Today we unveil a new campaign for our firm, Show Up Differently. We decided to issue a bold statement as a further expression of our Hamburg Principles, which are designed to take us into a broader competitive arena. We believe that the combination of public relations, digital and research will allow us to build a new kind of marketing communications firm that can help clients both promote and protect their brands. As we have done everyday throughout our 62-year history, we will continue to challenge the status quo,which has placed advertising agencies as the first among equals. Show Up Differently is the rallying cry for ourselves, our clients and our industry.
More than ever, clients need a firm to help them lead in the new environment, which requires immediacy of action based on learnings from the continuous conversation. We observe the inextricable connection between marketing and corporate reputation, which is leading to the combining of roles of chief communications officer and chief marketing officer. We reach across the stakeholder universe, from citizen consumers to employees to regulators and investors. We instinctively understand storytelling because we come from a news background. Our creative ideas have substance and flair, asking for behavior change, using the ethos of “What If, We Can, Why Not?”
Marketers are already absorbing this change. In the December 15 issue of Advertising Age, the VP of Marketing of Patagonia, Joy Howard, said, “We have a mission to solve problems in the world. That’s very much a part of how we engage with consumers… The best way to get people’s attention is to be useful and show useful information that enhances people’s lives but also shows real news.”
Our Show Up Differently campaign will be implemented in a manner that reflects our new approach to communications, which is a full continuum of outreach and interaction. There will be paid components, sponsored content, a hub done in partnership with a media company (Fast Company), a dedicated section of our company website, publicity in PRWeek and office events around the world.
Our first creative output shows the value of independence. Being an independent firm has afforded us the opportunity to take more risks allowing us to drive the firm and the industry in new directions. It’s also allowed us to make investments where it’s most important, in our people. All of this opens the door for more creative thinking resulting in more innovative and impactful work for our clients.
Given the impending close of the Publicis-Omnicom merger, there is no better time to ask the question about monolith versus family business. We remain a private independent company because we are able to maintain a single-minded focus on the client and the work product. We are free to blur the lines between operating units so that the client gets a true team without the pressures of P&L that are so evident in a holding company model. Our far-flung offices play well together — our new client at Tupperware, CEO Rick Goings, remarked to me at a conference two weeks ago about the ease with which our Indonesian team works with the New York-based hub group. But we also play remarkably well with others outside of our own network, as we did when working with Ogilvy on the launch of Project Sunlight for Unilever.
We run a non-bureaucratic firm where loud opinions at all levels are welcomed and in fact expected. We maintain a small center, with the strength in the operating units. We have an entrepreneurial bent, as evidenced by our having built a digital business that is 20 percent of our revenue in key markets, and a willingness to make bets that don’t always pay off, like our entry into management consulting. We remain focused on investing for the long-term vs. being driven by the quarterly results. Most of all, we are humble and hard-working, proper inheritors of Dan Edelman’s mantle as founder and visionary. So today we ask our team to Show Up Differently, to carry ideas forward with confidence borne of intelligence and feel for local market. We look forward to serving our clients in an even more powerful manner.
Richard Edelman is president and CEO.