Lydia Lee | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2017
Charting the future of public relations

2017 Innovator 25 AP - Lydia LeeThe Innovator 25:

Lydia Lee

Chief Strategist, China

Weber Shandwick 
Shanghai

“Keep it simple and relevant. Don't be innovative for innovation’s sake.”

As the leader of Weber Shandwick’s Asia Pacific Technology and chair of Emergent China practice, Lydia Lee plays a pivotal role in terms of helping Chinese brands go global and has also overseen the agency’s development of analytics and research offerings that are increasingly deployed around the world. But her depth of knowledge marks her out as a different beast to the typical PR agency executive. By age 18 she had mastered four languages, and has since gone on to become an amateur astronomer, a computer scientist, a licensed film producer. Having been one of the only APAC executives of Asian origin named to Hot Topics’ PR100 2015, which ranks the 100 most influential tech agency PR professionals in the world, Lee is often described as “unstoppable force of nature” and is living proof that curiosity is a potent fuel for innovation.

How do you define innovation?
Creativity + implementation + courage + good faith + simplicity = positive impact

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

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
No one agency really stands out.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
When I created the "ABC methodology" for Chinese brands going global.  Easy to understand/remember strategy that resonated with lots of Chinese brand managers.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Digital & ecommerce platforms

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?
CEO

How do you find inspiration?
Travel, art exhibits, mixing different disciplines and cultures and find commonality or singularities.

What is your advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Keep it simple and relevant. Don't be innovative for innovation’s sake.

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?
London — where old meets new, East meets West, nobility meets common man.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Early morning when city is not yet awake and you can hear yourself thinking.