Patrick Chaupham | The Innovator 25 Americas 2017

2017 Innovator 25 Americas - Patrick ChauphamThe Innovator 25:

Patrick Chaupham

EVP, Creative Technology + Innovation
Weber Shandwick

“Be nimble, and make things, quickly, iteratively, and see how the masses engage. Rinse, repeat.”

Patrick Chaupham has helped Weber Shandwick lead the way on creative technology, emerging digital platforms (that range from augmented and virtual reality), influencer platforms, mobile/mobile commerce, paid media and analytics. Notably when it comes to AI, Chaupham's grasp on the ultimate impact AI could have on creative production and the workforce puts him at the forefront of tomorrow's technology.

How do you define innovation?
A simple hacking of new or existing platform, technology, process, data, resource or otherwise that produces an unexpected result ultimately changing our fundamental perception of the original, and potentially creating new utility.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
First trip to Mars (sheer technical integration); The Mill's Blackbird (scalability); The Next Rembrandt (data that outputs creative)

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Microsoft, in re-inventing itself from just an OS company in recent years, vis-a-vis Apple; Bonobos for consumer customization, supply chain and e-commerce; and of course Weber Shandwick - for content creativity, operational re-alignment consulting as part of platform change and digital strategy.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
The moment, I knew I was selling vaporware that we could produce and the trust I saw in our clients eyes to know, that while the creative idea was never done before in that capacity, he was confident we would pull it off - this was in the early stages of VR.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation?
It would easy to say Musk, or Bezos, because they exponentially innovation continuously; but start to look at Gordon Ramsay. Most of the viewing public know him as a brash, foul-mouth jerk chef bad-boy of TV; but start to look at his empire, of restaurants, cooking shows that brings together his conglomerate empire of content - with the simple engagement principle that people need to eat, learn and unleash their inner chef. He's diversified content across platform, channels, analog, digital, pay-wall, network, and free. He's a media empire.

How do you get out of a creativity or productivity rut?
Include and invite others. The old saying of better together. Because you're not the smartest innovator in an agency; and ideas and creativity, fuels off each other. I also like to unwind and figure out how something works. Because then you can rebuild it - the same to understand how it ticks, but also differently to see how else you can use it.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Fail often. That's the iterative process. PR and marketing services is just going through the natural learning process of what software tech and engineering companies went through decades ago. The days of the "perfect" press release, leaves too many unused cycles to learn. Be nimble, and make things, quickly, iteratively, and see how the masses engage. Rinse, repeat.

In your opinion, what's the most innovative place in the world?
The random road-trip, amongst friends and co-workers for those of us who have had the benefit of being in them - that you and riff on ideas based on a simple brief. Where that quoted "20%" of innovation probably never happens, it happens at 100% when you spark a problem with no-boundary ideation and problem solving, and miles of road ahead. Been fortunate enough to have been part of this multiple times over, be it a random jaunt away from Cannes down the coast - or the 1.5 car ride from LaGuardia to New Jersey Pharma clients or a pitch. Roadtrip time is a good time to spark uninhibited ideation and problem solving.

What's your favorite hobby that's not work-related?
Creating content across all my capture devices - photography from cameras, phones, drones, video coupled with travel.