The Innovator 25 Sabrina Guttman
Charting the future of public relations

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The Innovator 25: Sabrina Guttman 

VP of strategic communications at HP since 2014
San Francisco
Influence & Engagement, 12 to 20 years

For banking on the integrated model perhaps before its time with the doomed — but ambitious — Enfatico agency. Because, even after Enfatico, Guttman didn’t waiver from her commitment to integrated marketing while at WPP, despite the many obstacles around executing on such a concept. And for being smart and strategic about speaking to the C-suite in a way that elevates communications.
 

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?
It’s difficult to generalize. I don’t think any one discipline is more/less innovative – the innovation is really coming from integration and disrupting traditional models.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Content creation & creative copy. And while I do think content creation and storytelling are the key to innovation in our industry, I believe the key to unlocking the potential will be in how we tell those stories across multiple different channels (paid, earned, owned, shared).

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?
CEO. It depends on the company but I believe that in order to be successful, communications needs executive buy-in at the highest level

How do you define innovation?
Innovation is all about finding a better way to do something. That can mean evolving traditional models or completely rethinking and disrupting them. In communications/marketing, innovation is a mixture of both of those things.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
I think Ford has done an excellent job using media to position themselves as an innovative brand and influence a new generation of buyers. Their depositioning of Cadillac was a great example of innovative competitive PR.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Dyson and Amazon Web Services on the corporate side; W20 on the agency side

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
Being part of WPP Team Dell (originally Enfatico) was an inspirational moment in my career. Working in an interdisciplinary team on integrated campaign strategies showed me how powerful the narrative/story was in the marketing mix.

Who is your mentor and why?
Harold Burson – he had the vision for integrated marketing/communications 60 years ago.

How do you get inspired?
I find working and living in Silicon Valley to be inspiring – I love talking to engineers, their passion for invention inspires me to tell their stories

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Always be passionate about your ideas and don’t give up

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
I’m partial to the Bay Area – everywhere you look, innovation is happening here.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Mornings are my favorite. I seem to be smarter after a good night sleep :)