Contributing positively to our communities and the environment is fundamental to Ketchum. Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, represents a value that Ketchum has acted on since our founding in 1923 – a value that we can and should integrate social, ethical and environmental concerns into the business of public relations. Here are a few examples of our work around the globe.
Ketchum Social Responsibility Report
Click here to view our latest report on corporate social responsibility – or, as we call it, Ketchum Social Responsibility (KSR).
At Ketchum we’re proud of the history we have of making a difference in our local and global communities, and this latest report details the KSR efforts that our colleagues and the agency made during 2011. It reflects the passion and dedication our colleagues from around the globe have for making the world we live in a better place.
Room to Read
After a lengthy review and analysis of partner organizations, Ketchum found a kindred spirit with Room to Read, a global charity dedicated to building schools and libraries and directly supporting education programs in Asia. We believe companies make the best contributions to such programs by offering whatever it is they do best; in Ketchum’s case, this is communications, and we are involved with a wide range of communications support activities to reinforce the Room to Read mission around the world.
Room to Read was established in 2000 based on the belief that education is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty in the developing world. Since then, the organization has supported more than 4 million children through the building of more than 1,400 schools and 12,000 libraries and the distribution of over nine million books in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia.
With its goal of communication closely aligned with Room to Read’s goals of literacy and education, Ketchum provides media relations, reputation management and event management support to Room to Read, among other services. Watch this video describing more about the Ketchum and Room to Read partnership.
Ketchum has “loaned” a senior consultant, Julie Ferriot, to Room to Read in its San Francisco headquarters to provide high-level technical support and to coordinate Ketchum teams around the world on a range of projects and initiatives, including these:
- Construction of Library in Nepal - Ketchum supported the construction of one of the 10,000 libraries that has been built by Room to Read around the globe. The Shree Pandit Chaur Secondary School in Nepal opened in May 2010 and was built entirely from funds provided by Ketchum and its employees. The one-room building opened with more than 800 books and serves as a venue for regular library periods for students from grades one through five as well as for art competitions, quiz contests and community events.
- 10th Anniversary Support - Ketchum provided sole PR support for Room to Read’s 10th anniversary celebration in June 2010, the simultaneous completion of its 10,000th library, in Nepal, and the launch of a scholarship program that offers 10,000 girls critical life skills education.
- Media Placements - Ketchum continues to help Room to Read gain media coverage around the world, including placements that have included stories in the Associated Press, USA Today, Parade magazine (U.S.), the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Gulf News (U.A.E.) and the Sunday Times (Singapore), among others.
- Message Architecture - As Room to Read marks its 10th anniversary, Ketchum has supported this important milestone by revisiting overall messaging for the organization and helping to develop language that reflects its significant accomplishments and goals for the future.
- Media Training - Ketchum has provided media training to founder John Wood, CEO Erin Ganju and several members of the Room to Read development team.
- Publication and Distribution of 5,000 Books in Laos - A Ketchum fundraising effort in the U.S. and London resulted in the agency’s ability to produce a book as part of Room to Read’s Local Language Publishing program. Thousands of books were distributed to schools throughout Laos in June 2009.
Ketchum was the first public relations agency to join the United Nations Global Compact, an international initiative to promote responsible corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalization. Click here to read our latest Communication on Progress report.
“Win-Win Partnerships with U.N. Agencies” Conference
In December 2007, Ketchum sponsored a Public Relations Society of America half-day conference called “Win-Win Partnerships with U.N. Agencies” at U.N. headquarters. The conference was designed to help educate PR professionals on how the U.N. offers corporations an unparalleled opportunity to achieve social responsibility goals by helping the U.N. meet needs where demand is greatest around the globe.
World Economic Forum
Since 2004, Ketchum has provided services to promote the World Economic Forum Global Health Initiative, a public-private sector network designed to fight HIV-AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world. One example of this work is the China Health Alliance, a groundbreaking initiative that brings together select companies, the Chinese government, U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations in a joint effort to curb the large-scale spread of tuberculosis and HIV in a country where 45% of the population carries a latent form of tuberculosis.
New Orleans Relief
Habitat for Humanity
On a national scale, Ketchum offices around the world donate pro bono services to a broad range of local nonprofit organizations. Sometimes these efforts grow out of work with our clients. Our services for the Louisiana Recovery Authority Support Foundation to communicate post-Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts inspired Ketchum’s partner group to take part in a Habitat for Humanity house build in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward in 2006.
Wilson Elementary School
In November 2007, Ketchum built on its Habitat project when its worldwide finance team met in New Orleans to donate a day to help restore Wilson Elementary School. The school is housed in a temporary location because the original campus is still badly damaged from Hurricane Katrina. Ketchum colleagues split into teams to paint, read to children, assist students with an art project, and help the school's library organize and shelf donated books.
Since 2004, Ketchum has put its public relations expertise to work through its 24/7 brainstorm program. During a 24-hour period, Ketchum teams generate marketing and communication strategies for local nonprofits that don’t ordinarily have the resources to spend for such counsel. Ketchum employees attend at least one brainstorm session and match their expertise with each nonprofit’s need and interest. Ketchum also recruits guest brainstormers from the local business, academic and nonprofit community. The program has been held each year since 2004 in Ketchum’s Atlanta and Chicago offices.
Ketchum leaders also contribute their time and knowledge to advancing the PR profession through leadership in associations around the world. For example, Ketchum CEO Ray Kotcher was the 2009 Chair of the Council of Public Relations Firms, and in mid-2010 Ketchum Europe CEO David Gallagher stepped down as Chairman of the Public Relations Consultants Association. In addition, Paul Rand, CEO and President of Zócalo Group, a division of Ketchum and Omnicom Group that helps companies and brands create sustainable word-of-mouth and brand evangelists, is an immediate former President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). What's more, Kenneth Chu, CEO of Ketchum Greater China, serves as Vice President of the Shanghai Public Relations Association, marking the first time a member of a PR agency has held this position, and Simeon Mellalieu, General Manager of Ketchum Hong Kong, is the current Chairman of the Council of Public Relations Firms of Hong Kong.