“How long will PMI (Philip Morris International) be in the cigarette business?” That is the question firmly planted on the home page of the PMI website. For a tobacco company of 81,000 people with products sold in over 180 markets, this is a huge question to ask.
PMI is currently researching and investing in smoke-free products – products that they believe should be made available to adult smokers around the world as they present a better choice than continuing to smoke. Communicating this shift in direction is a job that throws up myriad challenges.
That job is down to the SVP of Communications at PMI, Marian Salzman. This year, at the PMI Science Lounge during The Cannes Festival of Creativity, she challenged “…the creative community to join us in raising awareness of the potential of science, technology and innovation for those who smoke and the people around them.”
But what does this actually mean and how is PMI structuring its communications to bring about, and deal with, such a significant change in direction? A change where consumer, general public and regulator response could be extremely varied. In this session, Marian Salzman will fly in from Switzerland to address CommsCon and talk about how she currently sees the communications industry and the strategies that she will be using in her role.