Robert Dowling | The Innovator 25 2016
Charting the future of public relations
Robert DowlingThe Innovator 25:

Robert Dowling   

Founder/CEO

Hudson Cutler & Co  

 
"Technology is increasingly finding its way into the center of marketing campaigns because that's how people live today."

 

Much of the work that Hudson Cutler is doing for clients like Visa, BMW and AMC is still in stealth mode — but the concepts have leaked throughout the industry and people are talking. The work goes far beyond simply coming up with a strategy for X and instead develops new ways for people to work brands into their daily lives using GIFs, mobile commerce and even happy hours with innovations that would redefine the scope of our industry. 

Describe what you do.
I work with clients to develop technology-driven communications programs that solve business problems.

Where are you from/hometown?
Providence

Where are you based now?
New York

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Technology is increasingly finding its way into the center of marketing campaigns because that's how people live today (through technology). Technology also amplifies programs, makes them more efficient, and provides better measurability.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry's level of innovation?
In some places high, in others...There is so much smart, creative work happening in the PR industry right now that it's a surprise to see many still doing it the old fashioned way.

What is most important for the PR industry to do to foster more innovation?
Disrupt the agency business model

How do you define innovation?
An evolution toward greater relevance, efficiency, amplification and measurability.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you've seen in the last 12 months?
I love The Swedish Number. Smart. Also Because-Recollection. Beautiful.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Samsung markets like they develop products: iteratively. They try a lot, take risks, push the boundaries. So when they fail, they fail epically. But when they succeed, they crush it. That’s innovation.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
The work HC is doing now is, as the cool kids say, snatched. I've been at it for a long time. More than 15 years ago I created the world's first beamable press kit (on Palm Pilot!) for a client campaign. That one won some awards for innovation of the year.

Something — not PR/marketing related — that is innovative.
LifeStraw

Please giveour readers an idea of something that can inspire innovation — this can be a book/movie/podcast/activity/article.
Dear Theo, by Vincent Van Gogh

Least favorite time of day?
Bed time

Most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
Downtown

#FirstSevenJobs
Birthday clown (at large)
Usher at Pier Cinema
Line cook at Durphy's Inn
Publicist at Doubleday
Stock guy at Shakespeare & Co.
Salesman at Barney's New York
Ghost writer