Charting the future of public relations

Innovator 25 EMEA 2015

Our first Innovator 25 class in EMEA takes a glimpse at our industry’s future, shining the light on those individuals who are shaping what influence and engagement will look like tomorrow. The people recognised here come from various corners of the industry — creative strategy, digital execution, influencer mapping, storytelling — but together they represent a compelling picture of what marketing and communications represents in the modern era.

Unlike our US Innovator 25, of course, this particular list covers EMEA. Over half of the inital class are based in the UK, with multiple nominees also coming from France, Sweden and Norway.

The innovators on this list largely (59%) identify as working in the field of influence and engagement. 65% believe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation is lagging behind other marketing disciplines, and just 12% say comms/PR is more innovative than other sectors.

When it comes to innovation, marketing and PR have the greatest opportunity to make an impact around planning and analytics, say 35% of our innovators. Around a quarter each point to either creativity and content, or social media and online marketing.

As in the US, the CMO comes out on top (41%) as the person who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is, with 12% choosing either the CEO or CCO. When it comes to choosing innovative brands, our group picks the likes of Apple, Nike, Red Bull and Virgin. As for innovative agencies, meanwhile, R/GA, Weber Shandwick, Forsman&Bodenfors, AKQA, TBWA and Jericho Chambers are some of the selections.

Many of our innovators, furthermore, are early birds when it comes to looking for inspiration. The majority picked the early morning (often 6am) as their favourite time of the day, although Edelman global creative chair Jackie Cooper  opted for "late at night — I can get the space to properly think and do."

As for places, many picked London as the most innovative city in the world, along with New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo. Trigger MD Preben Carlsen and Nissan's David Parkinson, however, each chose the shower — "for some reason my best ideas come from there."

To read all of the Innovator 25 EMEA Profiles, and explore their inspiration, advice and career learnings, use the navigation menu on this page.

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Methodology

The 25 innovators profiled in this list have evolved the practice, and appreciation, of influence and engagement. In compiling this list, the Holmes Report relied on external nominations and industry input, along with its own editorial research. Accordingly, the innovators were selected based on their:

  • Challenging the industry’s boundaries and definitions of influence and engagement;
  • Wittingly or otherwise elevating the role of communications within their organizations or the industry at large;
  • Pushing communications into broader realms beyond media relations;
  • Only one person could be selected from a particular company or agency.