Beatriz “Bea” Perez is SVP and chief communications, public affairs, sustainability and marketing assets officer for The Coca-Cola Company.
She leads an integrated team across public affairs and communications, sustainability and marketing to support the company’s new growth model and path to become a total beverage company. In this role, Perez aligns a diverse portfolio of work against critical business objectives to support brands, communities, consumers and partners worldwide. She continues to oversee the company’s sports and entertainment assets, including iconic partnerships with the Olympics, Special Olympics and FIFA.
What would your advice be for a young person entering PR in 2020?
Words matter. Leaders, clients and organizations should communicate in an authentic way. Positivity, inclusivity and empathy should be at the core. People may not remember the actual words, but how those words made them feel will have a lasting impact. Know your impact.
How are the founding principles of PR relevant in today’s fast-moving and febrile comms environment?
PR done well enhances reputation and credibility. Done well means it is honest, clear, simple and transparent. As communicators, we have an accountability when we share information with others to ensure our facts — all facts — are checked and that we have the highest ethical standards.
Information moves faster than ever before and has the ability to impact the world. Let’s use our expertise to conduct communications that spread truth.
What role should the industry play in combating racial injustice?
We MUST! Together We Must! We must use our public voices to stand up for social and economic justice and fight for equality.
What keeps you excited about working in PR?
The opportunity to share the stories that generations for years to come will want to know. Sharing key lessons learned and the journeys we have been on is just as important as sharing the successes and impact.
At Coca-Cola, I had the chance to dig into our archives while we evolved our company’s narrative. The lessons I learned from the archived information is what drove us to ensure our actions and communications all align with our purpose to refresh the world and make a difference.
How can the soft drinks industry work together to combat the negative impact of climate change?
We have set targets to reduce our carbon and recently launched science-based targets. This is an existential crisis for our planet and the resources we all share. Through innovation and collaboration, we have been working in the areas of packaging, ingredients, water use and human rights that touch our business and society. We view this as a pre-competitive space and understand it is critical to partner to invest to drive solutions.
For example, packaging is almost one-third of Coca-Cola’s overall carbon footprint. Our World Without Waste strategy is essential for us to meet our science-based climate target. By working together within our industry, we can invest even more in local recycling programs.
How do you relax?
Family time and reading.
Favorite sports team?
Any team that partners with Coca-Cola.
Coke Zero and Topo Chico Lime.
Which three people, living or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party?
Leonardo da Vinci, Queen Elizabeth II and Thurgood Marshall.