To lots of people in Pittsburgh, Ketchum is public relations.
From the legions of public relations pros who have come out of the agency to start their own shops or take on some of the better corporate PR jobs to the corporations and organizations which use the agency to form and deliver their message, Ketchum is, well, Ketchum.
That meant Jerry Thompson had quite a reputation to maintain when he took over for Ketchum long-timer Larry Werner two years ago.
It hasn’t been all roses. The shrinking economy slowed the agency’s growth, and revenue dipped in 2001. Still, Thompson kept up the effort to hang onto the best talent he could get.
He’s realigned teams to dedicate their efforts to specific areas, like separate units for food and health care groups. A division started a few years ago took aim at technology companies. And last year, Ketchum launched a practice aimed at early stage technology companies.