Josh Lohrius
Charting the future of public relations

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The Innovator 25: Josh Lohrius

 

 Executive creative director at Olson Engage since 2010
Chicago
Influence & Engagement, 10+ years

For leading creative at a firm that’s produced some of the most interesting, provocative work in the PR sector, including the Trip to Belize campaign that played on the Breaking Bad euphemism for murder. For knowing when the seasoned pros in the room should take a breather and give junior staffers a voice — and advocating for others to do the same. And for having a creative mind that, beyond dreaming of brand creative, does things like write a fictional book on a 15-year-old prodigy in The Breaking Down of Goody Boothe.


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?
Lagging the others

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
We need to leverage our keen understanding of third party endorsements to change the way brands view PR agencies. We have the ability to LEAD entire campaigns and ideas.

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

How do you define innovation?
Honest-to-goodness breakthroughs in things people need.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
Carrie coffee shop prank

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
GoPro, Spotify, Nike, Old Spice, Oscar Mayer, Will Ferrell

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
The first time I asked our smart young people to tell me what they REALLY thought about our agency’s ideas.

Who is your mentor and why?
Pete Marino, founder of Dig Communications. He opened the door for me to think differently about the work we do, and he proved that great ideas can actually drive business results.

How do you get inspired?
I feed off the energy, humor and intelligence of my coworkers, whom I truly love.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Ask yourself, would you brag to your buddy about this idea over a beer? If the answer’s no, keep working on it. Exclusively deliver ideas that you think are awesome.

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

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Mealtime.