Nathalie Green | The Innovator 25 EMEA 2019

Nathalie Green

CEO & Co-Founder


“Everybody claims to embrace innovation, but let’s be honest, it takes courage. Being brave and making room for the grand ideas means hard work, really hard work. Sleeves up!”

Nathalie Green is a rare example of a PR professional who has seen such a compelling gap in the industry she specialises in that she has gone as far as starting her own company addressing that need. After 13 years working on communications and business development in the financial services industry, last year Green co-founded fintech Doconomy, the first banking service to measure customers’ spending and saving by their negative and positive impact on the planet. Doconomy went a step further in its innovation strategy and its purpose to do more to tackle climate change by creating DO Black, the first credit card with a carbon emission limit. It stops consumers from overspending, not based on available funds but on the impact caused by their CO2 consumption, and won a Cannes Lions Grand Prix this year. Green was previously at SPP/ Storebrand, where she was a member of the executive committee and had roles spanning corporate communications, PR, sustainability and business strategy.

In what way(s) does PR/communications need to innovate the most?
PR is creative content development and management but the industry needs to embrace the new technologies that allows us to spread this content in totally new ways. PR is reinventing itself along with the social media age but I think we need more of cross collaboration The core of PR will always be great storytelling, but in what groundbreaking ways can the story be combined with, for example, multimedia and unexpected partnerships?

How would you describe the communications/PR industry's level of innovation compared to other marketing disciplines?
About the same as other marketing disciplines.

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

How do you define innovation?
A fantastic idea, brilliantly executed that either creates a new market or radically changes an existing one.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
I think “The Last Ever Issue” when VMLY&R bought the most iconic porn magazine in Poland was brilliant. They published its last edition and totally transformed the narrative for women.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Patagonia is always finding new ways to guide the consumers in making the right choice, not spending too much money and caring for our planet. Oatly, for really taking a stand against the dairy giants in an extremely engaging and fun way.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider innovative.
Boredom really scares me and I have been finding new ways to avoid it as long as I can remember, that’s great creativity training. But innovation to me is about making things happen, things that matter. I feel really blessed being part of the team launching DO, the world’s first mobile banking service for everyday climate action. Without question it’s one of the most important things I have ever done.

Most underrated trait in a PR person? 
Honesty. Being creative and a skilled writer that always sees the bigger picture is great but a PR pro is never afraid of the truth.

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
When I get stuck it’s usually because I’m in a hurry. Discussing with people whose way of viewing the world fundamentally differs from mine really gets the ideas spinning. Playing with the kids is also a great way. I’ve had some of my best ideas building with Lego blocks.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Everybody claims to embrace innovation but let’s be honest, it takes courage. Being brave and making room for the grand ideas means hard work, really hard work. Sleeves up!

What are you thinking about most these days? 
How we need creativity and innovation, more than ever, to save this planet from ourselves.

What one movie, book, TV show or podcast do you recommend to rent, read or stream tonight?
“How I Built This” with Guy Raz is a great podcast featuring passionate innovators sharing their journey and quest to make an impact.