eKetchum’s director responds to criticism

Adam Brown, director of eKetchum (commenting on my previous post on the launch of Ketchum’s Personalized Media service):

I’ve been reading the responses to Constantin’s post on the 18th and wanted to take this opportunity to respond. I apologize for my delay in responding, but I have been in the process of moving from Atlanta to Pittsburgh over the past weeks (something you can read about on my personal blog at www.GumpRants.com).

First, let me introduce myself. I’m Adam Brown and I am Director of eKetchum, Ketchum’s digital media development group. While I have been managing eKetchum for five years, I’m also taking the lead in managing several of Ketchum’s new Ketchum Personalized Media service offerings, including our blog services. The blogosphere is something that I have been passionate about since I started personally blogging in 2002, and it’s refreshing to see so many PR professionals embracing the medium. (If only we’d all in PR had this same passion about the Web seven or eight years ago – Web sites may have been very different today.)

Several of you have commented that Ketchum does not have an external blog – yet. That is true. Like most of you in our industry, the last thing we want to do is do a “blog for blogs sake.??? Blogs are powerful two-way conversation tools. They’re one of the most powerful dialogue (rather than monologue) tools that I have seen in my eleven years in the Internet business. But they’re not appropriate for every type of communication or application.

What Ketchum has been doing is using our other online communication venues like www.Ketchum.com, www.KetchumPerspectives.com and a temporary, informational site for our Ketchum Chicago office at www.KetchumIdeas.com to speak directly to our important audiences. (Aside: Some folks in the blogosphere incorrectly assumed that KetchumIdeas.com was a blog, and on top of that a blog for the Ketchum Personalized Media group. It’s not a blog at all – there has to be dialogue to truly be a blog, and this site does not have any commenting features.)

Ketchum is currently using blogs internally for Ketchum account team and agency communication, most notably with our Media Strategy Group. And we’re working with several of our Ketchum clients on the development of blogs for both internal and external communication.

I look forward to conversing with all of you here in the PR blogosphere. It’s a very exciting time for our industry, and we have an amazing opportunity as PR professionals to take advantage of these new tools. But we must strive to use these new tools appropriately, effectively and ethically if we are all to succeed.

Thanks for your time,


June 23, 2005 @ 7:57 am

Since Ketchum doesn’t have a blog (glad we cleared that :->), and Mr. Brown didn’t posted anything on this subject yet on his weblog, feel free to use my comments if you want to jump in the conversation.

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  1. I haven’t commented on the eKetchum issue on my blog (www.wagnercomm.blogspot.com) because I figured others had said enough, but still …

    If Adam was in transit, SOMEONE at Ketchum should have been commenting on this issue over the past couple of days. It’s another example of a major PR firm not following its own advice. The silence from Ketchum HQ has been brutal.

    I don’t know Adam but I’m sure he’s well qualified for his new job. But I wonder if the whole practice will be able to overcome its shaky start.

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  3. Well, one swallow does not make a summer. And one blogger doesn’t make a weblog practice at a global pr agency. John is absolutely right: Ketchum should be able to find more than one guy to comment on this mess !!

    But on the other hand: at least they have one real blogger in their ranks… and it looks like he got a lot of work on his hands… ;-)

  4. Adam,

    Thank you for the refreshing candor. As an agency veteran, I know all too well about the desire for agencies to announce forward-thinking initiatives when perhaps the initiatives have yet to be tested in the field, so to speak. I wish Ketchum much success with its adventures in the blogosphere. Let’s hope your efforts will help elevate the PR profession in the eyes of those who hold us in low regard.


  5. You say you’ve been passionate about blogging since 2002, but it’s really 2004 (you posted twice in two years), which is fine. But it won’t work to insinuate that Ketchum has had its body happily swimming along in the blog waters when in fact it has barely put a toe in up til now. Unless you include the Kudos blogspot fiasco.

    And I KNOW you’re a smart guy, because I worked with you for four or five years, and we started as cube mates. And I like and miss working with you. But you’re one guy. There are others, I’m sure, in your ranks — where’s anthony? — without important titles, that you need to set free to share their knowledge or tap into. Anthony and I tried to move the discussion forward long ago, so I knwo you have/had? at least one guy.

    My opinion? You have to get more folks joining the conversation at all levels–and first, they have to understand that there is one.

    If you’re the spokesperson for this effort, the ombudsman, your own blogroll would be one place for you to start. Instead of tossing a few hierarchically ‘on top’ sites and a few top top blogs on your blogroll — along with your self (photos) — try digging down into the conversation and adding the folks you read to that list. Maybe even some Ketchum plebians. If all you’re reading is what’s on your blogroll, then you’re in trouble already.

    my two cents. It’s a fast note because I have to run. best to ya up north!


  6. I thought of one more thing I wanted to add–the ketchum site you minimize the most (a temporary, informational site for our Ketchum Chicago office), http://www.KetchumIdeas.com, is better than the others you mention. It’s closer to a blog than the other sites. It links to sites outside of ketchum in their writing — MSM sites and some bloggers. It provides some smart thinking. They could use a blogroll.

    And no, blogs do not have to have comments as you say. The dialoge can take place across blogs as well as in comments. Ask RageBoy. Or Instapundit if you must. Personally, I like comments. Not everyone does. It’s an age old blog debate. Kind of like – is blogging journalism.

    Okay, now I gotta run.

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