Jess Clifton | The Innovator 25 2016
Charting the future of public relations
Jess Clifton The Innovator 25:

Jess Clifton    

US managing director, strategic growth/developments 

Edelman  

 

"Consumers are getting used to and adopting innovation - now we really need to be talking about disruption."

 

At Edelman, Clifton has contributed more than $20m in new revenue by creating new revenue streams around a truly integrated service offering. Her forward-thinking has led to double-digit growth for the Adobe digital business and she's doubled revenue and business as a digital leader in the Los Angeles office, securing wins with clients like Disney, Barbie, Petco, Activision and Facebook. She launched Edelman’s first Video Influencer center of excellence, creating a new revenue stream of nearly $3m.
Describe what you do.
I look around corners to anticipate my clients' problems before they know they exist.

Hometown
Conifer, CO

Where are you based now?
Los Angeles, CA

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Social Media & Community Management. Social media has the power to unlock meaningful relationships between brands and their consumers.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry's level of innovation?
More innovative then other marketing disciplines. Communications marketing is not confined to a traditional approach to storytelling. We can therefore create deep, meaningful experiences that transcend across paid, earned and owned. Through this strategic approach, we help our clients create stronger loyalty and interest for their brand.

What does the industry need to do to foster innovation?
Disrupt the agency business model

How do you define innovation?
Innovation is anything that defies a "traditional" approach. It can be as simple of moving TV ad dollars to digital, or it can be as disruptive as using Snapchat to launch a new product. Innovation can be as simple as a new approach to connecting with consumers in a meaningful way. Consumers are getting used to and adopting innovation - now we really need to be talking about disruption.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you've seen in the last 12 months?
REI "Opt Outside"; Contour Strollers: "The Baby Test Drive"; Activision: "Hack in Black"; Ad Counsel: "I am a witness"

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Largely the disruptors like the tech platforms themselves, as well as category disruptors like AirBNB and Uber

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
I worked with a small team to pioneer the first commercial use of augmented reality for General Electric and bring it to life to promote their new smart grid technology. Everyone is talking about VR and AR in 2016. But this work was in 2009.

Something — not PR/marketing related — that is innovative.
technology innovation - from changing the way people travel to the way they order materials. Technology is powering a new economy entirely.
Please give our readers an idea of something that can inspire innovation — this can be a book/movie/podcast/activity/article.
Immerse yourself in Silicon Valley & Silicon Beach. Read about it. Attend meet-ups. Talk to friends who are a part of it.

Least favorite time of day?
5pm

Most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
I really think Los Angeles is driving significant innovation and creativity right now.

#FirstSevenJobs
- Babysitter - Lemonaide Stand Proprietor - Golf ball collector and reseller - Pro Shop Staffer - Beer Cart Driver - Restaurant Server - Bartender