Cricket Wardein
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Cricket-Wardein

In2's Innovator 25: Cricket Wardein

 

Head of US digital at Edelman

San Francisco

Digital Marketing, 15+ years

 

"Set proper rules of the road for the brand and then constantly tell people that it is OK to veer off a bit."


For being the US head of digital for the world’s largest (and arguably most digitally-forward) PR agency, overseeing $90 million in revenue. For giving her team of more than 450 employees room to experiment — and fail — with “get out of jail free” cards. And for smartly hiring from across the marketing world and stitching together one of the most talented digital arms in the industry.

Innovation in PR and marketing is most closely related to?  

Management style

Describe the PR industry’s level of innovation.
Lagging

Who most influences a brand’s PR/marketing innovations?
CMO

What’s the most innovative PR/comms campaign  you’ve seen recently?
Digital Scavenger Hunt for Doritos Taco Bell

Which brands and agencies are most innovative?
Edelman Digital

What has been the most innovative moment of career, so far?
When we were trying to establish Yahoo Personals as a comfortable place for women to date, we put a woman up on a billboard on the Sunset Strip. She looked for men online was there for three days finding men online, talking to press and dating.

Who is your innovation mentor?
David Goldberg, former head of Launch (Yahoo Music), now head of Survey Monkey and married to Sheryl Sandberg.

Where do you turn for inspiration?
We have a private group on Facebook called “Worth Repeating” where we post great marketing campaigns we love.

Where is the most innovative city?
San Francisco

What’s the hardest thing about pushing for innovation?
Encouraging “mutual courage” with clients.

Advice for overcoming this?
Set proper rules of the road for the brand and then constantly tell people that it is OK to veer off a bit, as long as it is on brand. Provide “Get out of Jail” cards for taking a risk that didn’t pan out. When they hand it in, say thank you and don’t offer advice or scoldings. Just say “thank you for taking a bold risk.”

Tell us your favorite time of day.
Dance party every night with my one-year-old daughter. We pick songs on Spotify, make Playlists and dance!