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2010 PR Predictions: Ketchum Edition

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Here are some 2010 predictions from Ketchum executives, starting with agency senior partner and CEO Ray Kotcher:

On business prospects for 2010:

At Ketchum, given the current economic environment, we are being sensible about our 2010 forecasts and are planning for what may be a flat year compared to ’09. But we also have been seeing signs that 2010 could be a year of growth. Clients are “green lighting” 2010 work earlier and with firmer commitments than last year. Our new business activity in the final quarter of ’09 is the strongest it has been all year and our win rate has been outstanding.

On PR M&A activity in 2010:

There is clear evidence that more and more clients are consolidating their accounts with one or two shops that can offer them broad spectrum, integrated global service and greater efficiencies. As providers of public relations services, agencies have the choice to “buy or build” in order to meet client demand.

For example, Ketchum has pursued a “build” strategy with the hiring of Jonathan Kopp to lead Ketchum Digital and we continue to build out Zocalo, our word-of-mouth specialist agency. But in order to immediately expand the spectrum of client offerings of our technology practice here in the States and quickly seize market opportunities, we recently chose the acquisition route with Access Communications, a recognized leader in tech.

Click continued for thoughts from Ron Culp, partner at Ketchum and Director, North American Corporate Practice.


On PR M&A activity in 2010:

More acquisitions as boutiques regain attractiveness to generalist agencies needing increased relevance in specialized areas such as internal communications, financial and CSR.

The “Tiger” Effect?

The fading of celebrity star power for brand support. Events rather than celebrities will dominate 2010 PR initiatives.

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