Wearing her Providence glasses, Marian Salzman writes here how some of the trends in Havas PR’s “11 Trends for 2016” report will play out in Rhode Island. She also adds a few others, including this one: “The first woman to be elected governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, may well emerge on the national scene as the face of the next wave of powerful women. Fortune recently ran an article—‘This Governor Is Worth Keeping Tabs On’—about how the Democratic chief executive has turned the state into ‘a case study in good government.’ She’s one of a few women on my radar who I believe will become more prominent as the spotlight moves onto women.”
“Trends: More Apps, Less Smart Phone Use Predicted for 2016,” The Press Democrat, Dec. 31, 2015
One of two trendspotters highlighted in this story, Marian offers forecasts for these topics: digital detox, urban downsizing, a tidal wave of new apps, the prevalence of B.S. and experience as the new classroom. Regarding the latter, The Press Democrat writes: “Salzman says organizations will increasingly see that robust experiential education has to be the new business model. Older workers will take advantage in order to retool, leading to a graying of internships.”
“What’s Cooking: A Roundup of Food Trends for 2016, from Eclairs to Moringa,” Star Tribune, Dec. 30, 2015
In this collection of what’s next in food from a variety of sources, Marian adds her thoughts on the impending death of cooking (which is one of the trends in the agency’s annual trends report for 2016). The paper quotes her as saying this: “Cooking 21st-century style is increasingly about selecting and assembling ingredients into meals, rather than preparing everything from scratch.”
“Marian Salzman, Global Trendspotter—Four Lessons to Be a Great Communicator,” CommPro, Dec. 30, 2015
Even though most people today are satisfied with some form of truthiness, says Marian, “that doesn’t mean that we as marketing professionals should, too. In addition to living at the height of B.S., we are also living in the age of radical transparency, and truthiness is just a waste of spin. Direct and honest is the antidote to the B.S. of B.S.ing.” She goes on to give four related lessons that readers can remember in order to be great communications leaders.
“5 ‘Kitchen Table Economics’ Predictions for 2016,” The Street, Dec. 29, 2015
Calling Marian and his other sources “some of the sharpest financial minds in the country,” this writer gathers his picks for the top 2016 forecasts. He discusses the Livin’ Large No More? trend from Havas PR’s annual trends report and says this as a lead-in to analysis from Marian: “Reduced incomes, combined with a more expensive real estate market, will drive more middle- and lower-class Americans out of major cities.” Click the link above to read the entire article.
“PR and B.S.,” The Holmes Report, Dec. 28, 2015
“One thing that has been flashing up on my radar a lot recently,” says Marian, is “bullshit.” Marian, also a trendspotter, has noticed the usage and frequency of the word changing in recent times. It comes down to a perceived lack of authenticity, something she acknowledges can be a part—real and mistakenly perceived—of the PR industry. One way she counteracts that: “Knowing the inherent B.S. quotient in our business, I always aim to make sure our agency works with people we can respect and to do work we can be proud of for clients and causes we believe in.”
“PRWeek’s Seven Most Revealing Interviews of the Year,” PRWeek, Dec. 21, 2015
PRWeek‘s October interview with Marian was chosen for this list. In the extensive “An Audience with the Oracle,” one main point is summed up this way: “Many people can gaze into the future, but what makes Salzman exceptional is the combination of insight and ability to package and brand her forecasts so that they seem to elbow their way almost effortlessly on to the news agenda.” She talks about everything from trendspotting to her strategy to moving business into smaller markets to the future of news media and its effect on the PR industry.
“Here Are My Picks for the People and Places to Watch in 2016,” Forbes, Dec. 15, 2015
In her latest regular Forbes column, Marian talks about who and what is on her trendspotting radar for the coming year, including governors Nikki Haley and Gina Raimondo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cuban tourism, dangers in Yemen, marijuana branding, the debate over rage killings and Malia Obama’s college choice. Among the people she’s watching: Courtney Act, Julián Castro, Alexa Karolinski and Zane Lowe. And the places: Charlotte, N.C.; Providence, R.I.; and Sacramento, Calif.
