Jaclyn Ruelle | The Innovator 25
Charting the future of public relations
JaclynRuellaThe Innovator 25:

Jaclyn Ruelle

VP, Account Director, Mullen Lowe U.S.
Boston, MA

Influence/Public Relations/Communications
For taking a 'hyperbundled' approach that has yielded stellar work, including American Greeting's famed "World's Toughest Job" stunt that was originally briefed as a small budget project. 

Where does the PR industry need to innovate the most?
Creative storytelling & Content creation. With today's storytellers becoming anyone with a mobile device, it's important for PR professionals to continue to innovate the way in which we create compelling storylines to cut through the clutter of the news cycles. We have to become smarter content creators that can deliver unique opportunities for journalists to tell their stories in a different way.

How innovative do you think the PR industry currently is?
I believe the PR agency is evolving and learning alongside most other marketing disciplines as all of our areas of practice are continuing to be reshaped by the evolution of the digital age. The agencies that are succeeding more quickly and moving ahead are those that are leveraging the power of world class creative talent to help develop campaigns, content and assets to help tell their stories. 

What is most important for the PR industry to do to foster more innovation? 
New service offerings. I believe agencies that are best embracing a multi-faceted marketing mix are going to deliver the most compelling campaigns. From creative talent, to content creators, influencer relations gurus and social platform experts, the ecosystem of players working together are resulting in the most innovative, breakthrough work.

The most innovative PR/communications campaign in the last 12 months
I was fortunate to have attended the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival this year and was blown away by the PR campaigns from around the World. One that really stuck with me is the Lucky Iron Fish from Cambodia. It's a true testament to when smart meets simple. The cultural insight they are pushing off of is clearly defined and hugely impactful. They leaned into a cultural tension where iron deficiency affects nearly 3.5 people worldwide. Their simple development of an iron fish and a robust grassroots campaign to deliver Cambodians the fish to use in their cooking has helped to decrease 50% incidence in clinical iron deficiency anemia. 

Brands or agency with the most innovative approach to communications
I am a big fan of the work currently being done by Dove, Chipotle, Warby Parker, Under Armour, Taco Bell and Heineken.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider to be 'innovative.'
In 2014, we were tasked to come up with a campaign for American Greetings for Mother's Day. As a holiday riddled with endless stereotypes and one that is saturated with brands trying to breakthrough, we came up with an innovative metaphor for mom by embodying all that she does within the confines of a job description -- otherwise known as the World's Toughest Job. I led the campaign with an earned PR approach that started four weeks prior to the holiday in order to establish an early stance in the conversation about mom. The campaign was one of the most viral campaigns of 2014 and has been recognized across the industry.

How do you inspire innovation within yourself or to your team? 
Innovation is an everyday commitment. I am a voracious reader. I study what other brands are doing and watch how they are succeeding or try to learn from where they fell short. I help to inspire my teams by encouraging them to step outside of their comfort zones and think big. At Mullen Lowe we foster innovation with a floor plan that smashes up disciplines against one another to drive the best thinking. We embrace a hyperbundled philosophy that commands the need to embrace other marketing disciplines in order to deliver the most innovative thinking possible.

In your opinion, what's the most innovative place in the world?
Amsterdam tops my list for their insanely overlapping transportation system. The ability to have trains, cars, bikes and pedestrians effectively sharing the roads any given minute of the day and for the most part, safely, is an achievement to note! 

What's your favorite time of day and why?
I love the mornings, especially with a great sunrise and a full cup of coffee.