Habits: Rob Flaherty, president, Ketchum

Flaherty shares his morning ritual, must-reads, first PR job, and more.

Morning ritual
When I'm in town, I'll run a few miles (I'm training for a race), then I read and do e-mail on the 45-minute train ride. Other days, I run the gauntlet at the airport and hope I get upgraded.

Required reading (print, blogs, etc.)
Political blog First Read; various feeds of client and industry coverage; as well as The New York Times, the FT, and The Wall Street Journal. 

First PR job
I started as a TV reporter for an NBC affiliate in upstate New York, and then became director of PR for what is now The Saranac Brewing Company.

Proudest career achievement
Being part of a generation of leaders who have established Ketchum as a global firm.

Most distinct feature of your office
An Olympic Torch, which I had the honor of carrying during one of the three times we've handled media relations and crisis management for the Torch Relay.   

First person to call in a crisis
Other than the counselors at Ketchum, I'd say my wife of 25 years, Tammy. She was in PR for 15 years before focusing on our kids, but more importantly, the best advice in a crisis often comes from someone you completely trust and who won't sugarcoat.

Mentor
High school teacher Dick Sawyer, college professor Ray Simon, cofounder of PulsePoint Group Bob Feldman, and Ketchum's own Dave Drobis and Ray Kotcher. They all have one thing in common: They made me feel like I could succeed.

Favorite city to travel to for business
It's a toss-up between Madrid and San Francisco. The warmth, friendliness, and hospitality of Madrid are second to none. The vitality and progressiveness of the Bay Area is always energizing.

What is the best career advice you've ever given?
I guess others would have to answer that. How about the worst advice I ever got? Change jobs every three years or you'll never get ahead. I've had three jobs, and this is my 20th year at Ketchum.

Ideal job, if not in PR
Editorial cartoonist. I love politics and I doodle constantly.  But it's probably good that I didn't pursue that. Did you know that there are only about 100 full-time, paid editorial cartoonists in the entire country?

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