Shane Snow | The Innovator 25 2014 | Holmes Report
Charting the future of public relations

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The Innovator 25: Shane Snow 

Co-founder and chief creative officer at Contently since 2010
New York Tools and Technology for 4 to 8 years

"There’s something wrong with the great American ladder-climbing advice: presidents of the United States, some of the world’s most successful people, don’t follow it. It’s like each invented his own ladder."
 

For bridging the gap between journalists and brands, paving the way for high-quality branded content that combats content pollution and is genuinely shareable. For declaring war on the content farms and launching Contently with the manifesto that “in two years the content farms will be dead, but good content will not.” And for tapping into a social — perhaps generational — sense of urgency with smartcuts that abandons the conventional ideas around timetables for achieving success.

 

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?
More innovative than other marketing disciplines

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Content creation & creative copy

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

How do you define innovation?
Although most people talk about innovation as simply progress, real innovation is rethinking and reinvention, and it’s driven by questioning “rules” and assumptions.

For those of us who want to harness the power of superconnectors, there’s a simple formula: instead of asking for things, provide value.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
Chipotle’s The Scarecrow. I’m not sure if it’s strictly bucketed as PR, but that’s how I defined it. :)

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Coolest thing I’ve seen recently comes from a small company called Basecamp with the launch of their publication, The Distance.

Who is your mentor and why?
Benjamin Franklin, only he doesn’t know it. Writer, inventor, lateral thinker.

How do you get inspired?
Reading great stories.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
This is a self-serving answer, but read my book:)

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
New York, of course!

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
3am when I’m on a writing high, or when the stars are out. Because nothing’s impossible in those moments.