Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud | The Innovator 25 2016
04The Innovator 25:

Reema Bandar Al Saud

VP for Women's Affairs

General Sports Authority


Have the dream but be able to back it up"

Princess Reema's work across philanthropy, social purpose and business has consistently challenged gender conventions in conservative Saudi Arabia. This first gained international attention via her work as as chief executive of luxury retailer Alfa International, where she made significant strides in terms of bringing women into the workforce, marking her out as a unique champion of business innovation. In 2010, the marketing and PR worlds took notice when Princess Reema's 'Woman's Stand' campaign won Best in Show at the EMEA SABRE Awards, after raising awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection by creating the world's largest pink ribbon. Since then, Princess Reema has also founded corporate social responsibility initiative Alf Khair, which aims to build a vocal community of creative talent in Saudi Arabia. And, this summer, she was put in charge of the Kingdom's first division for women in sports.

How do you define innovation?

Creating actionable dreams.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?

NHS Blood Donation.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?

Rather than brands / agencies, it's more the ideas that are innovative. The agencies are conduits to the communication.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’

Realising the ‘problems’ that were arising in my business were also happening to others, and turning our shared challenge into a solution that created opportunities that could be both economically sustainable and increase employment for women in Saudi Arabia.

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?

All areas, because they are so interlinked.

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

Content & creative

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

CEO and CCO.

Who is your mentor and why?

The creative collective around me that provides inspiration and sanity checks.

How do you find inspiration?

Through immersive experiences, whether cultural or socially minded activities.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?

Have the dream but be able to back it up.

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?

The dinner table.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Sunset... because the location doesn't matter as it's always beautiful.