Our Voices

MAKING AN IMPACT

Senior Writer and Editor
Hannah Lindley joined Havas Group in October 2021 as a Senior Writer and Editor. She has a background in corporate reputation management, journalism, and creative writing.
Further enforcing its mission to make a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and people’s lives, Havas New York appointed Lindsay Stein as its first chief of social impact this past September. We chatted with her to hear a bit more about her career path, her experience at Havas so far, and her personal philosophy.

Can you give us a bit of background on your career path? Why did you choose to leave journalism for the communications world?  

As a journalist, I spent the better part of a decade transforming and elevating the advertising industry by pushing agencies and marketers to make purpose-driven changes. In my most recent journalism role as U.S. Editor of Campaign Magazine, I launched the Female Frontier Awards and the Power of Purpose Awards; evolved the Inclusivity and Creativity Awards and the 40 Over 40 Competition; and kicked off an agency-wide maternity and paternity report, which drove many agencies to improve their internal policies. Before Campaign, I was at Ad Age, where I reported on creativity and media, while also diving deeply into harassment and #MeToo issues across the advertising landscape.  

Purpose-led work has always been – and always will be – a passion point for me. That’s why I decided to leave journalism at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020 to lead nonprofit Today, I’m Brave, an organisation focused on leveraging brave storytelling to empower underserved youth. During my time there, I defined three pillars of inspiration and change for the nonprofit, including diversity, equity, and inclusion; education; and health and wellness; created an “Empathy Movement” that encouraged people to purchase “I Care About You Masks” to support partner nonprofits; kicked off an annual Brave Day in which celebrities and influencers shared their own brave stories; and the inaugural Brave Camp, an event that brought together individual donors and over 100 advertising agencies and production companies to fund underprivileged BIPOC youth to attend a transformative week-long event, designed to inspire self-confidence and bravery through immersive wilderness experiences and a curated Brave Curriculum. 

I joined Havas New York in September 2021 after hearing about all the amazing things the agency was doing to make a meaningful difference to its people, the planet, and its clients, especially its move to becoming a certified B Corp.  

Can you tell us a bit about your role? What does it entail? 

I’ve recently taken on external PR responsibilities for Havas New York, in addition to leading Social Impact. My role focuses on developing successful social impact programmes that have brand impact, create stronger relationships within and outside our network, and help drive growth for Havas New York – as well as aligning and leading all purpose-based efforts across Havas New York internally and externally. 

From a culture perspective, I’m working to develop an internal narrative of creativity that will positively impact company culture, retention, and talent recruitment. On the comms side, I’ll be creating and driving PR attention around Havas New York’s creativity, capabilities, and campaigns.  

“Having focused CSR policies and practices in place is no longer a “nice-to-have” for corporations; it’s a “must-have.” Employees want to work for companies that have a positive influence on the world, and consumers want to buy products and services from those purpose-driven companies.”

What is your personal philosophy that guides your work? 

I have a personal manifesto I try to live each day by, especially when it comes to work: “Filled with optimism. Fueled by possibility. Fired up with passion.”

Why is it so important for companies to have a person / group in charge of social impact? 

Having a dedicated person or group for social impact shows the company’s commitment to change – it shows that the company is investing in making a meaningful difference, not just talking about doing so.  

What is the future of CSR for corporations? Why is it important they play a role in environmental issues? 

Having focused CSR policies and practices in place is no longer a “nice-to-have” for corporations; it’s a “must-have.” Employees want to work for companies that have a positive influence on the world, and consumers want to buy products and services from those purpose-driven companies. It’s not only good for the planet and future generations, but also for the bottom-line of a business. So, it’s really a win-win: keep employees and consumers engaged while making money and serving our planet.   

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