Salvador da Cunha | The Innovator 25 EMEA 2017
Charting the future of public relations

Innovator 25 EMEA - Salvador da CunhaThe Innovator 25:

Salvador da Cunha

CEO

Lift World 
Lisbon

“Always be more relevant and cost effective. Innovation must have a clear upside to the ecosystem”

Portugal is not typically considered a hotbed of communications innovation, but Salvador da Cunha’s tireless work at the helm of Lift Consulting belies that notion. Firmly established as the market leader in its native market, Lift has successfully broadened its offering to include several African countries, along with a range of marketing and PR units under the Lift umbrella. Perhaps most notably, this includes youzz.net, a global influence marketing platform that includes more than 500k non-paid influencers across various countries.

How do you define innovation?
Read and observe, learn, think and adapt, take risks and create. Create new relevant ways to do your work and be able to influence others to follow.   Innovation in Public Relations is seeing a paradigm shift in the industry and be able to go around it.   

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
‘Meet Graham,’ the road safety campaign that imagined what humans would look like if our bodies evolved to withstand car-crash forces. It was as data-driven camping, very graphic, very well executed and with exceptional results.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Tesla – Is the company of the moment in the electric auto business. They also innovate in communications and client relations, being able to be the love brand in that sector. Amazon – top of mind when you want to buy something and you don’t know here. Netflix – Gets there first and allows clients to see what they want, when they want. IBM – they have done it again with the Watson Artificial Intelligence division. IBM always got around industry paradigm shifts, like no other company in the world.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
That was 7 years ago, when I took a partner with an idea to build a global influencer and word of mouth marketing platform when no one was talking about that. One year later Youzz.net was born and now is as more than 500.000 non paid influencers in Europe, Brasil and Latin America and is expanding every day.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Content & creative.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
About the same as other 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. And CMO, PR and advertising.

Who is your mentor and why?
I had the opportunity to work with fantastic colleagues, remarkable clients and amazing competitors. All of them taught me great lessons. But being able to learn from my children and from the millennials that work with me still is the main source of mentoring. 

How do you find inspiration?
Reading, researching, investigating and then sleeping or walking. Inspiration in like big data, it’s only relevant if you can do something big with it. It’s no use to have great ideas that are not relevant or useful in your life or your business. We must guide our inspiration. 

What is your advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Always be more relevant and cost effective. Innovation must have a clear upside to the ecosystem. It’s not just about good ideas, but good, profitable or cost effective ideas, processes or products that change for better the way people do certain things.  

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?
I would say Northern California for the US, London for Europe and Seoul in Asia. But Lisbon, in Portugal, is getting things rolling in the innovation side. The city is exploding with new startup ecosystems.

What’s your favourite time of day and why?
Breakfast time with my wife and children and then morning gym. That routine helps me to think all my day over and line up dos and donts.

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