“Loquacious and personable, Salzman is an attractive blonde with attractive smarts…. While she quails at being thought of as some sort of Xena of zeitgeist, a sexy sociologist probing at our inner workings, the Connecticut resident has undoubtedly placed a finger on the country’s collective pulse.” —American Way
The Guardian wrote that she “radiates enough energy, one suspects, to power a small town and looks as if she has just stepped off the set of Sex and the City.” She has been credited with popularizing pop-culture buzzwords from singleton to metrosexual. She lives and breathes social media, and she knows what’s coming next. (Though she’s been known to show up for work with her pajamas still on under her clothes to give herself time to get it all done.)
She’s Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America (formerly Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America). She took over as president in August 2009, bringing laser-like focus to the agency’s social media and grassroots campaigning—a homecoming, as she had previously spent five years as chief strategic officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide. After just 19 months at the helm, Marian was named PRWeek’s 2011 PR Professional of the Year. She was also named PR Agency Team Leader for the PR News PR People Awards and finalist for Lifetime Achievement and Service Executive of the Year for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business (all 2010), and is the 2011 Golden Bridge Blogger of the Year, Lifetime Achievement winner, and part of its Management Team of the Year (with two colleagues), plus PR News’ 2011 Agency PR Professional of the Year. Marian was also honored as Agency Professional of the Year (Bronze) for the Bulldog Stars of PR in 2011, so she took top slot in all the major competitions around agency leadership. Among her latest professional honors is being named to The Holmes Report’s inaugural In2 Innovator 25 list.
In addition, her four-part series on the brain that she wrote for the Huffington Post won a 2011 Bronze SABRE (Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation) award for Speech or Bylined Article and was given honorable mention in the PR News Platinum PR Awards’ Blog category; her blogging in general won her a silver Bulldog Stars of PR for PR Blogger of the Year and was named the PR News Digital PR’s Best Blog. She continues to win top blogging awards, such as a gold for PR Blogger of the Year from the Bulldog Digital/Social Awards in 2013.
In April 2011, Marian was named CEO of what is now Havas PR. Under her tenure, the company has added an extraordinary number of new clients, from global AOR status for Coty Inc. to the United Nations Foundation. Among her most awarded campaigns are Yéle Haiti and Wyclef Jean for President of Haiti and The French Will Never Forget, which was a simultaneous day of memory on 9/11/11. She brought together Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation with the Bob Woodruff Foundation and Sears’ Heroes at Home to create one of the most visible programs to support wounded veterans and their caregivers. Marian has integrated social media into every aspect of agency life, is one of the top five Twitter personalities in Connecticut, and coordinated a global #royaltwedding, which drew together more than 1,000 colleagues to celebrate three days of William and Catherine.
She is currently chairman of the Havas PR global collective, the overseer of the PR assets of Havas around the world. For her “massive contribution to the process of creating a true global Havas PR network,” according to company executives, she was named Havas Worldwide’s Global PR Person of the Year in January 2013.
Previously, Marian was CMO at global PR giant Porter Novelli. She drove Porter’s brand positioning and executed thought leadership, reputation management and social media programs, including the creation of Porter’s pop-up agency Jack + Bill, which in one year won PRWeek’s PR Innovation of the Year, the industry’s innovation SABRE and the top Bulldog award.
Named one of the world’s top five trendspotters, she has managed other trendspotters around the globe for more than 15 years. She has been CMO at JWT Worldwide, worldwide director of TBWA’s Department of the Future, and director of consumer insights and emerging media at Chiat/Day. With Jay Chiat, she co-founded Cyberdialogue, the world’s first online market research company, in 1992.
In addition to her closely watched and widely reported-on annual trends forecast, Marian has written for The Holmes Report, Adweek, PRWeek, PR News and Marketing Week (U.K.). She currently blogs at Forbes.com’s CMO Network, the Huffington Post, CNBC.com and havaspr.com. Marian is also the author or co-author of 15 books, including Next Now and The Future of Men.
In 2012, she was one of a handful of PR jurors for the CLIO Awards and also part of the international PR jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. In addition, she served as one of the final judges to select candidates for Venture for America, a program for future entrepreneurs modeled after Teach for America, and she now sits on that organization’s board of directors.
Marian is a member of the mentoring board of Brown University’s Women in Business and an adviser to the Berlin School of Creative Leadership’s M.B.A. program. She created Tweet to ReMIND (ReMIND.org or #tweettoremind), a community-based effort to raise money and awareness for the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation, on whose board she serves. Marian is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Public Relations Firms and has served as president of the Fairfield County (Connecticut) Public Relations Association.