Lisa Rosenberg | The Innovator 25 North America 2020

Lisa Rosenberg 

Partner + President, Consumer Brands

New York

“Never has the need to be nimble been greater and the industry has responded with pivots in programming, an increased reliance on digital and virtual experiences and a laser-like focus on authenticity and relevance.”

Creativity and storytelling are at the heart of the consumer brand work Lisa Rosenberg leads at Allison + Partners, highlighted by her success running wide-ranging campaigns, which have supported new products including Gillette razors and purple M&Ms to initiatives like introducing Mercedes Benz’s clean diesel technology and Driscoll’s rosé berries. Rosenberg is also a dedicated leader who invested in her practice’s output and, as such, she stays very much in the thick of team efforts, helping craft strategy and generate ideas.

Where is the most urgent need for innovation within the PR/communications industry? 
We need to continue to innovate through technology so that tasks that can be automated and streamlined free up human capital to think big and create.

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

How have the events of 2020 impacted the the industry's innovation? 
More innovative. The events of 2020 from the COVID-19 to Black Lives Matters and the US presidential election to issues related to climate change have had a significant impact on the way companies and brands communicate with their stakeholders. Never has the need to be nimble been greater and the industry has responded with pivots in programming, an increased reliance on digital and virtual experiences and a laser-like focus on authenticity and relevance.

Where is the PR industry's greatest opportunity for taking the lead on innovation?
Integrated marketing. Brands are increasingly looking for integrated ideas that are earned at the core. This creates a huge opportunity for the PR industry.

What is the ideal working scenario for innovation?
I think it matters less about where you are or if you're alone or with others. For me it's all about creative focus. Minimize distractions and forget about all the items on your to-do list. Spend time thinking about the what if's and possibilities.

Has 2020 changed the way you define/approach innovation? How?
I think innovation comes in so many different sizes and shapes. I think 2020 has made me look at the innovation that comes with small step changes versus looking for that larger a ha moment.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen this year?
Burger King's The Moldy Whopper

What is the most important lesson you've learned this year?
That I can go weeks at a time without leaving my house or running out of things to do.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider innovative.
The launch of the Driscoll's Rose Berry — from product naming, positioning and marketing  — this was a home run in every way.

Any habit/activity that you have added to your life during Covid-19 that you hope to carry with you when the pandemic subsides? 
I really enjoy video calls (in moderation) and hope not to default to old-fashioned telephone calls once COVID-19 ends. On a personal note, I taught myself how to bake challah and hope to find time to perfect my technique.

How can the PR industry make real progress in diversity, inclusion and equity? What is the biggest roadblock standing in the way?
It starts with ongoing education and fostering a culture that understands bias and equity. One of the positive impacts of the BLM movement is the commitment we are seeing within the industry to drive real, sustainable change. Agencies are thinking short and long-term about diversity and inclusion and are actively involving employees in building a more equitable future.

What are you thinking about most these days? 
How much I miss traveling.

Bold prediction for 2021 
It's going to be better than 2020!