“Salzman has a brilliant knack for spotting trends before they go mainstream—one commentator dubbed her ‘an octane-fuelled, 100-ideas-a-minute bunny.’ In the flesh, Salzman, a charismatic power blonde (think Carrie Bradshaw mixed with Hillary Clinton) … treads the line between high and low culture. One minute, she’s analyzing Middle Eastern politics. (She studied at Brown University where her contemporaries included film director Todd Haynes and novelist Rick Moody. In her book Next, she name-checked Osama bin Laden as a force to be reckoned with.) The next, she’s dishing the dirt on J-Lo and Ben Affleck. ‘Those two have been engaged way too long. I don’t think he’s prepared to become Mr. Jennifer Lopez.’” —The Observer (U.K.)
Named one of the world’s top five trendspotters (bringing “metrosexual”—the 2003 Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society—to the world), Marian is one of the most-awarded female public relations executives in North America. She has been listed in PRWeek’s Global Power Book and as a PR News Top Woman in PR, as well as an honoree of the 2017 PRWeek Hall of Femme.
Currently, Marian heads up Global Communications at Philip Morris International (PMI) as it embarks on its transformation to a smoke-free future. Charged with developing a proactive, multilayered communications program to help accelerate PMI’s vision of a smoke-free future, Marian is forging active and productive alliances with NGOs, advocacy groups, regulators and other parties involved in shaping the environment in which a smoke-free future can be realized.
Since Marian has taken the lead at PMI Global Communications in April 2018, she has made bold strategic moves to transform the function itself and how it sits within the company. Reporting directly to the Global CEO, she is remaking the group—including directly overseeing a staff of more than 70 communications professionals based on three continents, who are responsible for media relations, scientific engagement, content development, crisis management and more. She is ensuring that PMI is positioned at the forefront of a new discussion about tobacco and the reduced-risk products (RRPs) available today and in development.
Prior to joining PMI, Marian was CEO of Havas PR North America for nearly a decade, from 2009 to 2018, overseeing 1,000 people globally. There, she reshaped the creative output, creating one of the most buzzed-about boutique agencies in North America, which resulted in top-five status at key U.S. and global awards shows, ensuring category recognition of the agency’s standards (including being named PRWeek’s PR Professional of the Year for 2011, among other top honors). She held overall accountability for the agency, with annual revenue of $200 million and was responsible for delivering annual average EBIT of 17 percent. Marian served as a member of the 18-person Havas Worldwide general managers group (executive committee) and chairman of the company’s first international steering committee for its public relations and social media assets.
Prior to Havas PR, Marian was the CMO at Porter Novelli, the CMO at JWT Worldwide and the CSO at Euro RSCG Worldwide. She was also an entrepreneur who launched American Dialogue focus groups in cyberspace back in the early 1990s, when the online world was for geeks and oddballs, ultimately selling the company to Yankelovich a few years later.
Since Marian took over at @havasprus in late 2009, the agency has become one of the most awarded of its size. She has executed award-winning thought leadership, reputation management and social media programs, and she gives lectures around the world on topics from health trends to branding to generational differences and more. Author or coauthor of many books, her latest (written with the Havas PR team) is now available: Agile PR: Expert Messaging in a Hyper-Connected, Always On World. Marian is an honors graduate of Brown University.