Jennifer Kuperman | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations
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Jennifer Kuperman

Head of International Corporate Affairs
Alibaba Group
US

@jennikuperman

 

Since taking on Alibaba’s top international communications role in 2017, Jennifer Kuperman has overseen a visible shift in the Chinese e-commerce giant’s global reputation, thanks to a concerted effort to ensure foreign countries better understand the company’s remarkable offering and growth story. Kuperman has worked tirelessly to build a corporate affairs team that befits Alibaba’s rise into one of the world’s biggest brands, amid a challenging media environment that sometimes appears hostile, and a leadership succession of iconic founder Jack Ma.

Those efforts are highlighted by last year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Alibaba’s first effort to bring its considerable e-commerce and cloud expertise to bear on the future of the Olympic movement. The event also saw Alibaba’s first global advertising campaign, focused squarely on helping small businesses grow, in line with its broader reputation objectives for the Western World.

Kuperman was previously SVP and head of corporate marketing and reputation at Visa, and also served as the chief of staff to Visa’s CEO. She began her career as a management consultant with Accenture.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
Our work cultivating influencers in e-commerce, China, technology etc has hugely impacted the understanding of Alibaba outside of China. This directly impacts our business success.

What do you love about this industry?
Ever-changing!

What most frustrates you about this industry?
Very hard to measure success.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities?
Our opportunity and our challenge is to figure out how to best harness technology and social media to best do our work.

How do you relax or change pace when you're not at work?
Hang out with my two daughters, Grace (8) and Lucy (5).

Can you share a book/movie/TV show/podcast that teaches a valuable lesson about PR?
I just listened to The Dropout – a six-part series about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. It is an amazing story and lesson in marketing versus truth and how to create a narrative.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
An entrepreneur.