No Boundaries: Creative Agency of the Year Pivots to Embrace All Facets of a Modern Communications Consultancy 

Ketchum celebrated its 95th Anniversary yesterday, and while we paused to look back at our many accomplishments, course changes, historic firsts, and epic wins over the years, we were simultaneously gearing up to propel ourselves into the next 95 years with a major shift in how we do business.

To stay ahead of the changes that have taken place in public relations, we have morphed our business over the years by adding change consulting, digital, content, influencer, and even paid media specialists to our toolbox. Today we will go a step further and pivot the agency to incorporate all of these offerings and many more into our core DNA.

We are shifting from a traditional PR agency to a communications consultancy that is inspired by management consulting firms, but built on the strength of our ability to innovate and be even braver creatively on our clients’ behalf. Transforming our structure will allow us to lean in to our industry expertise and more easily tap and embed our diverse communications specialists in client teams, rather than focusing on specific geographies.

We believe that as our clients’ businesses evolve and their needs change, what they need is a partner that can pivot between offering the full suite of services they’ve come to expect from a global firm to being an industry-focused boutique-style agency—and back again.

Concurrently, we are making it easier for our client directors to do what’s right for clients of all sizes on both a local or global scale. Whether it’s tackling a complicated global reputation issue or simply executing against a short-term project, we are embracing “no boundaries” as our mantra.

So, what does that look like for our clients?

Guided by this philosophy, our clients will get the best of what they have become accustomed to from our firm. They will keep the teams they admire and adore, but those teams will now have the full weight of the agency’s resources behind them. Our industries are designed to easily tap into each other and all of our communications specialists to share knowledge, best practices and ideas with other. For example, technology experts will work with health, financial services or transportation for a seamless client experience.

I am truly proud of how our colleagues are embracing this evolution and helping us become even stronger. Our collaborative culture and borderless approach have always set us apart from our peers, and this tighter interdependency is a “secret sauce” that will provide even more opportunities for our talent to follow their passions, flex their entrepreneurial muscles, and curate their own career paths. And as we know, engaged talent always leads to better results.

Our employees have crowdsourced the new values that will guide Ketchum into the future: curious, brave, inspiring, and a force for good, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also include the word resilience. We may prefer to downplay it at times, but it is what allows us to continue to reinvent ourselves amidst the rapid change that surrounds us. In fact, you are reading this on our new website – a website designed by our teams and containing our new vision and values, all of which has, you got it, been written by our copywriters and developed by our creatives and animators. We’re doing for ourselves what we take tremendous pride in doing for our clients.

With the guidance of our change consulting team, we are ensuring the client is always at its center of this shift, and making it easier for them to tap into our expertise no matter where our talent sits. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at Ketchum when I say I can’t wait for our clients and prospects to experience the full communications ecosystem we’ve created on their behalf. I could not be prouder to be the CEO of this incredible collection of talented individuals. I hope you have the chance to work with us and experience what we do every day.

I would love to hear what you think of our new approach and am always open to new ideas that make us an even better communications consultancy as we embark on this new future together… a future with no boundaries.

Barri Rafferty is Ketchum’s former CEO and current head of communications at Wells Fargo.