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PRSSA 2016 National Conference

Crossroads of Public Relations

Indianapolis | Oct. 21–25 |

Ray L. Kotcher, Fellow PRSA jay
Non-Executive Chair 

Keynote Address: Meet the Living Legends of Public Relations
Sunday, October 7
9:15–10:30 a.m.

     As non-executive chair of one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, Kotcher assiduously works to advance the industry. He is equally passionate about furthering public relations as a career destination of choice and supporting those just starting out. To that end, he serves on the faculty of Boston University’s College of Communication as professor of the practice of public relations.

     During his 12 years as the global CEO of Ketchum, the firm tripled in size and was twice named PRWeek’s Agency of the Year. Ketchum is now ranked as the fourth-largest PR firm in the world, according to PRWeek and the Holmes Report. With 175 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvils, 60 PRWeek Awards, 45 Cannes Lions, and 168 Holmes Report SABREs, Ketchum is the most decorated agency in the business.

     As part of Kotcher’s commitment to furthering the industry, he is engaged in a range of public relations organizations. He served two terms as Chair of the Council of Public Relations Firms where he worked to promulgate the highest standards of ethical practice. To ensure those standards, Kotcher asked every member to sign the Council’s Statement of Principles, which all did — an industry first.

     From 1999 to 2007 Kotcher served as a trustee of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR). He is a trustee of the PRSA Foundation and is committed to its mission to attract and retain underrepresented minorities to careers in PR. Kotcher also serves ex-officio on the national board of the PRSA. He has been a member of The Seminar, was a founding member of the College of Charleston Communication Advisory Council, and he has attended the World Economic Forum in Davos as a Ketchum delegate.

     He is actively engaged in the Arthur W. Page Society and has served on Page’s executive committee, as a trustee, and as chair of the membership committee.

     Kotcher was the 2016 inductee into the Page Society Hall of Fame, an honor recognizing lifetime achievement of men and women with careers of distinguished leadership in corporate communications and public relations. In November 2015, Kotcher was inducted into the International Communications Consultancy Hall of Fame. In 2014, the IPR honored Kotcher with the Alexander Hamilton Medal for lifetime contribution to the profession. In 2013, he was named to the PR News Hall of Fame. In 2012, Kotcher received the PRSA Gold Anvil, the Society’s highest individual honor for lifetime achievement and he is a member of the Society’s College of Fellows. In 2011, he received the Holmes Group’s SABRE Individual Achievement Award. In 2010, he served as chairman of the CLIO jury on strategic communications/public relations. Kotcher also has been twice honored by Boston University — once as a distinguished alumnus of the University and again by the College of Communication. In June of 2016, he delivered that College’s graduate student commencement address. He also serves on the College’s advisory board. He is regularly listed in PRWeek’s Global Power Book.

     Perhaps most importantly, Kotcher believes in the importance of character and integrity in our lives and in our work.