Tom Beckman | The Innovator 25

Tom Beckman

The Innovator 25: Tom Beckman

Executive creative director, Prime



"Creativity is connecting things. Don't look for answers or solutions, look for questions and problems."
One of the PR industry’s foremost creative pioneers, Beckman is responsible for turning Sweden’s next-generation PR thinking into a commercial juggernaut, driving brilliant campaigns for Electrolux, Audi and Kraft (among others), and winning awards by the handful at Cannes and beyond. After Prime sold to Weber Shandwick in 2014, Beckman has taken on an additional global role at his parent agency, and is charged with ushering in a new era at a firm that is hungry to become a benchmark for global PR innovation.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Service development.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
Lagging other industries.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Applications, service design and change management.

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

How do you define innovation?
Innovations in our industry is moving away from creating awareness that generates value, and move towards creating value that will generate awareness. 

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
Tesla releasing all of its patents. True value, true leadership.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Chipotle, Tesla, Hakahudo, GE.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
Walking into a meeting hoping that the client will not buy the idea - so we can do the idea ourselves.

Who is your mentor and why?
My actual mentor is Sven-Olof Bodenfors, founder of Forsman&Bodenfors. He has helped me broaden the PR definition.

How do you get inspired?
Read, watch, listen. All media, all culture, all business, all the time. And then mash it all up.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Creativity is connecting things. Don't look for answers or solutions, look for questions and problems.