Rachel O'Sullivan | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2018
Charting the future of public relations
Innovator 25 EMEA Rachel O Sullivan

Rachel O'Sullivan  

Managing director

Four Engage 
London 

“I love what I do, innovating to create better and more effective marketing, enabling brands and businesses to get closer to high value audiences”

Four Engage MD Rachel O’Sullivan is a digital marketing pioneer, described by one champion as an “unstoppable force of nature, relentless in the pursuit of growth and success for her own business and that of any clients.” Since joining the agency in 2017 after a varied in-house and consultancy career, she has already initiated and co-developed Four’s data-led insights methodology, Mapper360 that now informs all aspects of the agency’s marketing, PR and communication strategy including influencer campaigns. The methodology enables Four to identify, profile and connect with audiences via data-driven targeting and segmentation, and enables the agency to boost earned campaigns with paid social content.

How do you define innovation?
Game changing (ideas/products/methods).

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
Designing our award winning Mapper360 Influencer methodology to identify, map and evaluate an influencer's true sphere of influence i.e. their ability to connect and engage target audiences, rather than relying on reported reach and number of followers.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Those who are nimble, creative and quicker to adapt, evolve and deliver better campaigns for clients. We're doing this at Four, adopting a data-driven approach to identifying and evaluating audiences and influencers.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Seizing the urgent opportunity to rescope Mapper360 to deliver 24/7 crisis monitoring, tracking by the hour the impact on customers and prescribing immediate operational and communications management recommendations. This has led us to redesign our crisis and reputation management offer, rooted in data-driven insight.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
James Dyson, for smarter products. Simon Waterfall (Deepend founder) and Rob Lawrence (former Razorfish and Accenture CCO), for their punk attitudes and creativity.

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Talk, listen and learn from others to gain alternative perspectives.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
With increasing client demand and expectation for ROI reporting, there is a need for the industry to develop value based measurement and impact scores which meet/exceed digital media and marketing campaign evaluation.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
My job is not a job. It's a mission. I love what I do, innovating to create better and more effective marketing, enabling brands and businesses to get closer to high value audiences.

Favorite book/movie/podcast/article that's not related to PR/marketing/business?
Just read Viv Albertine's autobiographies – an inspirational woman, honestly sharing many entertaining and moving vignettes.