“The Life of a Trendspotter,” Forbes, Dec. 8, 2015
“The life of a trendspotter is an unusual one: uncertain, exuberant, disappointed, confused, satisfied at having made a major, zeitgeist-defining sighting before anyone else did,” says Marian in this column. She adds: “(And yes, this field is seriously competitive.)” After describing how trendspotters struggle with the almosts and rejoice in the dids, she sums up this life this way: “There’s much more to it than just being there. It’s about thoroughly exploring the art of ‘almost,’ wherever it might take you, and anticipating the ‘before’ before it becomes the (duh) obvious.”
“Radical Transparency: The New Normal,” National Retail Federation, Nov. 12, 2015
“There are no secrets,” says Marian. The evolution of ad and public relations campaigns has gone from cool to authentic to candid, and “radical transparency” is now what everyone works toward—whether that’s a crisis campaign like Lululemon’s response to too-thin yoga pant fabric or Panera’s sharing of clean menu items. “It’s not about getting in front of the story in order to change it or control it,” she continues. “[I]t’s about owning (and admitting to) the story in order to retain trustworthiness and credibility.”
“Havas PR Trendspotting: Americans’ Attention Shifting from Global Reach to Local Connections, Aided by Always-On Technology,” Bulldog Reporter, Nov. 11, 2015
Havas PR recently launched its “Localism: The New American Mindset” report that sheds light on why and how many Americans are seeking new and stronger connections with what’s local to them. The report is based on more than five years of the agency tracking the localism trend, leading to a major survey of 1,000-plus Americans online in spring 2015. Says Havas PR North America CEO Marian: “Localists are ahead of the curve in finding ways to use always-on, world-spanning, distance-shrinking devices to explore their local area and to build stronger local connections.”
“Study: Arizonans Do Not Feel Connected to Local Communities,” KTAR, Nov. 10, 2015
A study that Havas PR North America conducted has shown that Arizona residents don’t feel as connected to their local communities as people in other places across the United States do. Marian, CEO of Havas PR and head of the agency’s Phoenix office, said this in the piece: “I think that Arizonans tend to be more transient. They’ve come from other places. They’re staying because they like to be there, but they don’t have that same natural tie as someone who’s third generation, from Rhode Island, for example. Since so many Arizonans come from someplace else, there probably is a lesser sense of connectivity.”
“Forget Going Global: Localism Is Where It’s At,” PRWeek, Nov. 6, 2015
As a reaction to the thrill of limitless connectivity wearing off, to being more aware than ever of the big, messy world, and to the previous directive to “go global,” people now want to hunker down and feel connected to their own local life. And that led Havas PR to want to dig deeper, fielding a survey of Americans about their feelings of connectedness. “In a chaotic world that feels out of our control,” says Marian, the agency’s CEO, “[l]ocal is more manageable and controllable, and more of us are deciding that our best hope for making a difference is to act locally.”
“List of the World’s Top Female Futurists,” Ross Dawson, Nov. 3, 2015
Marian is cited on this list for numerous reasons. Among them: her annual trends forecast, her campaigns and speaking engagement that incorporate trendspotting, and her many professional kudos and media appearances (both as a talking head and as an author).
“Eyes on the Future,” Alaska Beyond, November 2015
People “known variously as consultants, futurists and ‘trendspotters’ … make it their business to study innovation, and give their clients and social media followers a sense of the shape of things to come,” says this article that aims to demystify the “art and science of trendspotting.” Marian discusses her methods for spotting trends, which “consists of three primary elements: scanning the media systematically to identify and extrapolate patterns, developing possible scenarios and consulting with experts and influencers.” One of her current observations focuses on the idea of decentralization, with smaller cities becoming hot spots for people and businesses to relocate.
“PRSummit: ‘You Have to Gather Intelligence to Know Where You Stand’,” The Holmes Report, Oct. 26, 2015
At the Independent Public Relations Forum of the Holmes Report’s Global PR Summit Havas PR CEO Marian Salzman said this: “If you want to have great strategists and insights engineers, you have to pay for them.” She goes on to say that currently, the industry falls down in the area of poorly visualizing data. When prompted about the consumer data available for use, Salzman added that her career “has been made by finding the obscure stat that I can create a story around.”
