising team to lead it. He didn’t choose successful supermarket or delivery executives. He chose the people who had failed at the very business he was launching.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” —Norman Vincent Peale

Corporate Branding Digest, Oct. 21, 2014

‘Inspiration Is the Common Thing’: Robert Wong
(Fast Company, 14.10.14)

“In high school, every year they gave us a test that was supposed to give guidance about what we should do when we grow up,” Wong tells me. “And every year, the results would come back for me and ‘preacher’ would be in the top three. I’m not religious, and I always discounted it. But when I look at what I do now, it makes sense,” he says. “How I work with my team and with others, in some ways it’s all preaching. Inspiration is the common thing. It was always there, and you discover it.”

What Apple’s Steve Jobs Could Teach Aristotle
(Forbes, 29.09.14)

When it comes to business guru status, the late Steve Jobs arguably stands head and shoulders above other contenders of his generation.

Get Creative to Keep Your Top Employees
(The Globe and Mail, 28.09.14)

One of the key differentiators of a successful company is its ability to attract and retain high performance employees.

7 Reasons ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ Lives on 25 Years Later
(Entrepreneur, 15.08.14)

While thousands of leadership books are published each year, only a few might get some short-term success while the vast majority are quickly forgotten. So how has the bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People maintained its enviable shelf life for 25 years while so many other business and leadership books fade away fast?

“The difference between people who believe they have books inside of them and those who actually write books is sheer cussed persistence—the ability to make yourself work at your craft, every day—the belief, even in the face of obstacles, that you’ve got something worth saying.” —Jennifer Weiner

Corporate Branding Digest, Sept. 16, 2014

Create the Best Environment for Creative Employees with These 6 Principles
(Entrepreneur, 09.09.14)

Business owners too commonly regard creative employees as a burden on the company’s financial performance. This focus overlooks the connection between properly managed creativity and the product inventions and innovations that drive sales and ultimately business success.

Would Steve Jobs or Ted Turner Succeed in These Big Data Obsessed Times?
(Forbes, 19.08.14)

Spurred by the data analytics revolution, corporations aim to collect and analyze reams of data. This data becomes the basis for modeling the future, which in turn can define growth strategies. This is what is meant by predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The Best Leaders ‘Talk the Walk’
(Harvard Business Review, 07.08.14)

One of the most ubiquitous aphorisms in business is that the best leaders understand the need to “walk the talk”—that is, their behavior and day-to-day actions have to match the aspirations they have for their colleagues and organization. But the more time I spend with game-changing innovators and high-performing companies, the more I appreciate the need for leaders to “talk the walk”—that is, to be able to explain, in language that is unique to their field and compelling to their colleagues and customers, why what they do matters and how they expect to win. The only sustainable form of business leadership is thought leadership. And leaders that think differently about their business invariably talk about it differently as well.

7 Traits Every Great Leader Has (But Doesn’t Talk About)
(The Muse, 07.07.14)

What does it take to be a great leader? Once upon a time, birth order and socioeconomic status were considered powerful determinants in who would successfully climb the ladder. Lately, though, the focus has shifted to personal qualities.

“I believe in innovation and that the way you get innovation is you fund research and you learn the facts.” —Bill Gates