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Marian Salzman
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“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 (2009)

The Guardian (in 2007) 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 and chair of the Havas PR Global Collective. Named one of the world’s top five trendspotters, Marian is on PRWeek’s Power List 2014 and became its first Global Agency Professional of the Year in the same year. Marian was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014, listed on The Holmes Report’s inaugural In2 Innovator 25 in 2013 and named to Business Insider’s 25 Most Powerful People in PR in 2012.

Among Marian’s most famous consumer campaigns are the launch of the metrosexual to create a marketplace for SAB Miller’s Peroni, Pepsi’s “It’s Like This,” and “It’s America Online.” Her most notable campaign in the past few years was Wyclef Jean’s short-lived run for president of his ravaged homeland, Haiti. Marian co-founded Cyberdialogue—the world’s first online market research company—in 1992.

Before heading Havas PR North America (@havasprus), Marian was CMO at Porter Novelli, CMO at JWT Worldwide and CSO at Euro RSCG Worldwide. She has executed thought leadership, reputation management and social media programs, including heading up the creation of Porter’s pop-up agency Jack + Bill, which in one year won top awards from PRWeek, Bulldog Reporter and SABRE (Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation). Since she took over at Havas PR in late 2009, the agency has become one of the most awarded of its size in the U.S.

The author or co-author of 15 books, Marian is a prolific writer and currently blogs for the Huffington Post, Forbes.com and CNBC, plus various company blogs, among others. Her four-part series on the brain for HuffPost won a 2011 Bronze SABRE for Speech or Bylined Article and an honorable mention from the PR News Platinum PR Awards.

In 2012, Marian was a PR juror for the CLIO Awards, part of the international PR jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and one of the final judges to select candidates for Venture for America, a program for future entrepreneurs modeled after Teach for America. She now sits on that organization’s board of directors, in addition to the board of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

Marian graduated from Brown University with top honors.

Entries by Marian Salzman

Why Trendspotting Still Matters: The Power of Looking Forward

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 3:57 PM

It's year-end trend report time among professional trendspotters, a time to prognosticate about what's coming next. In the process of compiling the annual trends report for Havas, the company where I work, I got started thinking about the future of trendspotting itself.

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Why People Rule the World in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 12:11 PM

"For the first time in a long time, people are running the world." That ad-campaign concept brief recently came over my email transom at Havas PR North America, where I'm CEO, and got me thinking.

This isn't a post to plug my colleagues at Havas, or their client PayPal,...

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The Future of the American Mood: Hispanic Millennials in Border States

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 8:14 AM

The new U.S. centers of gravity are California and Texas. Yes, they're the top two states by population, with just over 38 million people in California and more than 26 million in Texas. But mass does not equal gravity. And yes, they have Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Dallas and SXSW....

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Can Capitalism Afford a Conscience?

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 1:01 AM

At first glance, capitalism circa 2014 looks like a pretty soulless endeavor: massive piles of fast money, no wider context of conscience involved. Just look at how Hollywood's depictions of finance guys have evolved. In 1946, in It's a Wonderful Life, the softhearted banker wins out. In 1987, we got...

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Crash the Gate: What the Class of 2014 Needs to Know About the New Route to Success

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 2:25 PM

It's 2014, and yet moldy old formulas for career success are lingering well past their expiration dates. But as I'm planning to elaborate on in a commencement speech I'll be giving later this year, I finally see an end to that antiquated career path (find a big company, get your...

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Forget Orchid; Green Is My Color for an Entrepreneurial 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 1:44 PM

Some days I have blue eyes; other days they are green. On New Year's Eve they were green ... with envy and with thoughts of how to finally hit the jackpot. As my partner, Jim, and I sat at NoLa in SoNo eating a NoLa-inspired meal (translation: an oyster bar...

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We'll All Be Having a Hacking New Year

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 4:10 PM

Even after two decades of successfully forecasting spot-on international trends for consumers and corporations, I didn't see coming what I refer to as the Year of the Everyday Trendspotter (aka 2013). It's so easy to do up-to-the-minute searches and publish in real time online that everybody from daddy bloggers to...