“Havas CEO: Self-Professed ‘Carrie Bradshaw of PR’ Talks Trends, Targets and Future of PR,” PRWeek, Oct. 12, 2015
This PRWeek piece dubs Marian “the all-seeing, all-doing wonderwoman of PR” and quizzes her about how she buoyed the agency out of a “particularly bruising” 2014. She says the key was to practice what she preaches—by going hyperlocal—opening a new Havas PR outpost in Phoenix and refocusing on its practices in Pittsburgh and Providence. “We stopped focusing on the generic big, global, multinational accounts and practiced the idea that you act global and think local,” says Marian. “I decided to go to look for accounts in those markets where I don’t have massive competition.”
“Linking Music to Consumer Behaviour Strikes a Chord with Marketers,” The Guardian, Oct. 8, 2015
“[T]he marketer in me is convinced that connections between the musical choices people make and the brands they choose must exist,” says Marian in her latest Guardian column. But it would take more than simple observation to determine the connections, she explains. Data collection is where all manner of music companies are gathering a variety of insights, from the songs grabbing consumers’ attention to links between music, moods and health, among many others. Marian’s prediction for the future: “[W]ithin the next decade, playlists will become the most powerful predictor of consumer behavior yet created.”
“The Myths and Magic of Networking,” The Holmes Report, Sept. 8, 2015
With word-of-mouth marketing increasingly hailed as the most powerful way to sell products and get apps downloaded, this Holmes Report post asserts that WOM remains the most powerful way to sell yourself, too. But rather than devoting copious amounts of time to networking, which can quickly become a full-time job, Marian recommends pouring time instead “into something that represents who you are and what your passions are”—a blog, website or charity, for instance—and learning to see every human interaction as an opportunity for networking.
“Havas Reports ‘Strong’ First Half as PR Business Holds Its Own,” PRWeek, Aug. 27, 2015
In the first two quarters of 2015, Havas revenue grew 19.2 percent, to $1.16 billion, with operating income up 22.4 percent, to $143.9 million and operating margin up from 13 percent to 13.5 percent. Havas CEO Yannick Bolloré says, “This strong first-half performance gives us every confidence that our annual targets will be met,” and Marian says her agency’s performance is “consistent with or better than the numbers reported by Havas.” She also acknowledges that the agency would consider PR acquisitions should the right opportunities arise.
“Six Degrees of PR Generations,” The Holmes Report, July 2, 2015
“Different generations of PR professionals approach the art and science of newscrafting in their own ways,” Marian writes, and the decade in which a person was born makes a big difference in how he or she will perceive the audience. Professionals born in the 1940s, for example, expect respect for authority, while those born in the ’90s will try to get people’s attention by engaging them in conversation. In this post, Marian expands more on these two groups and on the people born in the decades between them.
“PR in the Spotlight,” The Holmes Report, June 30, 2015
“The way publicists are portrayed in pop culture now is a frothy fantasy,” Marian writes in The Holmes Report, and the new movie “Entourage,” with its glamourous, tough-talking publicist character, is the latest example. It might even be the case, Marian goes on, that life is starting to imitate art, with young professionals hoping to live the fantasy of bouncing between red carpets and cocktail parties. “But PR still has an important, serious role to play,” Marian says, and to protect that work, the profession might need an injection of—ironically—better PR.
“PR in a Citizen Journalism World,” The Holmes Report, June 29, 2015
In decades past, PR professionals had little choice but to rely on newspapers and network news to reach mass audiences. Those old-style news-consuming habits are still around, Havas PR CEO Marian Salzman writes in The Holmes Report, but “the news landscape is much more egalitarian, accessed through the latest technologies, especially mobile devices. It shares screen real estate with entertainment and communication, with personal and professional content.” The challenge Salzman sees for PR professionals today? Simply keeping up and figuring out which voices matter most.
“PRWeek Global Power Book,” PRWeek, June 22, 2015
This Q&A with Marian reveals that the brand she most admires is Facebook, that her favorite fictional character is Carrie Bradshaw and that her “dirty, trusted pleasure” is getting her news from the Daily Mail. And in answer to “In what respect has your job changed most in the past five years?” Marian responds: “Focused increasingly on delivering the numbers and now work in real-time 24-7 (who sleeps?).”
