Change through Ethical Communication

In This Podcast
Show Notes
Petronella Panérus
E 55

In This Podcast

  • Changing consumer patterns for the better
  • Why putting people first is so important for our success
  • Refusing to compromise
  • Why we need to start with ourselves in order to create positive change
  • Balance is crucial
  • We need to steer clear from extremism

Petronella Panerus is the CEO of advertising agency Åkestam Holst. Today Petronella talks about what smart communication can achieve, the importance of putting people first and thinking long-term in order to be successful, refusing to compromise, why we need to start with ourselves in order to create positive change, why balance is the most important thing to have in life, and why we need to steer clear from extremism.

Show Notes

What smart communication can achieve

Petronella believes that communication agencies have a huge responsibility. Their job is to make the public and media spaces a little more tasteful, rewarding, and entertaining, while staying true to their core values.

At Åkestam Holst, Petronella and her team are always aware that they have the power to change consumer minds, and that they must use this power responsibly. Using smart media campaigns, they can convince people to buy more ecological and sustainable products. They can also influence people to understand that low-priced products have hidden prices, and that local, sustainable businesses are more valuable.

Petronella’s job is to help shape and transform consumer patterns for the better.

What makes Åkestam Holst stand out from other advertising agencies

For Petronella, people are everything. When she gets asked, “How come you won all these awards?” she always mentions the fact that it’s all about putting people first. Then they can produce the best work.

Åkestam Holst is a non-hierarchical organization. Their strategy is to attract the best talent: intelligent people who are used to making their own decisions. If your employees are smart and independent, why should you have managers running them?

At Åkestam Holst the general manager is the idea. Everyone works together in order to bring their ideas to life in the most innovative, exciting ways.

Want to be successful? Think long-term

Inclusiveness, fairness and diversity are concepts very close to Petronella’s heart. She believes that no one has the right to step on someone else. We should all treat each other with respect.

In her role as a CEO she never compromises between what is good for the agency and what is good for the employees. Petronella understands that running an agency is like running a marathon: you have to keep the long distance in mind. She could walk through fire instead of compromising.

If she had all resources available, she would try and work to close the gaps in society. She would like everyone to have the same chances to receive an education. She would also invest time and energy into trying to implement more sustainable ways of living so that we take care of our planet more.

Petronella’s advice to leaders

What is Petronella’s long-term solution for businesses? It all boils down to: honesty, openness, and clarity. It’s important for company leaders to understand that in the end we have to start with ourselves in order to make significant changes elsewhere.

Other advice to leaders includes watching “The Wizard of Oz” every once in a while. It’s such a fantastic story about how we can help each other grow. It’s also important to remember to not be too preoccupied with our own excellence, to surround ourselves with people who balance our weaker sides, and who make us feel good. And it’s always a good idea to be transparent and open-minded.

After a lot of experimenting, Petronella reached the conclusion that sometimes we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. We can just let go and follow the recipe. There are some things that we can use again and again and again.

Having discussions about everything is good for us

Her advice to herself? Look for balance in life and the rest will be ok.

What about what the world needs right now, in Petronella’s opinion? The world needs less polarization, less populism, and less extremism. More understanding, more consensus, and more good conversations. Good conversations can come from anywhere and they are a good tool for expanding our minds.

If the talk resonates with you, we’d recommend you listen to this episode too: Seth Godin.