Nancy Liu | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2017
Charting the future of public relations

2017 Innovator 25 AP - Nancy LiuThe Innovator 25:

Nancy Liu

Communications General Manager

Procter & Gamble 
Guangzhou

“If you clearly define the core value of why we should do it differently, there is always a chance”

A P&G veteran who has worked on almost all of the new brands that the FMCG giant has launched during the past decade, Nancy Liu’s inclusion on this list is not just down to her consumer marketing expertise, impressive though that is. In particular, Liu has been a tireless champion for connecting earned media efforts to commercial results, deploying a pioneering content-to-commerce model for Oral Care, the P&G brand that she now oversees brand PR for. That work helped to establish the effectiveness of public relations in a manner that few other companies have been able to prove, representing a significant leap forward for the industry. Liu also worked on the P&G Olympics program and helped develop the P&G Living Artist WeChat platform which is now the industry’s most popular WeChat account.

How do you define innovation?
Innovation is a verb. It is the action we drive, the resources we bring in, the thinking we get inspired by that lead us to the innovative ideas and actions to grow. 'Innovate for growth' is the thinking in terms of how we as P&Gers look at it. 

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
Frankly speaking, I've seen many reapplication from the previous success cases. But don't see too much truly new news in the past 12 months. 

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Coca-Cola is still the one. 

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
Back in 2010 when we were doing the first P&G 'Thank You Mom' Olympics campaign, there was no WeChat yet while Weibo was the main social media platform. We developed a new Weibo tool that may identify Weibo fans who are moms or who are posting topics about moms. We then leveraged this targeting engagement capability to engage with those Weibo fans and invited them to join the 'Thank You Mom' campaign. Our content stayed the same, but with this new way of approaching the right people at the right moment, our Olympics campaign got number one word-of-mouth across all brands during the London Olympics period. As a new player with less natural linkage to sports, this helped our brands to better attract traffic to stores which helped the business. 

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?
Lagging other marketing disciplines.

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

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

Who is your mentor and why?
My mentor is my mom. She is close to 70 years old now. But she stays very in touch with new things. She learnt Photoshop, video editing, digital photo albums etc, all by herself. I have no reason why i should stop learning and experiencing as my mom does.

How do you find inspiration?
I like to talk with people from different backgrounds. That always gives me sparky ideas.

What is your advice for people seeking to bring new ideas and ways of doing things to their organizations?
Think about ‘innovate for growth', instead of ‘innovate for innovation'. Bringing news ideas or new ways of doing things are always not easy. But if you clearly define the core value of why we should do it differently, there is always a chance. 

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?
In my opinion, it's not about ‘where'. It's all about ‘who'. Or to be more specific, it's all about ‘me' to keep open eyes and open minds.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
My favorite time is when I pick up the sounds of the day. That tells me, today will be another beautiful day. Enjoy it.