“‘Big’ Is Broken in All Walks of Life, Not Just Politics,” The Guardian, May 29, 2015
What has changed from the days when larger-than-life political leaders secured their place in history with big ideas that made a big impact? Pretty much everything, Marian writes in The Guardian, but particularly the size and complexity of the problems we’re asking politicians to deal with. “Ordinary citizens no longer buy into big political ideas, and they’ve come to mistrust big in general,” she explains. “From the perspective of citizens and consumers, big is increasingly a negative term.”
“2015 North America Individual Achievement SABRE Awards,” The Holmes Report, May 4, 2015
This post announces that Marian is one of three winners of the SABRE individual achievement award. The announcement begins: “When Marian Salzman took charge of Euro RSCG’s North American PR operation in 2009, few observers expected much in the way of transformation. Euro RSCG’s PR operation had experienced considerable leadership turbulence in the years prior, and rarely looked a compelling proposition. Yet within three years, Salzman had steered the firm back on course and helped usher in a global rebranding (under Havas PR) that finally attempted to bring some cohesion to the French holding group’s disparate PR resources.” Recipients were honored at the SABRE Awards 2015 in New York on May 5.
“Where Newscrafting Meets Trendspotting,” PR Council, April 27, 2015
Marian discusses the firm’s past 12 months, including the unexpected loss of the Sanofi diabetes business. She tells PRWeek that the setback, and the dramatic revenue loss that resulted, led to a strategy change: “I’m focused on diversifying with clients that are less than six or seven figures. It may be harder work, but the revenue is much more stable.” Marian says the agency also is focusing on its hyperlocal growth strategy, including its expansion to Phoenix.
“Crafting the News, with an Eye on the Future,” PRWeek, April 16, 2015
Marian details her company’s forward-thinking newscrafting strategy in this post for PRWeek. “We aren’t just pushing out the message or amplifying advertising,” she writes. “That’s the old PR.” Instead, the team works collaboratively to identify what’s driving the future, enabling it to develop socially contagious ideas that can react to the fast-changing world. Havas PR weaves those future-centric, on-trend ideas into the stories it tells for its clients, Marian says, making sure “they own the trends that others are just following.”
“Revelator Coffee Brings On Havas PR for Southeast Expansion,” PRWeek, April 16, 2015
PRWeek reports that specialty startup Revelator Coffee has hired Havas PR to help with its launch of six new retail shops across five states this year. Josh Owen, Revelator Coffee president, said Marian gave him his first job out of college, so Havas PR was the only agency he even considered as a partner. “They’re getting to work very quickly for us,” he told PRWeek, leveraging the retail activation team in the agency’s new Phoenix office, doing some local-market outreach and lending a hand with social media.
“Size Does Matter: Consumers Rally Behind the Small and Local Movement,” The Guardian, Feb. 26, 2015
The appeal of small and local products has been on trendspotters’ radar for some time. But in this piece for The Guardian, Marian takes a fresh look at the shifting definition of what “local” means in a world that’s increasingly experienced online. She argues that “the rush and novelty of accessing the whole world is wearing off,” driving consumers to seek out more personal, in-the-flesh products and services. “Surprisingly,” she adds, “it’s the digital-native millennials who are most likely to hanker for a life that’s more local.” Smart marketers and entrepreneurs have noticed—and are cashing in.
“Why Do Teachers Quit?” Tucson Sentinel, Feb. 20, 2015
Marian, who serves as the executive chair of the Tucson Values Teachers (TVT) organization in addition to her role as Havas PR CEO, takes on the American public school teacher’s job dissatisfaction and ponders its causes—low wages, low respect and unreasonable expectations—in this Tucson Sentinel opinion piece. A TVT poll in southern Arizona uncovered particularly low morale among its teachers, who report working a 60-hour workweek on average. Writes Marian: “The challenge of working with TVT and the educational reform community to raise awareness about the plight of teachers, and the need to respect them, is the marketing challenge of a lifetime.”
