Category: News

Red Havas CEO James Wright Takes to LinkedIn to Talk About Compassion in a Merged Media World

When Richard Branson, Bill Gates or Arianna Huffington want to engage in conversation with the business world, they all go to the same place: LinkedIn. The same goes for our own CEO, James Wright.

The professional networking site has more than 562 million users. However, only 1 million of these users have ever shared self-published content to LinkedIn Pulse, the site’s built-in news aggregation feed.

This smaller group of thought leaders is on to something, having figured out how to effectively use the platform to share their observations, and tricks of their respective trades, with LinkedIn’s vast audience. The thought leadership they’re able to build on the platform trumps any that they can establish on an original blog, as LinkedIn Pulse gives them direct access to those 562 million people who check in for content and connections.

While thought leadership can be perceived as a buzzword, it’s no doubt an important—and often measurable—currency for executives today. According to a recent study, 69 percent of business leaders agreed that thought leadership is one of the best ways to get a sense of the caliber of thinking an organization can deliver. In addition, 63 percent said thought leadership is important for building the reputation of new and small businesses. That’s why Red Havas regularly includes LinkedIn in the thought leadership strategies we create for our clients.

Our own Red Havas CEO, James Wright, has recently begun using the platform to share his insights on changemaking through caring, leading with compassion and Merged Media. We encourage you to follow him there, where you can read his thoughts on everything from compassionate leadership to CSR to what it means for PR practitioners now that the lines between earned, owned, shared and paid have merged. We’ve also summarized his insights below.

Be the one who cares enough to make a change

Before becoming the head of Havas PR North America (now Red Havas), James served as CEO of Red Agency Australia as well as chief commercial officer of Havas Group Australia/New Zealand.

James’ most recent LinkedIn article used an example from his time in Australia to focus on how we can all make a significant difference in the world just by the simple act of caring. To him, “the most impactful work is done when the cause is personal to the people working on it.”

One such personal cause was Red Agency Australia’s #EndotheSilence campaign.

During a “Red Retreat,” or annual agency-wide three-day event filled with inspiration, planning and team building, it came to light that some of our female employees were suffering from endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.

James wrote, “Though it affects an estimated one in 10 women, women largely live with the physical pain and mental consequences caused in silence. That’s why our campaign was called #EndoTheSilence. The Australian government had never given the condition a dollar, and that to me was simply unacceptable. So, we launched a campaign to encourage the government to make it a health priority. By connecting our cause work to our team members’ lives, we were able to go after it with not only our strategic and technical capabilities, but with our hearts and souls.”

James also noted the breathtaking results of the campaign: “Within six months of launching our #EndoTheSilence campaign in Australia, and in partnership with Endometriosis Australia, the minister of health had issued a public apology to all women in the country. We had also raised $4.5 million to fund research, created a huge amount of momentum in Parliament and gotten a number of celebrities involved.”

Leading with compassion

In James’ previous Linkedin article, he shared his insights on leading with compassion. “The best place to start with cultivating a compassionate leadership style is to examine your values and intentions,” he wrote. He noted his personal motivation stems from wanting to tell his children about his work. James is determined to do work that improves society. He is also focused on improving his workplace.

“Good leadership comes from the heart,” he wrote. “To do right to by your business, you have to do right by your people.” His key principles include: empowering your employees to better themselves, valuing attitude over skills, giving and receiving consistent feedback and praise, relentlessly seeking perspectives other than your own, collecting all of the facts before making a judgment, and being a friend to your employees.

Merged Media, the future of PR

James’ first LinkedIn article explained the Merged Media concept, or the merging of earned, owned, shared and paid media. To the average consumer, all of these channels are essentially one and the same, requiring any successful public relations agency to adapt to this shift in media consumption in order to thrive today.

James wrote, “With unprecedented access to data and technology, public relations practitioners are uniquely fit to merge the lines that have divided the types of media for too long. We can help brands interact with today’s consumers across all media sources, presenting themselves within the current landscape in a way that mimics how their audience is behaving. We can help brands tell a channel-agnostic story that covers all of the old media bases—as well as the new and emerging ones.”  

Our Merged Media network is on a mission to reinvent what PR means—on LinkedIn and beyond.

Follow our CEO, James Wright, on LinkedIn to stay up to date on our ever-changing industry and all things Red Havas.

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2019: The Social Year in Review

by Lily Whorl, fellow, Red Havas

Each week, we circulate a staff dispatch we call “Red Hot Social Headlines” to ensure all Redsters remain up to date on the latest and greatest in social media land for our clients. (We also regularly share the top social headlines on our Instagram Story, so please find and follow us there!)

