Income Disparity: Corporations Need to Act Now or Feel Pain Soon

As Seen In… The Huffington Post

“A problem well put is half solved,” said the great pragmatist John Dewey. But a problem ignored is an imminent crisis.

That seems to be the case with the pervasive problems that flow from income disparity. The crisis is near, but perhaps with pragmatic and courageous leadership we can change that.

First, though, there’s Mr. Dewey’s point of attacking the right problem. Despite the dramatic attention paid recently to wealth disparity, the primary problem we need to solve is not that a small number of people have a great deal of wealth. It matters much less that there are 1,600 billionaires in a world of 7.3-billion people than that there are 3 billion people who live in poverty, and almost as many who have no access to even rudimentary financial tools. And that real wages in developed nations are declining and youth unemployment is at record levels.

Continue Reading

Working From Home During a Blizzard? S’no Problem!

If you live in the northeastern part of the United States and have been pummeled by snow over the past 24 hours, you are probably working from home today. However, a snow day doesn’t need to be a lost day. It can actually be a great time to concentrate, catch up and even get ahead.

Here are some tips for you to work most effectively from your “home office.”

Continue Reading

National Iced Tea Day

National Iced Tea Day

We matched Snapple’s quirky and accessible brand to hungry social consumers through National Iced Tea Day, complete with bi-coastal celebrity Whitney Port as spokesperson and a free lunch giveaway from top New York City food trucks. The celebration engaged 1,000 fans, reached more than four million consumers through social media and bolstered sales in Q2 2011 by 8%.

Continue Reading

New Year, new job.

In 2015 social and digital are no longer specialist areas of public relations. They’re simply good day-to-day public relations practice.

Yet the question on the table remains, how do we best engage with all our clients’ audiences today? It’s a question I’m excited to answer, and to do so, I am making a move… but luckily I’m not going very far.

I’m delighted to step into the newly-created role of Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum. Our first ever. While the term has been used to describe internal communications, at Ketchum, we’re using it to describe the engagement needed to be effective online.

Continue Reading

Two Legends: Separated by Time and Space, But United in Their World View

For some reason, the World Economic Forum likes to present some of the biggest names in government and business in a relatively intimate setting. Rather than feature them in the plenary hall that accommodates 1,500 people – a room these world figures could easily fill – they schedule a session in a room called Agenda 2. It accommodates just 90 people in three rows around two chairs in the center.

Yesterday I was there as the New York Times’ Tom Friedman interviewed the legendary Israeli leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres. Today, CBS anchor Charlie Rose interviewed Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

Continue Reading

World Economic Forum: Three Ways PR Can Address Global Challenges

This week, leaders from business, government and civil society are convening in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015. What does public relations have to do with a gathering of 2,500 global leaders? Perhaps more than you think.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “The New Global Context,” and throughout the more than 280 sessions, they will examine, discuss and, most critically, determine how to address some of the world’s most pressing issues. These ten specific global challenges will be of particular focus: environment and resource scarcity; employment skills and human capital; gender parity; long-term investing, infrastructure and development; food security and agriculture; international trade and investment; future of the internet; global crime and anti-corruption; social inclusion; and future of financial systems.

Amid a year in which optimism has already been squandered by continued economic, political and social uncertainty, the gathering of these leaders, around these issues, feels ever-more critical.

But how do these global challenges apply to our work in Public Relations? Three key lessons come to mind:

Continue Reading

Why We WEF

As Seen In… The Holmes Report

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting begins tomorrow in Davos, Switzerland, and I have the privilege of once again representing Ketchum at the week-long gathering of approximately 2,500 company CEOs, heads of state and NGO leaders.

Five Ketchum senior partners have attended Davos over the years and several other Ketchum leaders have been delegates at major regional WEF meetings.

So why do we attend and what is the benefit to Ketchum and any organization that sends a leader or delegation? In other words, why do we WEF?

Continue Reading

CES Insights: A PR Pro’s Lessons from 2015 to Get You Ready for 2016

As Seen In… The Access Point.

This is not going to be another post about the major technology trends. If you’re looking for that right now, you can find a few of them here, here and here.

This post delivers a few of our observations from a public relations standpoint helpful to companies looking to make a splash at the annual gadget menagerie.

CES gets bigger every year — more than 170,000 attendees trampled the padded carpets bare this year and took more pictures of random things that they’ll never look at again. (Good thing storage is cheap these days.) More than 3,600 vendors exhibited new products across two show floors, making it seem daunting for any company wanting to break through the noise.

But there are several good tactics and opportunities for companies of all sizes to make their news get noticed and remembered.

Continue Reading

A Career Coaching Blueprint for Newly Minted Managers

The words, “Congratulations on your promotion to manager!” are exciting to hear coming from your boss. Depending on the company and role, it can mean many things—from being responsible for larger client relationships to growing your business. Likely, it also means you are now responsible for your team’s professional development and advancement. Put another way, whether you realized it initially or not, you are now a career coach.

As you move into the role of manager, I recommend you quickly consider whether you have a checklist for tracking your effectiveness. If not, I hope that my personal checklist can serve as a blueprint for you when the time comes to create your own…

Continue Reading

Why the Word Millennial is Not Cliché

In our industry, “marketing to millennials” may prompt eye rolls. Once a word permeates the media vernacular and become ubiquitous, it starts to feel like jargon sans meaning.

But I’m here to say that the word millennials is not a buzzword or catch phrase. It’s also not meant to downplay the importance of other generations, as Gen X and Boomers are also largely untapped targets that we focus on with great vigor.

Continue Reading

Achieving Peak Awesomeness in PR

We’re all pretty awesome at PR, as shown by our smiley/happy Facebook feeds and gorgeous/clever Instagram posts, but there is always room to be even awesome-er.

Here are five ways to reach Peak PR Awesomeness in 2015, gleaned from some of the best PR minds I know…

Continue Reading