PRWeek article – Ketchum Asia
PRWeek Asia published its Global Agency Report this month and I wrote an article for them on the PR company Ketchum. I interviewed Jon Higgins, senior partner and CEO, International of Ketchum Asia. It was an enjoyable experience talking to Jon, who is based in New York. Jon was an easy person to interview, since he was an expert at PR, he knew what information he needed to give me and how to answer my questions well.
The link to the article is at
Below is an excerpt of the article:
There were two major highlights for Ketchum in Asia Pacific last year. “We made bold moves in strengthening our leadership,” says Jon Higgins, senior partner and CEO, International.
“There was also a big jump forward in the effectiveness of our digital and social work as evidenced by the most awards we’ve ever won in the region in a single year.”
Due to economic challenges in China, Ketchum’s Asia-Pacific region experienced less robust growth.
To overcome this obstacle, Ketchum invested time and resources to strengthen their client offer, such as expanding their highly successful Ketchum Change business to the region and adding a strong exclusive affiliate in Australia, the Hausmann Group.
Higgins praises the Hausmann group for being “a creative powerhouse, particularly strong in brand marketing, digital/social and healthcare.”
In terms of financial performance, markets like Korea, India and Singapore stand out. “Korea’s business was phenomenal,” says Higgins. “Korea demonstrated the highest growth of any market in our global network.”
Business in India also experienced double-digit growth, while the firm’s Singapore office remains a top performer. New account wins in the region include P&G brands like Head &Shoulders and Braun, Diageo, Blue Diamond Almonds, HP Enterprise, Booking.com and Tag Heuer.
On top of attracting new business, Ketchum managed to retain many of its existing clients. Higgins attributes this to the firm placing client success first and being passionate about service.
With senior-level involvement with every client, the firm is able to spot and respond to important changes in clients’ business environments and creating competitive strategies for each one.
Ketchum’s success last year was due to bringing in new leadership to boost their business. “We made bold moves in leadership that is paying off nicely,” Higgins says. “The new leaders have made a positive impact that has paid off immediately.”
To highlight the growth potential for Ketchum’s Asia-Pacific operations, in October 2015 partner Simeon Mellalieu was named client development director for the region. Previously he served as general manager of the Hong Kong office.
Another successful senior hire was Bruce Shu, who was named managing director of Ketchum Greater China in April 2015. Prior to joining Ketchum, Shu held leadership roles at Grayling and Citigate Dewe Rogerson, led corporate comms at ABN AMRO and helped to found CNBC Asia.
“Bruce did a terrific job coming right in, he’s a great talent,” Higgins says. “He brought in new thinking and new business.”