This week, we sent out a special edition of Red Hot Social Headlines—wrapping up the year’s top social news. And this helping of social highlights is worth sharing. Dig in, and enjoy:

Mental health matters

Social media platforms are now taking their users’ mental health into consideration. The plan to eliminate likes on both Instagram and Facebook, coupled with Twitter’s indication that it may follow suit, means that social platforms are striving to weed out users who find personal value in their likes. That’s not all. Instagram has taken proactive measures to ask their users, “Are you sure you want to post this?” before posting a negative comment. It’s fair to expect more mental health initiatives in 2020.  

A stride toward Stories

In 2018, Stories content overtook Feed content and made its appearance on almost every social media site, including Facebook, Instagram and story pioneer Snapchat. By using Stories much more comprehensively than when first introduced, marketers have been able to post more frequently without harming their brand’s image. 

Snapchat stayed relevant 

The struggles have been real for Snapchat. But with odds against its favor, it’s still standing. Striving for greatness in the augmented-reality world, Snapchat launched its Lens Studio this year. By doing so, it opened the opportunity to everyone to create lenses and filters. It has been a big year for Snapchat, with recent key additions such as Cameos and a 3D camera mode. With the creation and implementation of these new exciting tools, Snapchat saw revenue increase 50 percent compared to the prior year, to $446 million in Q3 2019.

TikTok takes off 

We’ve seen TikTok grow at a breakneck pace this year, with more than 800 million monthly users, but what can we expect for the future? One key challenge: 60 percent of TikTok users are based in China, making it difficult for the platform to push through to a global audience. Along with an expected competitive doppelgänger from Instagram, it may experience struggles after Instagram’s Brazilian launch of Reels, a music video remix feature similar to TikTok’s.

Political ad problems 

Twitter put its foot down this year by banning all political advertisements in response to concerns over misinformation regarding political conversations. Facebook, on the other hand, left a bit more wiggle room for these ads. Facebook states that its approach to political propaganda is grounded in its fundamental belief in free expression. Though these concepts seem straightforward, we can anticipate social media stakeholders to wade into the gray area created by the approach of the 2020 election.

For more social news, follow Red Havas U.S. on Instagram.

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One Young World, One Redster, Three Takeaways

by Catherine Clements, Account Executive, Red Havas

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 One Young World Summit in London, England. This annual event brings together more than 2,000 young leaders (ages 18-35) from over 190 countries, making it the second-largest gathering of diverse young people after the Olympics.  The delegates represent global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organizations and are joined by world leaders, acting as the One Young World Counselors.

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Top 5 Lessons from #PRSAICON

by Julianne Muszynski, associate vice president, and Bre Zboran, senior account executive

We traveled to sunny San Diego last week for the PRSA International Conference. While there, we listened to thought-provoking keynotes, attended specialized breakout sessions and workshops, connected with communications pros and, of course, ate delicious tacos.

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Put It to the Panel: How Do PR and Sales Align?

During Communications Week last week, communicators across New York, London and Hamburg hosted panels and workshops aligned to this year’s theme: value. As the value of our work is being increasingly called into question by key stakeholders, this theme has resonated deeply across the PR, media and marketing industries today.

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Loyalty in the Workplace: Can Going All in Help You from Missing Out?

by Melissa Rieger, vice president, Red Havas

With its charming way of parodying workplace culture, it’s no surprise that The Office is one of the highest-rated television sitcoms of all time. As a long-time fan, I’ve heard quite a bit of chatter about the show over the years. (Admit it—you’ve quoted it yourself once or twice.) The reason is quite possibly because, while the characters are exaggerated, they’re relatable. When it comes to a real-life office setting, though, how many people would say that Michael Scott truly is the “World’s Best Boss?” Craziness. It may be more common to hear something like, “He’s absolutely ridiculous—lovable, but ridiculous.”

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Top-Of-Mind Tuesday with Audrey Arbogast

Welcome to Red Havas’ Top-of-Mind Tuesday blog series. Some weeks you’ll find a crowdsourced list of assorted stuff our staff is pondering and learning and falling in love with, and other times our top-of-mind list will fit into a single theme or come from one particular Redster. This week, Audrey Arbogast, a senior account executive in our Phoenix office, told us what she’s been into lately.

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Antonio Brown Controversy Reveals the Power—and Ethical Gray Areas—of Social Media

by Pattie Sullivan, senior vice president, Red Havas 

Like many of us, I’m immersed in media from the time I roll out of bed in the morning until I shut off the lights and call it a day. However, because I work in PR, I tend to see things through a dual lens. For instance, my teenagers talking about TikTok interests me as a mom who is concerned about online privacy and other issues. But as a communicator, this same conversation becomes a mini, non-scientific focus group about teens’ changing social media habits.

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