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Why We Created a Startup with Two 22-Year-Olds

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 2:31 PM

I've been working in trendspotting, advertising and PR for about as many years as my new business associates have been walking the earth, and I couldn't be more excited about working with them.

As the CEO of Havas PR and a veteran of other big...

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How Using My Brain Has Helped It Heal

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 11:36 AM

As we approached Brain Tumor Awareness Month (it's every May), I had coincidentally been posting about my own repeated misadventures in and recent return visit to brain-tumor land. Some of what I wrote or Tweeted about might have sounded a bit crotchety (the stress of having to negotiate...

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Predictions for Thriving in the Near Future

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 4:13 PM

It's forecasting time again, this year with an added meteorological spin -- and let's hope I'm not tempting more weird weather with that expression. Seeing Sandy's damage to so many homes, including my own, got me thinking back over the many years I have been warning that extreme weather would...

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2013: The Year Fatigue Set In

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 3:02 PM

Keen trend watchers notice the way certain words rise up out of billions of conversations, evoking essential thoughts and feelings about the zeitgeist in a syllable or two. Current examples are "network," "communication," "community," "well-being," "awesome," "hardwired" and "mobile"; they're everywhere, all-purpose Swiss army knife words that defy simple definitions....

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Reconnecting to Reality With Native Cultures

(0) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 12:31 PM

It's no coincidence that "native" is now becoming a trigger word in fashion and style. As modern life accelerates into a future that gets more virtual with every passing year, consumers are increasingly experiencing a sense of rootlessness. As growing numbers of us move jobs, cities and even countries, fewer...

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The Big Burg Theory

(3) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 2:52 PM

Say "cities" and the negative associations come cascading out: noise, dirt, housing projects, shantytowns, concrete, crowding, crime, drugs, pollution, gridlock, stress, alienation. For many decades, people in the developed world flocked to live outside cities in suburbs or way out in the countryside, where they could escape all of that...

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The Rise of Africa

(3) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 1:41 PM

Although the African continent is not yet a paragon of peace and prosperity, compared with even a decade ago things are looking way up. While many parts of the world have been struggling with flat or flagging economic growth, Africa looks set to carry on growing at a fair clip....

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What's Next for Places?

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 2:32 PM

If you had been offered a trip to Bilbao in the early 1990s, you probably would have asked, "Where is it?" and "What's there?" It's in northern Spain and, until 1997, with the launch of the legendary $228 million Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum, the best answer to that second question...

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Rethinking Quality of Life

(0) Comments | Posted December 27, 2012 | 11:17 AM

The financial meltdown of 2007-08 and the limping economy since then have prompted a range of fascinating responses and repercussions.

Anger and outrage have fueled movements such as the Tea Party in the United States and the Occupy movement in many countries, and maybe even contributed to the Arab Spring....

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The Future of Education: Constant Schooling

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 7:10 PM

Writer Thomas Friedman recalls his parents telling him, "Finish your dinner -- people in China are starving." Now with his daughters, he wants to say, "Finish your homework -- people in China and India are starving for your job." One glance at the most recent results...

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Dads: The New Moms

(8) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 8:26 PM

At some point in the past few years, you have probably seen a dad out alone carrying Junior in a sling as he shops for the best-value diapers and formula. You can easily imagine an ambitious young woman studying hard for a prestigious career, looking forward to landing a job...

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What's Next for an Imperfect World?

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 6:03 PM

The quest for perfection has come so far that it's now taken for granted, especially in new media. Digital imaging software slims silhouettes and erases skin blemishes. Digital recording technology corrects a singer's wobbly pitch and fills out a weak voice, making anybody sound...

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Economies Go Alternative

(6) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 7:00 PM

If you live in Greece or Spain or even in parts of the United States, that nasty gurgling sound is the economy going down the drain. The official economy, that is -- the one that gets tracked by the accountants and tax officials and economists who feature in the media...

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