Elodie Monchicourt-Lecuyer | The Innovator 25 2016
Charting the future of public relations
Elodie Monchicourt-LecuyerThe Innovator 25:

Elodie Monchicourt-Lecuyer

President

Matriochka Influences

Paris


"
Innovation only makes sense if it genuinely responds to the expectations of the time"

 

After co-founding Agency Elan, the French firm that has effectively redefined consumer marketing in the country, Monchicourt-Lecuyer opted to start again in 2014, launching Matriochka Influences in a bid to integrate traditional communications with more modern influencer techniques. That has resulted in an approach that counts as relatively disruptive not just in France, but in the broader region too, helping Matriochka Influences win Best New Consultancy of the Year honours, thanks to cutting-edge work for L’Oreal Foundation (notably #ChangeTheNumbers, which helped improve the international visibility of women in science), Coca-Cola, Chanel and Biotherm.

How do you define innovation?

It is the ability to question everything that exists, to break the mental patterns already in place to bring a new and better-adapted answer to existing needs. Innovation only makes sense if it genuinely responds to the expectations of the time: not too early, not too late… the challenge is to accurately “capture” the moment.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
This year a campaign that really stood out to me was the Airbnb campaign that renewed its unusual nights saga last April (#NightAt). It had a twofold objective: to attract curiosity, which is a strong acquisition vehicle for new registered members on the website, and to generate buzz. It was a PR operation that was completely integrated – the strength of the concept generated large press coverage with, in addition, strong international influence.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
I find that fast food brands, and food brands in general, are very talented in this area. Creativity, humor, intelligence, audacity, an integrated management of the contact points with their consumers – no ingredient is missing in their communication recipes. Burger King is a perfect example in terms of social marketing, between buzz and hoax. The brand perfectly takes advantage of its social networks to generate engagement. In addition, it also implements a very unique display strategy for each restaurant opening, that celebrates one of the best tweets it receives: it’s a great way to feed their brand platform while valuing their community.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
The vitaminwater launch campaign in France in 2009 was, for me, completely symbolic of the evolution of PR towards a new, freer and more ambitious expression of the profession: Coca-Cola, who had bought the US brand vitaminwater for a high price to make it truly international, chose a communication strategy based on influence for its launch, which was completely contrary to the classic policy of massive media buy. It was a true turning point in the history of PR for brands and products.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?

Influencer relation.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?

More innovative then other marketing disciplines.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?

Content & creative.

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?
Communications/PR agency

Who is your mentor and why?
Gabrielle Chanel: a true visionary, a woman guided by boldness, creativity, excellence and passion for her work. With elegance.

How do you find inspiration?

Sleeping: ideas come to me naturally when I wake up or in the shower!

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?

Above all else, don’t fall into the trap of believing that your organization is the center of the world! You have to be curious, continue looking at what is happening beyond your industry, your borders, you have to continue educating yourself, soaking up what’s happening on the street… because, all the answers are already out there.

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?

I’m blown away by the South Korea’s potential, particularly when it comes to creativity and innovation. The culture of innovation is present in all of its forms: from high-tech to fashion.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
When I go to sleep… because I’m often exhausted from my work day and I know that when I wake up, I’ll have found all of the answers to my questions!