NEW YORK and BOSTON, Dec. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading global communications firm Ketchum and Boston University's (BU) College of Communication today introduced the Kotcher-Ketchum Scholarship and Internship. The program, created in collaboration between BU, Ketchum, and Ray Kotcher, former Ketchum chairman and CEO and current BU professor, supports BU's and Ketchum's objective to increase racial and ethnic diversity among students majoring in communications and entering the public relations workforce.
The endowed scholarship will be awarded to one African American Boston University College of Communication undergraduate PR student each year for the next 100 years, and will include both tuition assistance and a paid, for-credit summer internship at Ketchum.
Recognizing the inter-relationship between college programs and employers in creating and nurturing a diverse workforce, the scholarship is designed to help bring more diverse candidates to the public relations industry where cultural diversity and diversity of thought is valued among client organizations and agencies, alike.
"I am filled with great excitement and hope as we announce the creation of this scholarship and internship," Kotcher said. "The percentage of African American professionals in the communications and public relations field is not nearly large enough and there is great need for additional programs that will attract, develop and retain these professionals. I'm grateful to BU and Ketchum for partnering with me to support African American students as the possibilities for a career in PR open up for them. As we look forward, I hope that other organizations will create additional needed programs and I am optimistic that together, we will realize the promise that diversity holds for our industry."
This scholarship builds on Ketchum's ongoing programs to create a more diverse workforce in the industry. Through the development of new initiatives such as the Mind Your Bias unconscious bias training program, Launchpad, the agency's "blind" internship and recruitment program that increased racial and ethnic diversity in Ketchum's 2017 internship class to 42 percent, and the creation of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion councils across its network, Ketchum is committed to ensuring the PR industry reflects the communities that clients want to reach.
"Both BU and Ketchum recognize that we have a long way to go before our student population or our workforce mirrors the diverse U.S. population. We need to do better, and we have a responsibility to do more. And while we readily admit that this is a small step, our hope is that this small step inspires others looking to pursue similar solutions. If that happens, all of us will be winners," said Ketchum partner, CEO and chairman Rob Flaherty.
Thomas Fiedler, Dean of Boston University's College of Communication added, "Neither of us will improve unless both of us improve together. BU's College of Communication won't be able to attract more students of color into our PR program unless they see the possibilities that are open to them and see more role models they can relate to. This program will help meet that challenge."
Applications for the Kotcher-Ketchum Scholarship will open at Boston University for the fall semester of 2018.
Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. The winner of 45 Cannes Lions and an unprecedented five PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a part of Omnicom Public Relations Group, visit www.ketchum.com.
About Omnicom Public Relations Group
Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas including public affairs, marketing to women, fashion, global health strategy and corporate social responsibility. It encompasses more than 6,000 public relations professionals in more than 330 offices worldwide who provide their expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and nonprofits across a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. that includes more than 200 companies in a wide range of marketing disciplines including advertising, public relations, healthcare, customer relationship management, events, promotional marketing, branding and research.
About Boston University's College of Communication
Boston University's College of Communication (COM) was originally established as the School of Public Relations in 1947 and granted the world's first public relations degrees. Today, as a comprehensive College of Communication, COM offers students degrees through its departments of Journalism, Film & Television, and Mass Communication, Advertising and Public Relations. COM's student population exceeds 2,000, including undergraduates, graduate students and PhD candidates. The College integrates a strong liberal arts core with a heavy focus on preparing students for careers as communication professionals. Our faculty is a blend of noted academicians and researchers and widely-respected, experienced professionals.