He started as a classical singer. Today, he sings his clients' praises with creative campaigns that sometimes aren't a million miles away from his former career. Meet Steve Bryant, chief creative officer of Publicis Dialog, US.Describe the company you work for Publicis Dialog ranks among the top 20 US PR firms - top five in food PR - and is part of the Paris-based Publicis Groupe, SA, the world's fourth-largest communications company.
Our global practice is based on the idea that companies interact best holistically, tying together all of their communications around a compelling, creative idea.
What do you do? I head our Seattle office and serve as chief creative officer for our six US PR offices.
Tell us something interesting about your company We have an on-site culinary center with test kitchens. I've sampled about 248 ways to enjoy California table grapes. Grape salsa, anyone?
How did you get into PR? While working as a classical singer 16 years ago, I took a temp job answering phones in our San Francisco office just to pay the bills. I didn't plan to stay long, but I soon found PR to be a perfect channel for my diverse interests in the creative arts, science, and persuasion. So I joined the firm.
What is your greatest achievement? Guiding our work for Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA), a national nonprofit group that recruits, trains, and assigns volunteer advocates to represent the best interests of abused children.
What was your best stunt? To celebrate the production of the one millionth Sonicare toothbrush, I convinced the client to commission an avant-garde composer to write a "Sonicare Symphony in C
for toothbrushes. (The ultrasonic brushes vibrate at a perfect middle C.) Aside from being hilarious, the stunt helped us convey the fun, science, and consumer benefits of the unusual brush.
What was your biggest screw-up? Losing a major client whose objectives were met, but who we failed to inspire and excite. I'll never forget the difference.
What are you working on this week? Trash bags, a drug delivery device that gets implanted in the eye, Italian pasta, a CEO branding program, coffee drinks, and pharmacogenomics testing. You definitely don't want to mix these things up.
Name one account you'd love to work on Sony's robot dog - Aibo. I've loved every Sony product so far. This one even wags its tail.
Who would you most like to work with? Dr. Andrew Weil, the Harvard-trained natural health advocate who has just the prescription for people who value the power of both science and nature to heal. He's brilliant, fearless, and apparently incorruptible.
Name one about your past that would surprise people I once got high school PE credit for a paper advocating the abolition of interscholastic sports - an early testament to my persuasive powers.
Which historical figure would you most like to represent? FDA commissioner David Kessler in his noble stance against big tobacco.
What is the secret of your success? I want a big audience for my work and, luckily, that's also in the best interest of our clients.