Ketchum: A Pivot Toward the Future
Communications and marketing executives want partners, not order takers, to help them navigate today's disjointed landscape and see around the corner. They need trusted advisers who understand their industry and can think beyond the brief. More than ever, they need to see a return on their investment. They seek an agile team who can both design and execute creative solutions that are informed by data and that deliver business impact through the right mix of media, content and channels.
Yet, the traditional large agency model, built around geographic P&Ls, is not conducive to being the partner that today's clients need.
Driven by this insight, when Barri Rafferty became CEO in 2018, she began laying the groundwork for what would become the biggest structural shift in Ketchum's 95-year history.
Historically the firm was organized globally around its global practices communities and managed locally by geographic P&Ls – a structure similar to nearly all large global public relations agencies. But this structure posed a hindrance to the borderless mentality and "best teams" approach required to best serve clients. Instead of pulling in the best talent with the deepest industry or specialist knowledge, account teams were incentivized to serve each client's business within the walls of their own office to ensure they continued to meet their P&L's financial goals.