Interview with Marijean Lauzier – President and CEO at Racepoint Group, Inc.; CEO at Digital Influence Group

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KBSF:Tell us a bit about yourself, and give us the Racepoint | W2 Group elevator pitch

ML: Well, I’ve been around the industry for a few years now! In fact, I’ve been privileged to give public relations counsel to some of the world’s leading technology, health and science companies for over two decades. I’ve founded, sold, integrated and built over $500 million in public relations agency revenues since 1990.

I’ve enjoyed working with companies such as Microsoft, General Motors, Genzyme, Hewlett-Packard, Ernst & Young, Cook Medical, Hitachi, IBM, T Mobile and VISA over the years.
Prior to founding Racepoint Group five years ago, I was President and COO of Weber Shandwick.
Racepoint was born five years ago after I’d been giving a great deal of thought to the kind of transformation that was needed in our industry.

Larry Weber and I got together to create W2 Group, headquartered in Boston, which now has a global footprint. We are now a global public relations agency that I believe is defining the new model of communications. Through our understanding of the evolution of traditional and social media, we are delivering inspired, strategic and full measurable campaigns. As a global team of professionals, we enjoy creating compelling content and tailor-made strategies that drive engagement, build brand affinity, influence mindshare and impact business goals for our clients.

KBSF: Racepoint | W2 Group is known for its social media focus, tell me a bit about how this transformed your business?

ML: From the outset, W2 Group and Racepoint was founded on the vision of a shift in media channels towards digital. Our goal was and is to help companies to address opportunities and challenges during this transformation. Everyone who works for us is trained in all forms of media- on and offline. Integration of these channels is at the absolute core of our philosophy.

KBSF: What are your favourite social media services?

ML: LinkedIn, because it allows me to connect with people at a senior level in business. Facebook, because it connects me at a personal level with family and friends!

KBSF: Who do you most admire from a PR perspective in rival agencies?

ML: Edelman as an independent, global agency that delivers really good thought leadership marketing for its own business! Ogilvy – really gets social media and blends digital marketing and PR.

KBSF: Aside from your own agency and client brands, what are the brands that you most admire and why?

ML: IBM – because of the elegance of its Smarter Planet branding and its deep organisational adoption of social media and for making it really work so well for the business.

GE – particularly for its ‘Healthy Imagination’ campaign and its deep commitment to developing products that improve the environment and healthcare that fulfils the promise of its communications.

Apple, of course. I love my iPad. I admire Apple for its imagination, vision – that’s a company that really gets the consumer.

KBSF: Is there any product or service that you want to promote to a bunch of Brit PR people?

ML: Cole Haan shoes!

KBSF: Which do you prefer Kittens, babies, sunsets or flowers?

ML: Well, this would have to be sunsets (and sunrises) over Racepoint Beach in Cape Cod, after which I named my agency!

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week