Around the office with Ketchum’s Mike Doyle

The president and CEO discusses what he’s learned about himself over the past two years and the ‘spectacular’ feeling that comes with seeing colleagues in person again.

Mike Doyle, president and CEO, Ketchum

Describe your current working situation. 

Every week is some combination of the following three situations: back on the road visiting with clients and colleagues, going into our Ketchum New York office or working from my home office in Asbury Park, New Jersey. 

What do you enjoy most about working in different locations?  

I’ve learned something about myself over the past two years. Before the pandemic, I would have said my energy comes from being around my colleagues and clients and walking the streets of New York. But now I realize I need both — that occasional ability to be alone with my laptop and quiet my brain helps me be a better marketer, partner and leader. 

What’s a habit you’ve picked up when working from home?

Caffeine! I drink way more coffee than I did before. I’ve also fallen into a fashion rut, wearing basically the same outfit every day for two years. Re-entry has been rough.

What ideal working situation do you prefer going forward?  

Our go-forward plan is less about returning to physical spaces and more about showing up for each other and our clients. The current hybrid model feels very natural to Ketchum — we adopted a flexible work philosophy before 2020, so while the last few years haven’t been easy, we already had the infrastructure in place to get us through.

How does it feel to travel for work again to different offices? 

Spectacular! Seeing people in person is like a family reunion you never knew you needed. And I’m also getting to meet those colleagues who chose to join Ketchum during a pandemic. They’ve only ever known one dimension of the agency, and now they can help build and experience the other dimensions.

What is something you learned while working from home that you are implementing in-office on the days you’re in? 

I once considered a busy day to be a productive one. Working from home taught me to be more intentional with how I spend my time. This is a good habit I hope does carry over going forward.

What do you like best about working from home?  

An unexpected benefit is that I move around far more when working from home. I’ll walk around the block on a call or take a meeting standing up as opposed to sitting for hours on end on a typical day prior to 2020.

What’s the view like in both places? 

Very different. My office view is of Sixth Avenue and Radio City Music Hall and my everyday view is of the home we love, which is near the beach in Asbury Park. Although, what you don’t see on camera are the unfolded clean laundry, cases of wine and too many unfinished pandemic projects.

Walk us through your average day. 

I wake up early, scan overnight activity and usually check in with my team in Europe, then SoulCycle either at home or a live class if I’m in the office. Then I bounce on- and off-camera all day. If I’m in the city, I’ll go out to dinner with clients or colleagues or my husband — we’re eager to reconnect with New York again. If I’m in Asbury Park, I’ll try to close the laptop, make dinner and binge watch whatever show we’re currently following.

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