2010 Platinum PR Awards: Firm of the Year (Large)

Winner: Ketchum

Bolstered by one of the biggest PR agency mergers in history, Ketchum achieved unprecedented, double-digit top-line growth in 2009, as well as record revenue growth in terms of percentage and actual dollars.
Ketchum’s merger with Germany-based communications agency Pleon significantly expanded its global footprint. The combination resulted in a new division, Ketchum Pleon Change, which offers change management strategies and services across the globe.
In addition, Ketchum’s five core global practices—brand marketing, corporate, food and nutrition, healthcare and technology—experienced solid growth in 2009. Recognizing the growing importance of digital communications, Ketchum expanded its digital services to clients and offered its employees 30-plus courses around digital topics in 2009.
Indeed, employee programs and perks play a big part in Ketchum’s success. Its London outpost ranked No. 13 on the 2009 Best Workplaces in the U.K. and workplace offerings worldwide include softball and kickball teams, bowling leagues and employee-developed green programs. No wonder Ketchum’s employee retention rate climbed to 83% last year.
Honorable Mentions:
In 2009, this independent, privately owned agency won 300 clients, including Bausch & Lomb, Humana, PepsiCo and RIM—while losing just one of its top 50 clients.
After a salmonella outbreak hit jars of peanut butter in Minnesota, GolinHarris’ consumer education campaign for the National Peanut Board helped turn a 19% drop in peanut butter sales in January ’09 into a 14% increase by April ’09.
Adding 25 people to its digital arm in 2009, the agency focused on digital health care initiatives and other closely regulated industries.
Ruder Finn
Ruder Finn tackled a tough economy in stride, helping companies like Novartis gain positive recognition—and regain brand momentum—in  spite of a challenging business environment.

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