The Evolving Role of PR

The contours of the public relations discipline are expanding rapidly due to the confluence of several factors, including the widespread adoption of social technologies, the democratization of the media, changing societal expectations and globalization. Here are four lenses through which to view the shift occurring within our field:

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Global Scholar: Why the Exchange of Ideas is a Win-Win

There are many advantages to being part of a global agency network – at the top of my personal list is the opportunity to build connections with colleagues from all over the world.

While PR work for clients may include traveling internationally for specific projects, those trips often have a singular purpose and don’t allow for as much growth and exchange of ideas with colleagues as we would like. Recognizing this, Ketchum created the Global Scholar Program – a work travel program designed specifically to foster the exchange of knowledge, best practices and experiences.

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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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Strong Leadership Communication Requires a Multifaceted Approach

As Seen In… Ketchum Perspectives

Over the course of my career, I have learned many lessons, but perhaps one of the most important is to keep your eye very closely on what I call the say-do gap. In fact, I believe all executives should have signs in their office that say “Mind the Gap” as a reminder. This is considerably more important now because so much of what leaders do is transparent to others the minute they do it. For example, CEOs today are being reviewed just as restaurants are, but the evaluation is on sites like Glassdoor and Vault. The result: You must make sure that your words and behavior align.

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Putting the Talking Head to Bed

We hear predictions that social media will completely replace traditional broadcast news as the primary channel to reach important audiences. There may be some truth to that. Each day, social media and digital content wiggle their way further into every corner of our lives. Content shared socially can be simple, edgy, immediately accessible, and often deeply personal.

For more than 25 years, I’ve coached thousands of executives on how to prepare for television interviews. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I’ve “coaxed” executives, because more often than not most are reluctant to face the cameras. And for executives who are not fond of the in-your-face elements of live television interviews, social media provides the perfect cover.

I’ll leave it to others to opine on effective social media strategies, but from my vantage point, television interviews are still one of the most personal and intimate ways to address an audience. It’s the closest you can come to looking your audience in the eye and connecting on both a physical and emotional level.

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Liquid Change in Latin America: BRICS, Mortars and Frontiers

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with friends and colleagues at our offices in Argentina and Brazil. While on my trip, by way of some great opportunities arranged by my gracious hosts, I had the opportunity to take a closer look at the communications and change management landscape of the region.

The world has turned its eyes towards Latin America, and for good reason. With rich histories, abundant resources and dynamic economies, it’s now a pivotal time for businesses to maximize their growth in the region if they hope to adapt to the pace and nuances of each market.

Here are a few of my observations on communication opportunities that exist in this space, particularly in areas that are experiencing more rapid change than their European and US counterparts.

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Expect Big Changes in PR: 2015 and Beyond

As Seen in… The Access Point

Content remains king! That’s just one of the key takeaways Access learned from a recent 1:1 with Ketchum CEO Barri Rafferty. Barri visited both the Access SF and NY offices in January to share what’s next for Ketchum North America, and the PR industry as a whole. In addition to content, Barri was candid about our field, and where and how our services will evolve in the months and years ahead.

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The DNA of a Successful Corporate Giving Program

International Corporate Philanthropy Day, a day designed to build awareness of corporate-community partnerships and inspire businesses to engage in philanthropy, is the perfect time to celebrate the CSR work done by companies and communities that contribute to positive world change.

From supporting literacy programs in Africa and Asia to local community volunteer programs around the world, we’ve learned quite a bit from our employee-led CSR program, called Ketchum Social Responsibility (KSR). With that in mind, we’re excited to share four CSR tips with hopes of inspiring you to create or enhance your own CSR plans.

So what makes up the DNA of a successful CSR program?

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Future-Proofing Your Brand

This was one of those weeks that reminded me why I love my job so much. In my new role as Global Tech Director for Ketchum, I had the opportunity to moderate a thought-provoking session at Holmes In2 Innovation Summit at the Ritz Carlton, San Francisco. The session, “How to Future Proof Your Brand,” focused on how the social web and integrated communications are redefining the ways in which brands connect with their target audiences.

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Consumer Rules 2.0: Avoiding the #BrandFAIL (Infographic)

We all cringe, yet we cannot look away, when a brand crashes and burns on social media. We shake our heads and think, “How did they not see that coming?” The sad reality is that it does keep coming — a hijacked hashtag here, a Facebook war there, and general internet mockery or outrage everywhere. Brand fails on the internet have become a spectator sport (click to tweet). Sadly, as soon as one brand learns a hard lesson, another will be right behind it, failing in the exact same way.

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Chivalry is Not Dead on Valentine’s Day

In case you hadn’t noticed, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and though the holiday might seem to be a bit sentimental and manufactured to some people, it does support the old cliché that the more things change, the more they stay the same – well, at least on certain occasions.

You see, for all of the ongoing analysis and discussion about how the roles of men and woman have evolved and blurred over the recent years, when it comes to Valentine’s Day very little has changed. Chivalry is not dead on February 14th.

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