Torod Neptune | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations
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Torod Neptune

Worldwide Group VP & Chief Communications Officer
Lenovo
US

@torodneptune

 

Torod Neptune has been one of the industry’s most effective change agents, from championing the business impact of communications to restructuring for the modern era of communications to calling on agencies to increase diversity in order to secure Lenovo’s business.

The latter came as part of an agency review Neptune initiated shortly after joining the technology company in March of last year. He joined Lenovo after spending almost seven years with Verizon, where he oversaw communications for each of the company’s major business units, rising to the role of corporate VP of corporate communications.

His priority as a CCO, he says, is handling “the daily challenge of aligning an organization and its people around a critically important set of new integrated marketing and communications skills, while staying laser focused on driving quantifiable business outcomes over activity.”

Neptune began his career as a reporter with The State, and prior to Verizon was senior vice president and global public affairs practice leader for WE Communications and chief communications strategist for the U.S. Congress, responsible for establishing the first post-Sept. 11 and anthrax crisis communications function for the U.S. House of Representatives. Before Capitol Hill, Neptune was senior vice president, Corporate Marketing and Communications with Bank of America Corp.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
The chance to help a major global consumer brand recover from a reputation-damaging crisis that was wrecking its stock and destroying stakeholder trust was a validation of the value of solid, strategic comms/PR and of my career choice.

What do you love about this industry?
The unbelievable challenge (and responsibility) we have for creating stakeholder relevancy for our businesses on a global and local level is remarkable and daunting at the same time.

What most frustrates you about this industry?
The speed at which we are embracing data and analytics to reinvent our discipline and overall approach to our craft has to increase tenfold, and we need our marketing services partners to join us in this reinvention with the same sense of urgency.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities?
There is still a lack of creativity in our work that inhibits us from finding the big ideas with the potential to really break through the marketing clutter.

How do you relax or change pace when you're not at work?
One of the benefits of global travel is the ability to unplug and recharge in some of the most beautiful places in the world, plus spending time with family and friends, and the dog.

Can you share a book/movie/TV show/podcast that teaches a valuable lesson about PR?
Simon Sinek's “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
A college soccer scout.