The Innovator 25 Liv Buli
Charting the future of public relations

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The Innovator 25: Liv Buli

Data journalist at Next Big Sound since 2012
New York
 Influence & Engagement, 2+ years

"At the end of the day, if I didn’t know the interesting questions to ask and how to frame the data — it could be boring. You are interviewing the data, you have to know what questions to ask."

Because when Spin magazine ran a piece saying people were tired of Lady Gaga based on her declining search popularity — Buli compared this data against the singer’s Facebook, Twitter, VEVO and Instagram activity to conclude on Next Big Sound’s blog that Lady Gaga is, in fact, not in danger of plunging into oblivion. For bridging the gap between smart journalism, engineers and data scientists to pen some of the music industry’s most compelling pieces. And for embarking on every story with this in mind — “what question can this data answer right now?”

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

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
More innovative than other marketing disciplines

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Planning & analytics

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

How do you define innovation?
Innovation happens when teams and individuals are willing to fail. This allows them to take risks and explore unchartered territory, which can lead to content that is highly engaging and successful, and reaches a large audience organically.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
The Portugal. The Man/ Smithsonian Endangered Song collaboration. A campaign to highlight the plight of the Sumatran Tiger, by recording a track to vinyl and allowing it to go extint unless it is digitally reproduced.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Many teams at DigitasLBi are forward-thinking in their use of data and analytics.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
The first time I used data to answer a question that it had not been possible to answer before.

Who is your mentor and why?
My father is my mentor, because his passion for academia and learning is what has helped foster my ambition.

How do you get inspired?
I like to hike, and give myself the time and solitude to think through questions and ideas in my head.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Do not be afraid to fail, and seek inspiration away from your desk.

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
New York City. That is why I came here.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
The morning. It is peaceful and I am at my most efficient.