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Ketchum to Offer Nutrition Certification Program
Date:9/11/2008

One-of-a-kind program developed with Tufts University's Friedman School of

Nutrition Science and Policy

NEW YORK, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing the industry's increasing focus on food and nutrition marketing, leading public relations agency Ketchum has created a Nutrition Certification Program for Public Relations Professionals, developed in collaboration with Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

The new offering is designed to educate Ketchum's Food & Nutrition Practice account teams in key nutrition knowledge and insights that will allow them to provide better client service. It should also advance the professional development of all colleagues, including those outside of the Food & Nutrition Practice.

Greater expertise in nutrition is particularly important in today's environment, where health and wellness needs increasingly drive business direction for the food industry. The new program will help public relations practitioners to better understand the language and policies of the nutrition sector. They will be able to earn an accredited validation from Ketchum College that attests to their greater expertise in this area.

"This program puts Ketchum's Food & Nutrition group in the vanguard as it takes strides to educate public relations professionals in the field of health and nutrition," said Dr. Eileen Kennedy, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. "We are pleased to be able to support this effort."

Linda Eatherton, partner and director of Ketchum's Global Food & Nutrition Practice, conceived the idea for the nutrition certification program, and Cathy Kapica, Ph.D., R.D., vice president and director, global health and wellness at Ketchum, and adjunct faculty in nutrition at Tufts University, worked in conjunction with Tufts University's faculty to develop the program's curriculum.

Dr. Kapica said, "Giving colleagues the opportunity to be certified by Ketchum with a course developed in collaboration with Tufts University is just another competitive advantage for the agency."

The course includes 12 online modules that cover introductory nutrition topics ranging from global dietary guidelines, metabolism, micronutrients and macronutrients, government regulation, nutrition research, and food packaging and labeling.

The 12 modules include a diverse set of required and optional reading material with sources ranging from the Mayo Clinic and Harvard University to The Washington Post. At the completion of each module, participants must successfully complete a comprehension quiz. In order to qualify for the full course certificate, participants must take a final exam that includes development of a news release based on peer-reviewed studies from nutrition research.

Liz Barrett, senior vice president and group manager at Ketchum's Chicago office, recently completed the test version of the certification. "I've been in public relations for 22 years, 10 of those focused on food," Barrett said. "This has given me a new level of insight to my clients and their issues in the marketplace."

The certification program will be available to all Ketchum colleagues through its Ketchum College learning and development program.

"This is another example of Ketchum developing the inherent talent of its colleagues in a rewarding way that will also benefit clients," said Robert Burnside, partner and chief learning officer at Ketchum. "Reaching out to Tufts University demonstrates Ketchum's commitment to excellence in learning and the agency's credibility as a leader in understanding the food and nutrition industry."

About Ketchum

A communications innovator, Ketchum ranks among the largest global public relations agencies, operating in more than 50 countries. With five global practices -- Brand Marketing, Corporate, Healthcare, Food and Nutrition, and Technology, and specialty areas that include Concentric Communications (experiential marketing, events and meetings), Ketchum Entertainment Marketing, Ketchum Global Research, Ketchum Sports Network, Stromberg Consulting (change management and workplace communications) and The Washington Group (lobbying and government relations), Ketchum leverages its marketing and corporate communications expertise to build brands and reputations for clients. For more information on Ketchum, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), visit http://www.ketchum.com.

About Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is the only independent school of nutrition in the United States. The school's eight centers, which focus on questions relating to famine, hunger, poverty, and communications, are renowned for the application of scientific research to national and international policy. For more than two decades, the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University has studied the relationship between good nutrition and good health in aging populations. Friedman School research scientists work with federal agencies to establish the US Dietary Guidelines, the Dietary Reference Intakes, and other significant public policies.


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