Jimmy Larsson | The Innovator 25 2016
Charting the future of public relations
Jimmy LarssonThe Innovator 25:

Jimmy Larsson

Head of communications


Raoul Wallenberg Academy

Stockholm


"
A big part of my inspiration comes from my political involvement — which forces me to be well-informed and creative constantly"

 

As communications head for the Raoul Wallenberg Academy NGO, Larsson uses digital advocacy to fight racism and build moral courage. It is a role that calls for considerable digital and political acumen, bolstered by Larsson's experience as digital strategies for the Swedish Social Democratic Youth Party, where he developed a highly-successful campaign that convinced secondary-school students not to vote for a policy that would have lowered entry wages for young people.

How do you define innovation?

When we talk about innovation the emphasis is often on technological development. However, it is important that the term also includes social development. If the end goal is to change the behaviour of the costumer, we should start with broadening the meaning of the word.

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

Check-in for refugees. And not to forget Narva's version of Tinder for companies called Grip. Finally making it easier to mingle your way to the right people.

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

Volontaire.

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

In our latest campaign with the Swedish Social Democratic Youth we had to explain to secondary school students why they shouldn't vote for a policy that lowers entry wages for young people. Since most young people haven't earned a first full-time salary yet, we needed to find a language that explained the problem without complicating the rhetoric. In the campaign, we used popular culture references to create both design and copy. Instead of talking directly about politics we talked about the consequences of the policy in a more simplified way.

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

Social media & online marketing

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

About the same as other marketing disciplines.

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

Social media & online marketing.

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

Communications/PR agency

Who is your mentor and why?
David Orlic. Because he has a remarkable ability to know when something is creative and when it is not. After working together during the 2014 election, I have been both inspired and motivated to be more innovative and engaging in everything i do.

How do you find inspiration?

A big part of my inspiration comes from my political involvement - which forces me to be well-informed and creative constantly.

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

Find out what channels your target audience is active in and dare to create campaigns where they are - first. One of the most common reasons that campaigns do not work in social media are that companies wait until someone else succeed before they make their own campaign. It's not always about thinking new, it's more often who adapts to the changing markets first.

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

With the risk of sounding biased, I would say: Stockholm

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Mornings — I start each day with morning exercise to get my head up and running. A great way to find daily focus.