“Salzman Takes Teachers’ Advocacy Post,” O’Dwyer’s, Feb. 12, 2015
O’Dwyer’s reports on Marian’s new post as executive chair of Tucson Values Teachers, a group devoted to recruiting, retaining and rewarding educators in southern Arizona. There, more than a quarter of teachers reportedly do not plan to remain in the profession over the next five years. In 2012, Marian and her family began the process of relocating to Arizona, where she has just opened an outpost of Havas PR North America.
“Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America, to Chair Education Advocacy Group,” Feb. 11, 2015
This press release from Tucson Values Teachers (TVT) trumpets news that Marian has been appointed as its new executive chair. In the release, she says, “When I found out about TVT, I signed on to make a difference because I owe teachers a huge debt. I am who I am because of the teachers I had throughout my academic life. I won’t be satisfied until every teacher is as respected as I am as a CEO.” In Arizona, where teacher retention is poor and teacher job satisfaction low, Marian will work to round up funding for TVT’s seven programs and will support community activities that demonstrate gratitude for teachers.
“11 Spring Trends You Can Start Shopping Right This Second,” Glamour.com, Jan. 28, 2015
As a distraction from the wallop of winter weather, Glamour.com spoke with Marian about what we can expect from fashion this spring. Her warmer-weather picks: cropped jackets, A-line skirts, ruffled skirts, tie-dye, cropped pants, dresses with scalloped hems, striped T-shirts, wide wrap belts, luxury tracksuits, flared jeans and bright Pucci-esque print minidresses.
“What’s Trending in Arizona for 2015,” Arizona Daily Star, Jan. 12, 2015
Can Arizona, with its acres and acres of unpopulated wilderness and complete lack of coastline, really be trendy? Marian confesses in this piece for the Arizona Daily Star that she had her doubts before becoming a part-time resident last year. But once she started looking at Arizona through her celebrated trendspotter’s eye, Marian realized that the state is actually a cultural barometer in many ways—not to mention an increasingly sophisticated draw for nature lovers, foodies, innovators and entrepreneurs, among others.
“From the General Election to Big Data: Eight Marketing Trends for 2015,” The Guardian, Jan. 8, 2015
At the approach of every new year, Marian likes to look for the “future headlines.” What does she see for 2015 that marketers will need to know in order to keep up? In addition to featuring some of the 10 big trends chronicled in the annual Havas trends report, she highlights a few new ones in The Guardian, including these: The UK’s general election will see a rise in voter engagement over Snapchat and Instagram; big data will be used more and more for predictive analytics; H2H (human-to-human) will replace the importance of B2B and B2C; CMOs will become chief simplifier officers; and CFOs will become chief frontier officers.
“Big Data, Ubertrend: Some Trends to Watch Out For in Marketing,” The Economic Times, Jan. 7, 2015
Says Marian in this bylined piece: “Every day, and now more than ever, marketers and communicators need to keep up. And guess what? If you’re in business, you’re a marketer. That’s a big task. There’s so much to absorb and digest, and our digitally enhanced, Twitter-fed habits are teaching us to think in snippets.” To help distill what’s important on the horizon, Marian, CEO of Havas PR North America, and her agency produced their annual trends report. This piece highlights some of those trends, plus others unique to the Indian market.
“What to Expect in PR in 2015,” The Holmes Report, Jan. 4, 2015
In order to prove of value to clients as strategic partners and to remain competitive creatively, PR agencies need to watch a few key trends in particular, says Marian. Among them: borders between B2B and B2C disappearing, and a new distinction, H2H, leading the way; paying more attention to company integrity; getting strategic about measurement; good writing increasing in importance; social media needing to become more personalized; and CFOs shaking up their mindset to become chief frontier officers.
“Happy New Year: Here’s What to Expect in 2015,” New Jersey Star-Ledger, Jan. 1, 2015
In this roundup of three respected trendspotters, the New Jersey Star-Ledger talks to Marian about some of the trends she is watching for the coming year. Some of the most influential people will be women, part of a “pro-feminist movement,” according to Marian. In the area of food, she says we will start seeing ramen noodles on more breakfast menus, the “safe eating” trend will continue and salt will become “the new tobacco.” Marian also adds her thoughts on edible clay and coal, how our culture continues to be focused on not only self but also generosity, the enduring rise of the sharing culture and an increasing fascination with nature.