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OCTOBER 23, 2019 //     

PRovoke19 Day One

By: Tara Chiarell 

Attending PRovoke19 was like bringing an integrated campaign to life -- the agenda spanned a variety of topics from measurement, media and influencers to leadership, diversity and culture.

While it would be impossible to capture every valuable insight from day one, there were several key themes that resonated:


Inclusion: Inclusiveness and participation by everyone is key to building a strong culture that supports diversity efforts. Creating an environment where different ideas and opinions can be shared is key to success. Without this foundation, diversity initiatives will not resonate or be successful.

Empathy. We must have empathy -- for oneself and for each other. Practice empathy for yourself and you will be happier, more engaged and more productive. This practice will also become a catalyst for empathy for others. Learn where others come from, what motivates them, what paralyzes them. Helping others self-actualize will drive team productivity and engagement.

Mirroring. Brands today are focused on reaching diverse external audiences. However, to achieve success, you must have a project team that mirrors your target audience. Sometimes you need to go outside your organization to find key perspectives who will take your idea from good to great.


Reliability. According to Elena Botelho of ghSMART, the most important behavior for a leader to demonstrate is reliability. This should shine through in every day activities from being on time to resisting the urge to overpromise. Many leaders struggle with the latter because they want to do-it-all and are driven to deliver results. Reliability is a mindset; habits of reliability need to be practiced; and leaders must surround themselves with people who can help them stay on track. Integrity is paramount, if leaders can’t live up to what they say, employees, partners and stakeholders will have trouble trusting them.

Authenticity. Balancing the idea of what a leader should be and who you are as a person is an antiquated mindset. Employees need to trust their leaders and feel connected to them through authentic interactions and conversations. Leaders who are true to themselves rather than playing a role, are more likely to motivate employees and drive business results. Leaders should set the example -- hold themselves and employees accountable and challenge other leaders to arrive at the best outcome.


Customization. Measurement requires a custom strategy for each company, brand and campaign. While the measurement will differ for each, the approach is the same. We must understand what the business goals are before we can understand how our campaign will impact business results. As we know, we must move beyond impressions. We must focus on how our activity and investment will move the needle for the business. As marketing and comms professionals, we must understand the metrics the C-Suite is focused on in order to showcase value.

Accountability. Marketers, internal and external, have a responsibility to manage spending responsibly. When requesting budget, we must challenge ourselves to answer the following questions:

  1. How much money are you requesting and why?
  2. What is the business impact of spending those dollars?
  3. Convince me why we should spend here instead of another idea?
  4. Is there something we should stop doing and move resources around?

MarComm has a great opportunity to educate brands about investing in Demand channels to drive revenue, provided we can show why and impact.

Stay tuned for more insights out of Day 2!

Tara Chiarell is the general manager of Allison+Partners’ Washington, D.C. office.

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