Rich Leaving Ketchum to Launch Creative Consultancy
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Rich Leaving Ketchum to Launch Creative Consultancy

For more than a decade, Judith Rich has served as the creative guru at Ketchum, helping the firm win more industry awards than any other. Now she plans to offer her creative expertise to the entire industry.

Paul Holmes

CHICAGO, January 28—For more than a decade, Judith Rich has served as the creative guru at Ketchum, helping the firm win more industry awards than any other. Now she plans to offer her creative expertise to the entire industry. She is leaving Kecthum and will launch Rich Relations, a creative consultancy that will work with PR agencies and clients.
 
Says Rich, “I hope to be able to do for other people the sort of things I have only been able to do within Ketchum to this point. I’ve had a great time at Ketchum and we’ve had a great relationship over the years, but now I’m excited about going out on my own. I thoroughly enjoy encouraging people to be creative and helping firms become more creative and now I have the opportunity to reach a wider audience to inspire and advance creative skills.”
 
Rich joined Ketchum as the executive vice president and director of its Chicago office in 1985 and five years later was named Ketchum’s first executive creative officer for the U.S.—one of only a handful of PR agency executives with a creative title. She became global creative director in 1999.
 
Rich has led workshops on creativity for industry groups such as the PRSA and the IABC, as well as for the Advertising Federation and the 4As, the American Institute of CPAs, The Heartland Institute, and Northwestern University. During her tenure at Ketchum she developed a creative methodology—the Ketchum Creative Incite Wheel—that became part of the agency’s planning process, and managed programs for clients including General Mills, Miller Brewing, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Kellogg, Searle, Heinz, Rand McNally, and Wendy’s. Prior to joining Ketchum, she was executive vice president and national creative director at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide.
 
“Creativity is a good idea,” says Rich. “But it’s not enough to have a good idea. You have to be sure it’s strategically on-point and that it will create the results you are looking for.”
 
Rich says she will help encourage creativity through workshops and seminars, motivational speeches, facilitating and participating in brainstorming sessions. She says she may also do some writing, including a book on the subject of creativity. She says she has already been approached by several nonprofit groups to work with them on creative programming and that she expects to work with both agencies and corporate public relations departments.
 
“More than ever, people need to be reminded about the importance of creativity,” she says. “There has been so much stress, so much downsizing, I think people in many cases have lost the fun. But creativity is the essence of our industry. It’s what makes things better for everyone, for the client, for the firm, for the people themselves.”
 
Ketchum senior partner David Drobis says Rich has “fostered and encouraged creativity throughout our operation and leaves an indelible impression on Ketchum. We thank her for the immense contributions she has made to Ketchum.” He emphasized that Rich Relations would continue to be available to Ketchum account teams, but he also indicates that the firm’s new planning process was designed to empower account teams to become more crative.
 
The Ketchum Planning Process was introduced 18 months ago, and places state-of-the-art tools into the hands of account teams. The Ketchum Planning Process focuses on six different phases of program development including the creative phase, building on the creative foundation Rich created at the agency.
 
Rich can be reached at [email protected]
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