About two months ago the world raised a skeptical eyebrow as Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, implored the United States not to stage a strike against Syria in a moment when the world was on the brink of World War III. Upon receiving the article in an e-mail from my Russian professor, Sasha, the night before it was printed, I gave myself a small pat on the back for my continued pursuit of Russian studies and language practice. I know I was not alone among North American Russophiles, who are reluctant to believe that the Cold War is over.
Had World War III erupted, I may have been recruited by the United States government as a Russian language scholar, aiding in combat communications, or by a newspaper, covering the of the state of affairs in Russia, or by an intelligence agency tapping and monitoring Russian communications… these are the kind of things Russian scholars fantasize about, except that most of us don’t actually want war.
Instead, the issue blew over (not without casualties), and we were left with the name Ketchum. Not the protagonist of Pokemon, but the Public Relations firm that facilitated the release of Putin’s open letter to the American people. The name Ketchum meant little to most, but that a PR firm was behind such a strange display of candid communication from one world leader that Americans would never expect to hear from surprised few. I learned the name Ketchum and let it stick, deciding quickly to investigate the firm and, later, made it a candidate for the Y.O.U.R. Blog Project.
When I started researching Ketchum, I could not find much information about them among PR-company rankings. The most substantial tidbit I gleaned was that they are well-known for holding a number of contracts with the Russian government for promoting partnership with the world’s largest country. Somewhat ironically, I discovered that the reason I found so little was that Ketchum is actually a subsidiary of the Omnicom Media Group, another of the Y.O.U.R. Blog Project companies. What better proof of the beautiful convolution of media capitalism?
I decided to apply for several internships with Ketchum. Like other PR companies, they hire on a site-by-site basis, so applying for one internship at one office would not get me the attention I sought across the firm. The application was streamlined by a iCIMS, which is infinitely more functional than Taleo and BrassRing, and involved little more than submitting a resume, cover letter, and a few other vital stats. I polished up my cover letter and sent in my full resume, thinking that highlighting my activity in Eastern Europe would be advantageous for my application. Once I filled out the first forms, the second and third required barely a click of my mouse!
Thus, I am applied to Ketchum, fulfilling a dream that was born the moment I found out that they orchestrated Putin’s September editorial. Public Relations is a real media art, and I truly hope that I can either break through at Ketchum, or learn from the best elsewhere.
In the double digits; ten down; still Y.O.U.R. Blog.