About Barri Rafferty

Barri Rafferty is CEO of Ketchum, one of the world’s top communication firms, with offices and affiliates in 130 markets in more than 70 countries. Barri leads Ketchum’s Global Leadership Council to guide the strategy, client service and performance of the agency. Outside of Ketchum, she participates in a number of groups including the sustainability task-force for the World Economic Forum and is a member of Arthur W. Page Society Page Up program. Rafferty sits on the board of StepUp, an organization with the mission of empowering girls from under-resourced communities to become confident, college-bound, and career focused and she is also a member of the governing body of OmniWomen, Omnicom’s Leading Women’s Network, for which she holds quarterly panel discussions featuring prominent women. She is the recipient of the Plank Center Milestones in Mentoring Award. Barri is a graduate of Boston University (M.A) and Tulane University and enjoys watching soccer, volleyball, and dance - especially when her son and daughter are involved! Connect with her on Twitter: @barrirafferty

Author Archive | Barri Rafferty

WEF: The Future of Tech Looks Bright

My tablet possesses processing power equivalent to 5,000 desktop computers from 30 years ago. The average adult in the U.S. consumes more than 10 hours of digital media per day. Sensors are connecting the physical world to virtual networks. AI software is engaging us daily under the names Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Home. Since the World Economic Forum introduced the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution at Davos last year, I’ve noticed tremendous leaps in the technology that’s already a part our daily lives, and the innovations that are just around the corner.

Here are a few of the big tech trends making waves in Davos this year:

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WEF: A 100-Year Life, Well-Lived

My husband’s grandmother is nearing 102 years of age, and a colleague just celebrated her grandfather’s 100th birthday. Reaching this age used to seem like a pipe dream, but as living beyond 100 becomes more common, I’ve found myself, and my social circle, discussing what this trend will mean for us and our children. Will our quality of life improve as our longevity increases? What lifestyle changes should we be making now to improve our odds of living healthy later?

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It’s Time to Close the Gap Between What Leaders Say and What They Do

The Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum has begun and this year there is an extraordinarily timely theme: responsive and responsible leadership.

Amid the growing discontent of the world’s citizens with corporate and government leaders, we are on the verge of a transformation with respect to who leaders are and how they lead. For leaders, there is also the question of how to be effective while ensuring they are heard.

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Why WEF Matters: Four Perspectives

The kickoff to the fabled World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, takes place on Tuesday, and we are once again gearing up for a full week of important discussions on the biggest business, political, environmental and societal issues impacting the world today. I like to call it the “Davos marathon,” as it really is a nonstop week of inspiring conversation, interaction and education.

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The Communications Evolution: Climb Aboard, or Risk Being Left Behind

Among the lessons I took away from the 2016 presidential election – and there were many – was the provocative power of visual communications. We heard and read plenty throughout the campaign, but what we saw may have impacted us even more.

Facial expressions and body language during debates, finger-pointing combatants at campaign rallies, memes and videos that exploded virally. Clearly, the public was hungry for raw, authentic emotion – and they got it.

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15 Insights from the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit

While the average Q&A lasted about 30 minutes due to the large number of people in attendance, somehow it still felt as though this was an intimate lunch where advice was exchanged amongst close friends. It is that generosity and openness of powerful women to mix and mingle, share stories and help each other make business connections that makes Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit so special.

When Sheryl Sandberg interviewed Priscilla Chan—I felt a new appreciation for the passion she brings to their foundation. When Barbra Streisand was introduced as an advocate for women’s heart health—you were exposed to a whole new side of her. And when Intel’s Diane Bryant opened up about her father’s incarceration and why she chose engineering—you see the fight and wit she must have exhibited when climbing the ranks.

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(Video) TEDx: It’s Never Too Late to Declare a Minor

A few months ago I was given an opportunity that many only dream of – joining the ranks of the scientists, philosophers, professors and business executives who have stood on stage to give a famed “TED Talk.” Many have asked me how it happened, so here is the simple story.

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Page Society Annual Conference: Can Communicators Impact the Social Divide?

Rob Flaherty & Barri Rafferty at Page

I recently attended the 33rd Page Society Annual Conference, aptly themed, “Clash of the Empires: Building Bridges In A Divided World.” The picture painted at Page was a bit depressing, yet the realism was important for us to hear as communicators. The post-Brexit world, Trump’s ascension as a Presidential contender and the now tremendous wealth divide created by the financial collapse were all front-and-center topics. Like Davos earlier this year, sitting in London with the opportunity to tap European experts on myriad of pressing global issues provided unique insights beyond a traditional American point of view. Here are a few learnings that I took with me back home.

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Meet the CMOs of Tomorrow: The Cannes Young Lions Marketers Competition

17 teams, representing the top young marketing duos from as many countries, converged at Cannes with just 20 hours to solve a creative challenge and present a marketing brief on a global stage before a panel of esteemed judges—all for the chance to win a prestigious Gold Lion.

Ketchum has sponsored the Cannes Young Lions Marketers Competition for the past six years. Just like the spirit of our training program Camp Ketchum, the competition brings together the brightest and most creative marketing minds from around the world to solve an important client challenge. Also like Camp Ketchum, the Young Lions Marketers Competition is a platform for our agency to mentor, inspire and develop young talent in the industry.

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A Place for VR and IRL at the Beach and at the Communications Table: Ketchum Launches Ketchum VR

From the beaches of Cannes for the Cannes Lions Festival this week, to the beaches of Rio for the upcoming Olympic Games, this summer brands will turn out more VR content than ever before. In fact, Deloitte Global projected VR will hit $700m in hardware sales in 2016, with roughly 2.5 million VR headsets and 10 million game copies to be sold. As VR breaks out of the early adopter phase and finds its way into the homes of millions more people, Ketchum is already taking clients into this virtual future.

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