Ketchum expands DC public affairs practice

WASHINGTON: Ketchum has hired Jill Bratina Kermes as a DC-based SVP as part of its expansion of its public affairs practice in the capital.

WASHINGTON: Ketchum has hired Jill Bratina Kermes as a DC-based SVP as part of its expansion of its public affairs practice in the capital.

The agency also rebranded the unit as a public and corporate affairs group to reflect its expansion into other areas.

“Reputation management now involves stakeholders from the Beltway, Main Street, and Wall Street,” said Nick Ragone, director of Ketchum's Washington office. “This reorganization meets that need.”

He added that Bratina Kermes has experience in political, corporate, and litigation communications. She has served as communications director for former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Ragone added. Bratina Kermes most recently worked as VP of brand and corporate communications for Volkswagen of America.  

Ketchum is screening candidates for several other positions in the group, said Ragone, who added that it will have some overlap with the agency's healthcare practice.

The firm named Ragone head of its DC office in June. He previously served as Ketchum New York's associate director and head of corporate.

No other Ketchum offices are considering a similar reorganization, Ragone added. The agency's DC shop will also go beyond generating earned media and become more active in issues advertising, he explained, adding that it has established partnerships with several issues advertising firms to take tackle broader assignments.

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