Ten Rising Stars: Lisa Clayborn

Managing supervisor, Fleishman-Hillard

Managing supervisor, Fleishman-Hillard

Given its pervasiveness in sports today, it's easy to forget Gatorade had humble beginnings, as an unknown drink created by two University of Florida physicians in the 1960s.

But Gatorate is not ubiquitous overseas, the way it is in the US, and not the market leader in every country, according to Lisa Claybon, 28. Clayborn, who helms Fleishman's Gatorade account in some 20 different countries, is tasked with increasing the sports drink's global reach.

Claybon began working on the Gatorade account in 2003, and soon got the opportunity to help grow out the global part of the business, which was insignificant compared to US sales. The markets she runs include Australia, China, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, and Spain.

"Lisa has a reputation of pulling people in," says Jim Motzer, senior VP and senior partner.

Clayborn says she jumped at the opportunity to work with multiple offices outside of the US and expand her relationships with both Fleishman and Gatorade colleagues.

"The natural role is to share best practices from one country to the next, as well as developing unique initiatives that work in one particular company," Clayborn says.

Motzer says it was obvious she enjoyed the international aspect of the PR business, so it was a good match when the agency needed help on the international account. He also said that Claybon has a passion for the Gatorade brand.

That passion spills into another account connected with the sports beverage manufacturer. The "Get Kids in Action" program is a four-year joint partnership between the University of North Carolina and Gatorade designed to decrease childhood obesity.

Motzer says it is a testament to Clayborn's dedication that she can manage a global account while running the media intensive program. "She has tremendous people skills and sensitivity to know what people need," Motzer says, which helps when "[global] clients have different needs and dynamics."

Motzer says that Clayborn was also able to lead client meetings and do what a seasoned SVP might do with only minimal supervision.

While Clayborn travels a lot, technology allows her to keep in touch with her regions effectively. "I've done my fair share of early morning and late afternoon calls," she jokes, adding that her colleagues outside of the country do the same to work around each other's schedule.

She says that a big part of the job is identifying synergies between markets.

"The best way to adapt campaigns for different countries is to find the common denominators, what can you do that will have the greatest impact, while bring the results to the most amount of people," Clayborn says. "At the same time, we try to find solutions that will fit each individual market."

Clayborn has also worked with McDonald's where she managed media relations activities for the company's introduction of the Dollar Menu, which garnered more than 100 million media impressions. She also created "McDonald's & You" program, which involved distributed brochures to the company's 13,000 US franchises to highlight community contributions and to address public criticisms of the company.

  • In this web-exclusive feature, PRWeek.com presents ten profiles of young communications professionals under thirty in a variety of industries, focuses, and roles.

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