Elan Shou | The Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2019

Elan Shou

EVP, Asia Director & MD Greater China

Ruder Finn Asia

“Bring in different talents, especially people who can marry creativity with technology”

As the only Asian female to lead a major global PR network’s Asia-Pacific operations, Elan Shou is already as disruptive as they come. But her work to differentiate Ruder Finn from its peers, particularly in China, reflects an ability to innovate that has helped the agency evolve beyond its solid foundations and defy a broad slowdown in the market. So while Ruder Finn continues to provide the kind of luxury and consumer brand-building expertise that are a prerequisite for success in China, Shou has also reoriented the agency to successfully marry creativity and technology to impressive effect, turning the firm into an integrated marketing powerhouse.  

How do you define innovation?
Mindset change

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
Tencent Microprogram

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Define what RFI will do in China and Asia.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Jeff Bezos

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Evaluate how it could have a real impact on business, and how to measure the impact.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Bring in different talents, especially people who can marry creativity with technology.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
Be an entrepreneur — providing consultancy to companies who need to change and innovate in the new age.

What's your favourite time of day and why?
Midnight after my babies get to sleep — that's the only time that belongs to myself.