Rich Kylberg | The Innovator 25 2016
Rich KylbergThe Innovator 25:

Rich Kylberg   

VP of corporate marketing & communications 

Arrow Electronics    

"Innovation comes from connecting dots between seemingly unrelated worlds; zoos and corporations, or art museums and engineering labs, for example."


For — in four years — transforming the marketing function at an 80-year-old electronic component parts supplier into a hotbed of marketing ideas. Among these — the Arrow Electronics Innovators Club and the Heroes of Innovation that were the precursors for the over arching "Guiding Innovation Forward" theme that was reflected in the LEGO Paper Plane Super Bowl ad, in addition to a robust CSR program and live events.

Describe what you do.
Senior-most executive overseeing brand, external and internal communications, events, and corporate social responsibility for $24B Fortune 120 global electronics company.

Where are you from/hometown?
Denver, CO

Where are you based now?
Denver, CO

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Social Media & Community Management. The most innovation often comes from the newest channels.  This doesn't mean that they're the most important as much as they provide the most opportunity.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry's level of innovation?
More innovative then other marketing disciplines. Communications/PR industry innovation may appear to be less frequent, but when it happens, it's often at a higher and more impactful level than other marketing disciplines.

What is most important for the PR industry to do to foster more innovation?
Change the industry culture

How do you define innovation?
Innovation is the product of unusual thinking that drives extraordinary results; clear, long-term, positive change.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you've seen in the last 12 months?
Donald Trump's extraordinary rise within the Republican Party.

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
I'm partial to Arrow Electronics and its partner agencies (Ogilvy, FleishmanHillard, Westmeath, and others).

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Giving a B2B electronics distributor a mass-market identity behind the slogan "Five Years Out," and building its tangible expression in a race car driven by a quadriplegic was originally seen as laughably "innovative," while today it's recognized as transformational.

Something — not PR/marketing related — that is innovative.
The Constitution of the United States of America.

Please give our readers an idea of something that can inspire innovation — this can be a book/movie/podcast/activity/article.
Innovation comes from connecting dots between seemingly unrelated worlds; zoos and corporations, or art museums and engineering labs, for example.

Least favorite time of day?
Lunch time with no time for lunch.

Most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
Our neediest communities seem to be our most innovative.

Snow shoveler
Boat washer
Retail sales clerk
TV producer
TV programmer