Yini Wang | The Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2023

Yini Wang

Head of Communications
Genesis Motor China 


Anyone who is willing to take risks and inspire progress – these people are the catalyst for innovation and positive change, and we should empower them whenever possible.”

Over the past 12 months, Yini Wang has been a driving force in turning Genesis Motor China into a brand that is as well-recognised as rival automakers with decades of market presence. The campaigns Wang has developed and overseen tapped into Genesis Motor’s vision for a more sustainable future, overcoming Covid restrictions across live, event, online film and metaverse platforms. Wang also oversaw the first-ever Genesis Meta Studio, a space inside the metaverse for customers to enjoy the brand’s experiences and its products in meta form – an original approach for the industry in general. Wang has also tapped into influencer strategy and outreach to establish the Genesis GV60 electric vehicle in a highly competitive market.

How do you define innovation?
Speaking from a communications perspective, innovation is the strategic use of creative and unconventional approaches to capture attention, engage audiences, and shape public perception. This can involve crafting compelling narratives and campaigns that stand out in a crowded media landscape, leveraging emerging technologies and trends, and adapting to ever-changing communication channels. Innovation means finding fresh angles to tell a brand's story, building authentic relationships with audiences, and staying ahead of the curve in managing reputation and crises. Ultimately, it's about driving positive change and achieving communication goals by embracing new ideas and methods in our field.

What is the most innovative PR or marketing initiative you've seen over the past 12 months?
Last year Dove created its #Selfietalk campaign, with a selfie that reversed the effects of photo editing, focusing on authentic and natural beauty. I felt this was a really original idea that carried a powerful message dealing with a topic that resonated with many in this age of social media in which we live. By tackling problems faced by many young people the campaign was effective in involving the brand in starting meaningful conversations about the effects of social media on our mental health and wellbeing.

In your opinion, which brands and/or agencies are most innovative in their approach to PR and marketing?
I think there is some incredible stuff happening now in China, particularly in the automotive industry where we have both traditional incumbents and up-and-coming new brands fighting for audience attention. This means we are forced to come up with fresh and unique ways to share our message that help us to stand out. It is inspiring to have such diversity among brands and their styles, and we can learn so much from each other, with the ultimate goal of pushing communications forward and into new territory.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider to be innovative.
In my recent role, I have been able to exercise my creative muscle and think audaciously about how we should approach our communications. With the unveiling of our Brand Vision Announcement came a big moment, marking the beginnings of the brand’s electrification journey – the future of the brand – and we would need an even bigger event to mark the occasion. Through careful planning we created an immersive multi-platform event across live event, online film broadcast, and an industry-first metaverse show, communicating Genesis’ milestones towards becoming zero-emission. At the same time, we opened the brand’s first Genesis Meta Studio for customers to enter and explore our first electric offerings in an immersive new way. The event communicated our vision in an unforgettable fashion and created huge brand exposure.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation?
Anyone who is willing to take risks and inspire progress – these people are the catalyst for innovation and positive change, and we should empower them whenever possible.

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Sometimes we get too deep into things, and it is important to take a step back and get some perspective. For me, I always use these opportunities to remember that I am part of a team. I will take time to speak to my team members, not necessarily about whatever has my attention but what they are working on, to see if I can offer advice or suggestions they may not have considered. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and brainstorming and exploring new ideas with my team is a good way to uncover new perspectives and see things differently. In this way, we can help each other: I can offer some value to them and, when I return to my work, I approach it with fresh eyes, giving me new insight.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Don't be afraid to experiment - innovation often involves taking calculated risks. But when the results pay off, they are really worth it.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
I like to think I would be involved in the fashion industry, which I follow closely. I believe it offers an incredible opportunity for individuals to unleash their creativity, drive innovation, and influence cultural trends through the medium of design. The ability to craft unique, personal narratives and make statements through creations is not only empowering but also a reflection of a person’s individuality, and that is something that really interests me.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has provided inspiration over the past year?
Inspiration can be found in all places and across different mediums. Whether it's a book, movie, TV show or podcast, I've learned that there's always the potential for inspiration waiting in the next one. It's a reminder that we are surrounded by art, ideas, and stories just waiting to be explored and to ignite our imagination.

How can the PR and communications industry harness innovation to make more progress on diversity, equity and inclusion?
It's essential that we reconsider and reshape the stories we craft to make sure everyone gets spoken for. Companies should lead by example through their actions, setting a precedent for others to follow, starting at the very beginning by engaging in meaningful conversations with our people, valuing their perspectives, and understanding what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to them.