Jade Eckardt 09 Aug 2017 // 1:30PM GMT
NEW YORK — Ruder Finn has entered what its execs are calling the "new frontier" of thought leadership communications with the launch of Kathy's Thoughts, a new Alexa Skill featuring the thoughts of CEO Kathy Bloomgarden.
Offered as a resource for anyone in the industry, Kathy's Thoughts aims to demonstrate new, experiential ways for CEOs to communicate with internal and external audiences.
"Voice technology is a really important channel and element for communications. Learning how to use this tool is a really important part of the work we do. It's important for us to learn and use these skills in-house so we can embed them in the programming we do for clients," said Bloomgarden.
Kathy's Thoughts joins over 15,000 existing Alexa Skills as part of the Alexa Skill Kit, which allows designers, developers and brands to build engaging skills that reach millions of customers. The agency's move into voice recognition follows its recent venture combining technology and communications when it launched an app-based reputation risk management system.
"Alexa is the new frontier of leader communications to communicate to internal and external audiences," said Sarah Coles, director, marketing and communications, Ruder Finn.
While the initial launch of Kathy's Thoughts offers a variety of pre-recorded thoughts ranging from 30 to 90 seconds each, new 'thoughts' will be recorded and released regularly. By simply saying "Alexa, ask Kathy's Thoughts to inspire me," users can hear Bloomgarden's perspective on company culture, innovation, leadership, strategy and more.
"We are really excited to be at the forefront of technology and recognition," said Bloomgarden. "Technologies like Alexa not only allow us to automate communications for extended reach, but to do so in a more personal and authentic way, generating real human connection to a wide range of audiences. I'm excited to be able to offer the ability to build similar thought leadership skills for our clients as well."
According to recent research by eMarketer, an estimated 35.6. Americans will use a voice controlled speaker at least once a month in 2017, a 128.9% increase over the last year. The research also found that Amazon has a 70% share of the emerging, voice controlled speaker market, while Google holds just 23.8% of it.
Ruder Finn's Tejas Totade, vice president of technology and innovation, worked closely with Amazon while developing the skill.
"Ruder Finn is dedicated to leveraging technology and developing innovative content that transforms the way we interact with companies," said Totade. "We are passionate about voice-activated content and this new Alexa Skill speaks to the future of how our industry will engage with customers and brands."