NOI Data and Technology’s “Unconference”

A few weekends ago I found myself surrounded by people bound by two commonalities: our love of coffee and a willingness to wake up extra early on a Saturday morning to discuss all things data.

As a member of Ketchum’s Global Research and Analytics group (KGRA), I was thrilled to attend New Organizing Institute’s Data & Technology “unconference,” a workshop where all material is created and presented by the attendees, on the spot. This means that there was no set agenda when I arrived, but rather, participant-led sessions that evolved throughout the day.

In essence, we were all teachers and students, as we all had something to give and gain. Lessons ranged from being silly (pie charts are the worst charts) to serious (data can mean the difference between life and death). 

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Don’t be a Mouse, Don’t be a Louse: Balancing the Tension Between Visiblity and Credibility

Keep Calm and Work Hard

There’s always been tension between visibility and credibility in both our personal careers as well as the communications profession. Visibility without credibility is “spin” and credibility without visibility is Too Quiet, Church Mouse, Who Knew? For example, when people learn that I was in the Peace Corps after college, they find that idealism adds to my credibility. Without knowing that fact, I can appear to be just another hardened industry executive claiming idealistic goals. So, how can we ensure our work is both credible and visible?

Here are three tips to balance credibility and visibility in your career:

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Absolut Stoop Life Movement

By mobilizing bloggers to post stories about life in Brooklyn, Ketchum ignited a grassroots campaign that gave ABSOLUT BROOKLYN, a city-inspired flavored vodka, the authentic street credibility to drive awareness and purchase intent significantly.

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A Warmer, Fuzzier Analytics?


I recently subjected colleagues to a word-association exercise. The word was “Analytics.”  As you can imagine, responses included “Data,” “Metrics” and “Measurement,” emphasizing the stereotypical view that analytics lives in an impenetrable realm of numbers, more numbers and just numbers.

As I am a Strategic Planner, I found this exercise dispiriting. Corporate America has been extolling the virtues of analytics as supposedly critical to strategic business decisions and corporate success, yet it’s still seen and used in a very restricted way. I think it’s a travesty.  It’s time for analytics to have its moment in the sun, not just as the stats professor but as the hip dude/bro/sis it actually is.

In my experience, analytics is used in most companies today in two ways:

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How Intern Hopefuls Should Put the “P” in PR

Summer Fellow

Time flies by when you’re having (public relations) fun. Today officially concludes my first month as a research intern in Ketchum’s New York office. Despite being only one month into my internship, my Ketchum journey has been deep and dirty (and by dirty, I mean aggressive, hands-on, and involved).

If you haven’t read Bill Zucker’s blog post on his “accidental internship,” you should. As stated in his article, “The route to a dream internship can be a bumpy one.” This quote made me look back on my experience, and I can’t help but think about what a winding and exhausting time that was. Now, I’m sitting in an office chair, living in the results of my consistent efforts.

I suppose this internship is the metaphorical “destination” I’ve been fighting for – and the question of the hour is (drumroll please) how on earth did I get here?

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Google Wants You to Distribute More Relevant Press Releases

Google Panda 4.0

Marketers and communicators seem to be asking the same question after Google once again updated its Panda algorithm: “Will this affect how many people see my press releases?”

The simple answer is that it determines how effective your communications are.

Panda was first released in February 2011 with the intention of lowering the rank of “low-quality sites” or “thin sites” with the intention of delivering higher quality content to users. Shortly after Panda 4.0 came out, a report by Search Engine Land claimed that wire sites lost “significant rankings” due to the update.

This got us thinking, what are the top three most common press release red flags that Panda will be looking out for or, alternatively, what can you do to help ensure your content is seen:

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How Do I Break Through The Job Search?


You already did. If you are reading this in the midst of job searching and feeling the wrath of online applications, then you have already broken through. You’ve begun your process of standing out in the large pool of applicants.

It’s a Catch-22: college students get involved in extracurricular to land a job yet too involved to search for one.

We scour job postings, set notifications for the Glassdoor app, and make intensive Excel sheets filled with offices, personnel and application deadlines. We apply through massive online databases and follow our professors’ keywords advice, but we still cannot seem to break through the clutter. Job hunting in itself is a full-time job.

I found this same frustration until I had the opportunity to speak with Ketchum’s Midwest Director Bill Zucker.

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#EBookInADay: A Public Relations Learning Hackathon


Remember how I told you about the #EBookInADay initiative I led through CIPR in partnership with the University of Solent? The book, P2P PR, has now been completed and I’m pleased to share the outcome with you.

First, let me give you a little recap on what this project entailed:


The purpose of this project was for students to build up their public relations confidence by exploring and reporting on new forms of PR engagements. In order to do so, 50 students were split into eight groups and were tasked with examining and engaging with different disciplines within the public relations practice.

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Connect 14 Conference

Connect 2014

In late May of 2014, Ketchum Change partnered with the Public Relations Society of America’s Connect 14 Conference in Chicago. Speakers addressed the latest internal communications challenges and opportunities with topics ranging from how to communicate internally during a crisis as well as strategies for effective employee communication in a globalized and digitized environment.

I had the pleasure of leading a lively discussion around the changing role of research in internal communications and shared leading edge best practices for measuring and maximizing this type of investment, based on our client work at Ketchum Change and in partnership with Ketchum Global Research and Analytics.

We live in the most complicated environment leaders have ever known – a VUCA environment, where VUCA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. This is a hyper-connected era where networks rule and the planet is getting smaller by the minute thanks to advances in transportation, technology, education and global businesses. This increasingly changing environment demands that businesses adapt their internal communications capabilities.

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Best Places to Work—Ketchum UK

Ketchum UK

For the eighth consecutive year – and the ninth year overall – the Great Places to Work Institute named Ketchum London as one of the U.K.’s top places to work. Ketchum came it at number 24 on the Institute’s annual list out of the 45 honorees in the “Medium” category.

To celebrate, we took some time to sit down with our London colleagues to ask them a few questions about their experience working at Ketchum.

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Your Grandma Saved Facebook

Grandma on Facebook

Facebook is hemorrhaging users, they say. “I can’t get no (organic) satisfaction,” they gripe. Facebook doesn’t value your privacy, they warn. Facebook will die, they predict. One of those statements is as false as your grandmother’s teeth.

As someone whose professional and personal world revolves around digital media, social platforms and apps, I’m immersed in an environment fueled by innovation, predictions, and an accelerated cycle of Darwinism. Platforms add features at an incredible pace as they try to outdo one another in an effort to avoid being that lame gazelle doomed to be lunch. And the pundits are right there, popcorn in hand, playing an admittedly satisfying game of celebrity deathwatch. Every one of them has their metric of choice for measuring impending doom or digital hegemony. In my day-to-day, I hear terms like user acquisition, retention, engagement, differentiation, and integration. These are all important, and can indeed be useful for informing predictions. Right now, everyone’s favorite prediction is the inevitable fall of Facebook.

But Darwin forgot about one thing: Grandma.

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