Gerry Hopkinson | The Innovator 25 2016
Charting the future of public relations
Gerry HopkinsonThe Innovator 25:

Gerry Hopkinson

Co-founder

Unity

London


"
Experimenting means embracing failure. Learn from your mistakes, but welcome them"

 

Pound for pound, the most award-winning agency in the world over the past few years, Unity's remarkable creative success owes much to co-founder Hopkinson, the left-brain maverick who has helped to steer some of the UK's best marketing campaigns of recent years. These have included corporate social responsibility initiatives on behalf of flagship client Marks & Spencer (Shwopping, #ShowYourStrap) to its work revitalizing the Butlin’s brand and its “swing the vote” youth campaign for charity vinspired. In particular, Hopkinson's work often reflects Unity's mission to "increase human happiness", often by bridging culture and commerce.

How do you define innovation?

Solving problems others can't by doing things differently

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?

Audi Mission to the Moon.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?

Unity (obvs), Ikea, Directline (client), Audi, Airbnb.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’

Hiring a social psychologist with no experience to set up our planning department (it worked a treat).

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

Content & creative.

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

Lagging other marketing disciplines.

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

Management techniques

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

Who is your mentor and why?
Nik Govier, my business partner because she's fearless, happy, supportive and usually right though I hate to admit it!

How do you find inspiration?

Getting out in the world and exploring, spending time with family and friends and not forgetting to have a laugh.

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

Experimenting means embracing failure. Learn from your mistakes, but welcome them - as Beckett said, "Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

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

London, without a doubt

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Coming home to see Beatrice after a good day's work.