Jon Hargreaves | The Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2019

Jon Hargreaves

European Managing Director


“We need to start to think in terms of math and algorithms”

Jonathan Hargreaves’ groundbreaking work to make public relations more intelligent has steered Edelman’s predictive analytics centre in Singapore, which serves as the firm’s global hub and helped develop the impressive Shell Emotion Tracking campaign, along with winning a string of assignments from HP, Turner, EndowUs Insights, and embarking on an ambitious project for Stop the Traffik that involves an AI system to help disrupt human trafficking. While much of the industry mistakes predictive analytics for diagnostic activity, Hargreaves has overseen the development of an offering that brings together AI, neural networks and data mining to help clients predict patterns of human behaviour at real scale, employing a mix of data scientists, PR pros and digital experts. 

How do you define innovation?
New ideas made real.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
The Nike campaign on diversity.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Over the long haul I would say Nike — they pretty much defined purpose as long ago as the 80s.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
This month in partnership with Stop The Traffik, IBM and Facebook, Edelman in Asia will launch an AI system to help disrupt human trafficking.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Vint Cerf

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Collect and analyse data at scale

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
We need to start to think in terms of math and algorithms

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
A role that uses data and Al to do good in the world

Favorite book/movie/podcast/article that's not related to PR/marketing/business?
Just finished Killing Commendatore which was mind blowing

What's your favourite time of day and why?
7pm. It is the time when I solve problems