Dispatch from Davos III: Tackling Unemployment

This week, Ketchum President Rob Flaherty is attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum — which brings together 2,500 CEOs and government leaders in Davos, Switzerland — and is reporting his observations. On Jan. 31, he will host a special webinar open to the public, “Davos 2011: An Insider’s Guide to Key Insights,” in which he will recap his experiences. Unemployment is so pervasive that I’m sure you, like me, know several people who have been or are still out of work during this recession.Recognizing this, the World Economic Forum and CNBC convened a televised debate hosted by Maria Bartiromo to hear solutions to “The Future of Employment.”

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Happy Anniversary, iPad!

One year ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad to the world, triggering a seismic shift in mobile computing. The impact was as unforeseen as it was big. With nearly 15 million iPads sold, Apple outstripped analysts’ average predictions by a factor of 5X. In just one quarter, the iPad helped boost sales of media tablets by 45%, and the iPad alone now accounts for 90% of the market.

The iPad’s impact on content production and distribution has been no less significant. As Apple’s iTunes store upended the music industry model, the iPad has forced print, Web, video and game companies to reconsider their businesses and step up to a whole new expectation for their users’ experience, interactivity and relationship with the content they provide. With the iPad, Apple continued to reign as the king of marketplace disruption.

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Dispatch from Davos II: Wide Open Leadership

Dispatch from Davos II: Wide Open Leadership

This week, Ketchum President Rob Flaherty is attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum — which brings together 2,500 CEOs and government leaders in Davos, Switzerland — and is reporting his observations. On Jan. 31, he will host a special webinar open to the public, “Davos 2011: An Insider’s Guide to Key Insights,” in which he will recap his experiences.Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet and hear from the CEO of a $5.5 billion IT company in India about his leadership philosophy. Vineet Nayar of HCL Technologies believes that value today is created in the “value zone,” where employees meet customers every day. It is value co-created with customers as they sort out what a rapidly changing marketplace really needs now. That’s an interesting thought for all of us at Ketchum as we work with our clients in our own rapidly changing environment. Taking it a step further, Nayar thinks that more value is created in the field than at the top of the company, by senior professionals and executives. Consequently, Nayar believes that “the job of management is to enthuse, enable and encourage employees in the value zone to create higher value than competitors.” He says that management is as accountable to employees as employees are to management. 

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Dispatch from Davos I: More Disruption Ahead

Dispatch from Davos I: More Disruption Ahead

This week, Ketchum President Rob Flaherty is attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum — which brings together 2,500 CEOs and government leaders in Davos, Switzerland — and is reporting his observations. On Jan. 31, he will host a special webinar open to the public, “Davos 2011: An Insider’s Guide to Key Insights,” in which he will recap his experiences.  The first full day of the World Economic Forum got off to a brisk start with a discussion and debate among mobile technology and social network experts.

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2011: What's the Big Picture in Digital Media?

2011: What's the Big Picture in Digital Media?

Now that 2011 is in full swing, a whole slew of predictions, projections and forecasts have come in about what the next year will bring to the digital realm. Digital media experts, social media gurus and industry thought leaders have collectively generated a laundry list of trends including almost every major development in digital media during the past few years – from 2D codes (such as QR [quick response] codes) to “mood check-ins” to cloud computing and so forth. The following represents my attempt to bring clarity to the discussion by zeroing in on what I believe will be the five major broadly defined trends driving digital and social media marketing this year. 

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The Changing Crisis Management Landscape

Reputation is undoubtedly one of a corporation’s most valuable assets. Organizations invest millions of dollars and many years of effort to build their brands and develop trust among their stakeholders. But in today’s lightning-fast, hyper-connected world, a crisis can occur in a heartbeat and destroy a hard-earned reputation at Internet speed. With so much at stake, effective crisis communication and issues management require companies to gain a new understanding of who their audiences are and what they expect and share about a brand. In a new podcast I just recorded for an audio series by American Airlines called “The Executive Report,” I discuss how new demands for corporate transparency and new channels opened by social media are transformng the way companies must prepare for and respond to crises. I invite you to listen to this discussion below and let me know your thoughts on this topic.  http://newsroom.ketchum.com/multimedia-center/podcasts/changing-crisis-management-landscape

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The Fearful CEO (or the Branson Effect)

The Fearful CEO (or the Branson Effect)

Even though study after study shows the positive effect a likable CEO can have in the success of a company and how he or she can put a face on a company’s values and attitudes as no other person can, PR pros increasingly face a challenge of getting some of their client CEOs in the media spotlight.

Some have a strong entourage that will only grant an interview with the most elusive and sought-after journalist, shunning the best media along the way. These handlers care for the CEO as if he or she were a rock star or Oprah Winfrey, and their excuses for ignoring media requests fall flat. “He doesn’t have the time” (well, think again, CEO duties should include communications). Or “That outlet is not worthy of our CEO” (definitely not, that outlet is one of the most respected and powerful in the country, and your CEO is just a country manager of one of many companies).

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That Time of ‘Year'

That Time of ‘Year'

How to Write Expressions With the Word “Year” and Other Time PeriodsWith the end of 2010 and the start of 2011, the word “year” will be coming up a lot in our communications in the next few weeks. Here’s a rundown of helpful guidelines related to some common gremlins with “year” expressions as well as other time expressions that can trip us up. Do any of these cause confusion for you? New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s and new year – “New Year’s Eve” and “New Year’s Day” are capitalized proper nouns for the names of a holiday and a preholiday period, and “New Year’s” can refer to either, but the “new year” is simply the new year and lowercased.

Paul is off on New Year’s Day.
What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?
Elyse is going to a New Year’s party.
Happy new year!

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2010 FedEx and Ketchum Social Media Benchmarking Study Highlights

FedEx and Ketchum Pleon Change recently partnered on a benchmarking study with 62 leading brands, including PepsiCo, GE, and Procter & Gamble, to answer the social media questions that keep many of our clients up at night: 

How do we leverage social media to drive internal culture, brand performance and reputation management?
What is the appropriate budget allocation to support social media programming?
How do we adapt internal structures to develop and roll out social media strategies?
What is the best way to measure the ROI of social media spending?

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I Can Haz Conference?

I Can Haz Conference?

For the past few years, nearly every corner of the marketing world has spent countless hours and resources trying to figure out how to best use social and digital media to help brands achieve their business and communications goals. Many of these conversations revolve around self-proclaimed “social media experts,” and almost all of them focus on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and the other popular apps that are part of the World Wide Web.

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