Looking Back, Before Leaping Forward: The Top-10 Most Read Ketchum Blog Posts of 2018

It’s been said that the pace of change, whether it’s technology, communications, or just in our daily lives, will never again be as slow as it is right now. That thought gives me pause, or more accurately makes me gulp, thinking about all that has happened within these last 12 months—and what I need to know before speeding ahead to 2019.

Looking back at our blog posts that received the most attention the themes were rather compelling, some on trend and others long-talked about topics; some crowd-sourced, while others written independently, some tied to a significant moment in time, while others simply timely thoughts. This list of posts provided me with both inspiration and perhaps a bit of confidence to move ahead into 2019 knowing that we’ll be leaping forward together into what is sure to be an interesting year.

Here’s what our rear-view mirror shows are the 10 most read Ketchum blog posts of 2018, all within the span of just twelve short months…

1. What’s the Role of Communications in Health? It’s Vital

As someone who got their start in the pharmaceutical industry, I will never forget the sign that hung in the lab and said, “the patient is waiting.” I was happy to see that the best performing blog post of 2018 focused on health. In this piece, author and Health leader Tom Jones talks about the shared mission of both health organizations, and the marketers who help guide their communications strategy: “to improve health outcomes.” By coupling multi-disciplinary approaches with predictive analytics and brand diagnostic tools, healthcare communications is evolving in new and exciting ways. And with health and wellness more top of mind for all of us with each passing year, look for that trend to only continue in 2019.

2. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Assembling a symphony of leaders as we push for progress

Galvanized by political and societal landscapes, and the #MeToo movement, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion took its rightful place at center stage in 2018. In this post authored by CEO Barri Rafferty, she introduces insights from each of the eight members of Ketchum’s newly-formed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board. No doubt this topic will only gain momentum in 2019, and brands at the forefront of both the conversation and initiatives in support of a more diverse workplace will see a tangible and positive business impact.

3. Five Things I Learned from MIT’s “AI: Implications for Business Strategy” Certification Program

When MIT plans to break ground on a new college of AI in 2018, we pay attention. AI and algorithm-based marketing is already common place, but soon, say in 2019, we believe AI and #datasmart decision making will make its way into business at an institutional level, allowing brands to innovate new product offerings and make better-informed business decisions. In this post, one of our digital experts, Tristen Sechi, breaks down five key pillars that describe how AI will impact the world of business in the year ahead.

4. Always bet on the culture.

There was perhaps no larger public debate in popular and political culture then during the aftermath of Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in September of 2016. Kaepernick became the modern-day definition of athlete as activist, igniting a global debate on race relations that made its way to the White House. In this post, Tony Balasandiran praises Nike for making Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” Campaign in September and lays out five insights to consider when taking steps to embrace and engage a more multicultural audience. Consumers tend to reward bold action, as long as those actions are authentic and consistent with your brand values. Expect to see a lot more brand advocacy in 2019, advocacy that stresses actions more than words.

5. Trends from the 2018 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE)

Trends around the food and nutrition landscape are among the most fast-moving of any industry. Debates on a wide range of topics are also led by extremely passionate consumer and business advocates on either side. In this post, Jaime Schwartz Cohen provides a recap of the most interesting trends to be on the lookout for in 2019 from the 2018 Food and Nutrition Conference (FNCE). Whether it’s plant-based proteins or conversations around cannabis, 2019 is shaping up to be another exciting year in food.

6. 15 Books to Shape Your Life and Change the World

As communicators, the written word is near to many of our hearts, so it was my pleasure to author this post and tap our global network for a single book recommendation that changed their respective lives. It was fun to see all of the recommendations pour in and come together in this post. If you’re looking for what to read in 2019, this post offers a few ideas.

7. 5 Ways to Reach Generation Z, As Told By a Gen Zer

As post author, and Gen Zer, Vanessa Restifo put it, “Just when we thought we understood the complexities of the Millennial generation, a new cohort of consumers is moving in to shake up the market…” As one could imagine what any 60-million-strong cohort would do, Generation Z is reshaping the way we think about everything from brand marketing to the modern workplace and employee flexibility. Look for brands to focus in on this generation even more in 2019 as they continue to establish their place in positions of influence in the modern workforce.

8. On International Day of the Girl, Let’s Celebrate by Sharing Our Wisdom: 13 Tips from Senior Female Leaders

Another crowd-sourced blog post I authored tapped female leaders from throughout Ketchum’s global network to offer career tips and guidance to young female professionals in coordination with International Day of the Girl, which falls every year on October 11. Dream big, harness your inner leader and maintain lifelong curiosity—insights that will surely continue to resonate in 2019 and beyond.

9. Defining the New Breed of Communicator

In this very informative Q&A between CEO Barri Rafferty and one of our Talent pros, Michele Lanza, we learn about the “new breed of communicator.” Topics discussed ranged from recruitment to work/life balance, all tying in to the larger theme that our industry is investing heavily in, and is on the lookout for, specialists with deep industry knowledge. 2019 will continue to build on this trend.

10. Diversity & Inclusion: What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Means to Us

In another post celebrating a significant annual moment in time, Martin Luther King Day, author Chloe Kerr taps into our internal DE&I council members with an ask to share their favorite MLK quotes and points of view on what Dr. King meant to them. It both gives me hope for the future and exemplifies the tremendous impact Dr. King continues to have on all audiences, young and old.