Paul M. Rand | The Innovator 25 2014 | Holmes Report
Charting the future of public relations

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The Innovator 25: Paul M. Rand

President/CEO at the Zocalo Group since 2007

Chicago
 Influence & Engagement, 20+ years

"Social media has uncovered the fact that, today, it’s not just your product or service that gets feedback but, in fact, the whole organization is open to and vulnerable to the need to become recommended."

For the 90/10 rule on social media: brands should spend 90% of the time focusing on the interests of their community, and in turn, earn the ability to to spend 10% of the time building marketing messages, promoting offers or asking for advocacy. For helping people see beyond ‘likes’ and that the true value of social media is being talked about and, more so, being recommended by real people. And for advocating for ‘pull’ marketing (versus ‘push marketing’) to accelerate sales and ultimately decrease marketing spend.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Social media & online marketing

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
About the same as other marketing disciplines

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Social media & online marketing

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

How do you define innovation?
Creating products, services or other offerings that redefine how a need (established or new) is met.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
Facebook.  Successfully convincing marketers that Engagement was the be all end all — to convincing them that engagement no longer matters, only paid media impressions.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Zocalo Group, Ketchum, 360i

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
Developed business plan and launched Zocalo Group when digital/social was barely on the minds of the PR or marketing community.

Who is your mentor and why?
Father.  Always thoughtful, direct, kind and purposeful

How do you get inspired?
Top notch conferences.  Often come away with insights, excitement and fear — a potent combination

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Find people who are motivated and unafraid to challenge the status quo — share your ideas and make them part of the process

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
Silicon Valley.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Early morning.  Love to exercise and think.