Ketchum Launches "Personalized Media" Services
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Ketchum Launches "Personalized Media" Services

Ketchum has launched Ketchum Personalized Media, a new global service that advises organizations on how, why and when to integrate the growing roster of online and wireless media into their overall communications strategy.

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK—Ketchum has launched Ketchum Personalized Media, a new global service that advises organizations on how, why and when to integrate the growing roster of online and wireless media—from blogs and podcasts to mobile marketing—into their overall communications strategy. 

Ketchum Personalized Media specialists help organizations understand, evaluate and employ emerging media tools that can help them create a fresh dialogue with various target audiences. The service also counsels organizations on how these new media tools can complement their existing public relations programs.  

“With Ketchum Personalized Media, organizations can reach individuals with the right message at the right time in the right format,” says Paul Rand, Ketchum partner, Chicago managing director, and co-leader of the development team that oversees the service. “There’s a lot of conflicting information and anxiety about how to incorporate these new online technologies into ‘traditional’ communications programs. Ketchum has the technological expertise to help dispel that uncertainty.” 

Among the team’s technology experts are Adam Brown, director of eKetchum Digital Media Group, who has more than 10 years of experience managing and developing Web-based and other digital media interactive projects; Tony Noel, chairman of Ketchum Madrid and an expert in mobile marketing; Aaron Heinrich, technology practice director for Ketchum West, with more than 20 years of experience in public relations and integrated-marketing communications; and Cherry Velarde, vice president of Ketchum Newscan’s Technology Practice in Beijing, who with 14 years of experience helps organizations integrate online media into their comprehensive communications strategies. 

Initially, the new offering will help organizations with five of the fast-emerging online tools, including: 
• Blogs: Online conversations, diaries, and commentary of their owners on a variety of topics, and whose growth in numbers to more than nine million, indicate that individual voices are more influential than ever in the marketplace.
• Podcasting: A Web-based broadcast medium in which audio files are made available online, podcasts are niche radio programs on the Web that enable organizations to bypass mainstream media gatekeepers to deliver their messages directly to the marketplace. Already, there are 5,000-plus podcasts and counting. 
• Real Simple Syndication, or RSS: A method for ensuring broad distribution of blogs and podcasts by circumventing cluttered e-mail boxes and delivering information upon request directly to consumers, journalists and others who sign up to receive it. Many journalists use RSS aggregators to keep them up-to-date on breaking news.
• Search Engine Optimization, or SEO: Control of the order that links appear on the results pages of key online search engines so that, for instance, links to organizations’ Web sites appear top-of-list for qualified audiences such as consumers and reporters.
• Mobile Marketing: Delivers a wide variety of marketing information via mobile phones anytime and anywhere.  In 2004, users numbered an estimated 668.5 million with 14.6 million new users in China alone in the 2004 fourth quarter. Mobile technology is still evolving with wireless devices quickly turning into multimedia devices, thereby expanding the possibilities for mobile-marketing content.

“With its global scope and analysis, Ketchum Personalized Media specialists can help an organization determine what online technologies will work best and where,” says Jon Higgins, Ketchum partner and CEO of Ketchum Europe who, with Rand, oversees the service.  “Mobile marketing, for instance, is hugely popular in Europe and Asia with the U.S. six months to 18 months behind us. But mobile marketing in the form of so-called Short Message Service, or SMS, promotions are growing in popularity in the U.S., thanks to high-profile phone-in-vote campaigns, such as NBC’s popular ‘American Idol’ show.” 

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