Innovator 25 Americas 2019 | Holmes Report
Charting the future of public relations
This year marks our 7th annual Innovator 25 in the Americas. Once again, this year’s list features remarkable innovators who are addressing the industry’s challenges with ingenuity and insight to make meaningful (and hopefully lasting) change at time when it's needed more than ever. Among the innovators on this year's list are those who are spearheading movements, pushing the industry into new realms of creativity, agency alchemists whose insights have transformed brands, data-driven business leaders who are analyzing the spread of information online — and combatting disinformation while they're at it, and those on the cusp of building a truly modern workplace, among others. You can read the full profiles this year's Innovator 25, including why they were selected and a Q&A with them on innovation, by clicking on the names in the right-hand column.

We have also collected insights and trends among this year's innovators in the infographic below, including the organizations they com from, the organizations they admire, their collective take on the PR industry's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to innovation, and more. 


When it comes to where PR stands against other marketing disciplines when it comes innovation, nearly half find the PR industry to be lagging. Meanwhile, 38% say it's tracking on par with other disciplines — yet only 8% say PR is exceeding its peers when it comes to innovation.  

"As an industry we have a lot of ground to cover," says Capital One's Sukhi Sahni. "But the good news is we are trending in the right direction with a continued focus on omni-channel storytelling driven by insights and showcasing ROI in terms of true impact to the business goals vs just old school KPIs." (Read more from Sahni's profile here.)

"It lags in some areas and flourishes in pockets," says FleishmanHillard's Jared Carneson. "The need for a degree of predictability in a space dominated by uncontrolled communications has forced the comms industry to adapt novel use of intelligence as a pivotal driver of change. There are some areas, particularly in relation to creative, where our contemporaries in advertising have an institutional advantage." (Read more from Carneson's profile here.) 

Also, analytics and measurement edged out others as the PR industry's greatest opportunity for taking the lead on innovation. Generating creative ideas and integrated marketing tied for second place, followed by business management and industry diversity/pay equity. Content creation came in last. 

"The PR industry continues to struggle with the ability to measure the benefit of the work," says P&G Ventures' Lauren Thaman. "There is a key need for the development of technology to better understand the number of digital touch points necessary for consumer conversion to better approximate the benefit of PR. Additionally, there may be some opportunity for the PR industry to learn from the science of outcomes research as this area continues to develop and become less cumbersome." (Read more from Thaman's profile here.)  

"Brand and messaging leadership— including helping companies engage with the social, political and environmental world — beyond their obvious bottom line," adds NewsWhip's Paul Quigley. (Read more from Quigley's profile here.) 

Próxima's Karla Chaves Brenes makes the case that a sustainable "vision for business" and "creating synergies" present the greatest opportunity for the industry. (Read more from Brenes' profile here.)