Tricia Ewald | The Innovator 25 North America 2019

Tricia Ewald 

Managing Partner 

ICF Next Creative Engagement   

“Respect insights. Live in culture. Embrace technology.”

Under Tricia Ewald's leadership, ICF Next has transformed into one of the most prolific producers of breakthrough creative work in the industry. When Olson Engage rebranded as ICF Next last year, Ewald took over as head of brand engagement to ensure the caliber of the work remains as awesomely good as it has ever been. Ewald has proven that she profoundly understands how to make campaigns stand-out and thrive amid the noisy clamor of social media. For instance, the campaign for Heinz's Mayochup broke the record for the highest engagement ever on a Twitter poll, while also turning a condiment into a meme (the firm has previously achieved similar results for Starburst). For Jim Beam, ICF rode the personal assistant craze with a viral-worthy AI whiskey decanter that quickly sold-out. 

In what way(s) does PR/communications need to innovate the most?
I think we’ve shown we can grab attention, and build trust. We need more innovation around increasing participation and driving business results.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry's level of innovation compared to other marketing disciplines?
Lagging the others

Where is the PR industry's greatest opportunity for taking the lead on innovation?
Creative ideas

How do you define innovation?
New ideas that drive results.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
I’m fascinated by how luxury beauty and fashion brands are using AI to create social influencers.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider innovative.
When we really started to consistently see statements, actions and ideas out-perform classic ad campaigns.

Most underrated trait in a PR person? 

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Change teams, environments, rules.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Respect insights. Live in culture. Embrace technology.

What are you thinking about most these days? 
My newborn.

What one movie, book, TV show or podcast do you recommend someone rent, read or stream tonight?
I just finished Black Monday — outstanding. But the book I most consistently recommend to colleagues is Mindset by Carol Dweck.