“All we can really do is promise that we’ll make progress,” said Jim Joseph, Ketchum’s U.S. CEO and global chief marketing officer. “Every single day, we can promise progress for our teams because, when they come to Ketchum, they’re going to grow [and] they’re going to learn. We can promise progress for our clients because we will progress whatever it is that they’re trying to move forward. And that is a realistic, humble and empathetic promise to make.”
Joseph was the guest on Aug. 24 for Strategies & Tactics Live, PRSA’s monthly livestream on LinkedIn that delves deeper into topics covered in its award-winning publication, Strategies & Tactics. As Joseph discussed in a piece for the August issue, Ketchum, a leading communications consultancy, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
To mark the centennial, the company is refreshing its brand with a new logo that reads “We are Ketchum,” with the subhead “Progress at Work.” On the left of the logo, the forward slant of the uppercase “K” conveys movement, Joseph said.
John Elsasser, editor-in-chief of Strategies & Tactics and host of S&T Live, asked Joseph how Ketchum’s new logo symbolizes the company’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I).
“There is a very subtle equal sign in the ‘E,’” Joseph said. “We did that on purpose to show our commitment to equality, to diversity, equity and inclusion. No matter who you are, you can come to Ketchum, and you can be yourself. We wanted that to be in our branding, because it’s in our being. Every time that you look at our logo, you see that we stand for equity.”
Refreshing your brand
“I personally love branding and marketing, and all of us love Ketchum,” Joseph said. “It was a labor of love to rethink the branding and how we go to market.”
Amid all the changes that society has undergone during the last three years, “we realized that our industry — what our clients need, how we need to appeal to our employees — has radically changed,” he said. “We had to think about what we stand for, what we promise and what we offer to all of our stakeholders, internally and externally. Hence, the desire to refresh the brand, to make it relevant for the world in which we now operate. That’s how we landed on ‘progress.’”
As part of Ketchum’s centennial celebration, the agency launched its “100 Acts” program. Ketchum is encouraging all of its employees, “individually or as a team, to do something to give back to the community, to an organization, to the world — whatever that might be,” Joseph said. “For example, we’ve been helping New York City Pride with their social channels. That was one of our 100 Acts.”
When it comes to refreshing a brand, “Unless you’re looking for a wholesale change, which rarely happens, start with who you are,” he said. “Don’t walk away from that. Just determine a refreshed way to express it.”
You can watch the playback of the conversation on LinkedIn.