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Posts Tagged ‘Rob Flaherty’

Ketchum’s Rob Flaherty: ‘Our Business is All About Change’

The press release announcing the leadership changes at Ketchum described the appointments as part of a transition for the company. But if you ask the firm’s top two execs, change is always and ongoing.

“Our business is all about change, so if you’re not changing you’re not moving a service firm of any kind forward,” the soon-to-be CEO Rob Flaherty told us on the phone today. “I think a good service firm develops a percentage of their services as new services every year.”

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Flaherty Named Ketchum CEO; Kotcher Appointed Chairman

Ketchum has announced leadership changes right at the top of the organization. As of July 1, Rob Flaherty, senior partner and president, will also become CEO of Ketchum. And Ray Kotcher, currently the CEO and senior partner, will be named chairman. The move is part of a planned leadership transition, with Flaherty continuing to report to Kotcher once they assume their new roles.

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The Case for Blending PR and Advertising

On February 15, we reported on APCO Worldwide‘s purchase of ad agency StrawberryFrog. On Friday, we had news that Bailey Gardiner, a PR and integrated marketing agency, and Fishtank Brand Advertising had come together to create i.d.e.a., a “full-service creative group.”

All across PR, advertising, and marketing, there’s been much talk about the “blurring” of marketing disciplines. Fleishman-Hillard‘s chief exec has talked with us about how their work is cutting across a variety of marketing areas. And firm leaders Richard Edelman (Edelman), Fred Cook (GolinHarris), and Rob Flaherty (Ketchum) all spoke at the last PRWeek NEXT conference about the competition between advertising and PR, and the client’s new openness for “big ideas” that come from the PR agency.

Increasingly, PR firms are tackling their work with this sort of boundary-free approach that opens doors for more business as well as greater integration. Indra Gardiner, founder and chief influence officer at i.d.e.a., says the relationship between BG and Fishtank started with eight months of joint pitching and business wins. Eventually, blending the two together “started making more and more sense.”

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Firm Leaders Advise, ‘Be Bold’

For its final act, the PRWeek NEXT conference gathered three firm heads — Edelman’s Richard Edelman, Ketchum’s Rob Flaherty, and Fred Cook of GolinHarris — to talk about what it means to not just have the “seat at the table,”* but to maximize it.

The consensus among the three can be summed up simply: “Be bold.” In fact, Cook used those words specifically. Flaherty used a quote, that we’ll quote in part here: “Try not to be the understudy in your own life… We have all the permission we need to step to center stage.”

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Critical Mention Reporting from the PRSA Conference

Critical Mention has been conducting a series of interviews from the floor of the PRSA International Conference, taking place through tomorrow. Starring the company’s new president, Dave Armon, guests cover a wide range of PR personalities including Ketchum‘s president Rob Flaherty and Jack O’Dwyer. We’ve attached a clip with MaryLee Sachs, former Hill & Knowlton head and author of the new book The Changing MO of the CMO. Other videos are available here.

Ketchum Panel Looks at What New Legislation, Transparency Mean for IR/PR


Wondering what the new corporate governance regulations mean to you? Ketchum took the issue on in a recent webinar titled Governance Matters: A Briefing on New Corporate Governance Regulations.

Rob Flaherty, Ketchum president and managing director of the agency’s global corporate practice, laid out the pieces of the issue most relevant to the corporate communications community in a recent panel, and charged listeners with understanding the new regulations’ implications as well as the vulnerabilities they create with regard to companies’ reputations.

Among the issues discussed were executive compensation, corporate governance, proxy access and Board of Directors, as well as how to address those issues in an even more transparent corporate environment.

The panel — Kurt Stocker, SEC Disclosure Advisory Board member, Lou Thompson, former president and CEO of the National Investor Relations Institute, Elaine Wolff, partner at Jenner & Block’s Washington, DC office, Sophie L’Helias, head of L’Helias LLC, and Fred Marquardt, senior managing director of Morrow & Co. LLC. — spoke about various aspects of a company’s makeup that will need further explanation.

“The very big point that we hope to make today is that there is a much broader role now for communicators and for the investor relations function within a company. There’s a new obligation that we have. The old model is something that has to be re-examined and changed, and there needs to be a new level of alignment,” Flaherty said.

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Restoring Confidence and Trust Top Issues at Council of PR Firms Forum

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Rob Flaherty, President and Senior Partner, Ketchum delivered the opening remarks at today’s sold out Critical Issues Forum, hosted by the Council of PR Firms. The theme of this year’s event was, “Aftershock: Restoring Confidence and Trust in 2010,” and Flaherty pointed out that 80 years ago today was Black Tuesday, which led to the stock market crash of 1929.

“Statistics on drop in trust are incredible, like nothing we’ve seen our career,” said Flaherty. “Are we willing to anticipate stakeholder expectations and push companies to change? Are we willing to step up to the plate and shape corporate character, not just words?” he asked.

Following Flaherty’s remarks was a panel discussion that got contentious at a few points, mostly between James Wiggins, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, Morgan Stanley and Susie Gharib, Anchor and Senior Strategic Advisor, Night Business Report.

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