The 2010 FedEx/Ketchum Social Media Benchmarking Study

A Note from FedEx and Ketchum
Dear Colleague, We are excited to present you with our findings and insights from the 2010 FedEx/Ketchum Social Media Benchmarking Study—a comprehensive exploration of how social media impacts today’s communications landscape. This document reflects the input of leaders from over 60 top global organizations across most major industries.  Study participants answered the social media related questions keeping many of us up at night: How do we leverage social media to drive internal culture, brand performance, and reputation management? What is the appropriate budget allocation to support social media programming? How should we adapt internal structures to develop and roll out social media strategies? What is the best way to measure the ROI of social media spend? It is our sincere hope that you find the trends and best practices we uncovered as helpful as we do, and that we will continue to build our collective strength in this new communications frontier together. Thanks to all those organizations who committed their time to this effort. This study would not have happened without your enthusiastic participation. Best, Bill Margaritis SVP, Global Communications & Investor Relations FedEx Corporation David B. Rockland, Ph.D. Partner Ketchum, Inc.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Study Background………………………………………………...……... 4 Executive Summary…………………………………………………..…. 8 Defining Terms and Players…………………………………….………10 External Social Media Programming………………………………... 16 Internal Social Media Programming………………………………... 27 Operational Implications……………………………………………… 32 Measurement……………………………………………….……… 33 Budgeting…………………………………………………………... 35 Team Evolution & Agency Support……………………………. 38 Concluding Thoughts & Contact Details……………………….….. 39
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Study Background

Motivation & Methodology
FedEx and Ketchum initiated this study to benchmark best practices in leveraging social media to drive internal culture, brand performance, and reputation management. Both organizations recognized a lack of in-depth research regarding how social media impacts the way companies program, budget, and set up their teams. Ketchum used a standardized interview protocol to guide 30 minute conversations with Chief Communications Officers or their Social Media Leads at 62 leading companies across most major industries. Interviews occurred between August and October 2010.

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Participating Companies

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Demographics: a Wide Range of Industries
6% 3%
15% 3%
Airline

13%

Consumer Products Energy Financial Services

12% 7% 3% 8% 6% 15%
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Food & Beverage Healthcare Manufacturing Other Professional Services Retail Technology Telecommunication

9%

Participants repeatedly stressed the necessity for transparency and authenticity in every social media program, no matter its simplicity or sophistication. Social media leaders argue that the voice and tone that works in traditional corporate communications doesn’t work on the social web. Conversational means credible. Evaluation of participants’ steps to develop social media programs revealed seven distinct phases: Listening, Reclaiming, Collaborating, Strategy & Planning, Experimenting, Assessing, and Refining.

Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are the dominant social media platforms, but participants repeatedly conveyed the need to stay on top of emerging tools and technology in order to remain relevant.
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The way the world communicates is changing. You can either adapt or become irrelevant.

Executive Summary (1/2)
• •

100% of companies reported some degree of social media engagement regardless of industry. Participants agreed that social media is a channel (not a strategy) that should be part of a holistic communication and marketing approach tied to business goals.

Companies recognized that social media is distinct from traditional channels in its interactivity, transparency, and embrace of informality. These characteristics demand unparalleled degrees of collaboration across businesses and functions including Communications, Marketing, Legal/Compliance, and IT.

Organizations are trending towards more formal collaborative social media oversight models that are inclusive of diverse business units and functions. Most organizations do not have formal internal learning programs established to promote the development of social media expertise. Companies continue to see the value in partnering with third parties to develop and execute social media programming.


If you’re not open to feedback, you’re not ready to play.

Executive Summary (2/2)

Organizations recognized the rise of citizen journalism and the need to engage bloggers to support brand development and reputation management. • Participants conveyed significantly greater focus on external rather than internal social media applications, but expressed strong interest in ramping up capabilities— primarily via enhanced intranets—in 2011 and beyond. Participants most frequently estimated spending between five and fifteen percent of their overall communications budgets on social media programming in 2010.

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Defining Terms & Players

Defining Terms: Social Media vs. Digital Assets
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Participants agreed that social media and digital assets are equally important, fundamentally different, and often complementary. Social media is most commonly characterized as a means for twoway dialogue with internal and external stakeholders.

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Digital Assets are most commonly described as owned properties, tools, or rich media content (e.g., websites, apps, or video) that companies create to support online programming.
Companies use digital assets to enrich the conversations they participate in via social media forums. Externally, the most commonly leveraged social media platforms include:

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Digital assets and social media go handin hand. They’re the tools that power the social web.

Who’s Playing and Why?
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100% of study participants reported some degree of social media presence. The most common external objectives included:  Generating word of mouth advocacy  Developing brand loyalty and closer relationships with customers  Addressing customer care issues  Educating costumers and media about company-related issues  Supporting product/service launch/sales Each major channel (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) serves its own purpose and participants were hesitant to compare effectiveness across mediums. Twitter is the favored channel supporting customer care and media relations. Facebook and YouTube are most frequently leveraged to develop brand loyalty and closer relationships with customers, and to share product/service information.

If you’re not there, you’re noticeably absent. It’s here to stay and there’s no use ignoring it.

Leadership, Participation, and Observation
Participants fell into three distinct categories based on their degree of social media engagement. Current social media leaders are mostly B2C companies.

Leadership
• • •

Engrain social media in every aspect of communication. Identify and integrate new social media tools on an ongoing basis. Employ in-house team of three or more social media specialists.

10%

Participation
• • •

Engrain social media in some aspects of communication. Explore integration of new social media tools following validation from businesses leading in the social space. Hire 1 specialist and/or expand responsibilities of communicators to include social media competence and rely on agency support for expert counsel. Engrain social media in few aspects of communication. Seek to build awareness of the social media landscape and how to play effectively. Expand responsibilities of communicators to include social media competence and rely on agency support for expert counsel.

75%

Observation
• • •

15%

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*Note: Percentages reflect estimates based on evaluation of participant profiles developed via interviews.

You don’t always have to be a leader. Sometimes it’s okay to be a close follower. It all depends what you’re trying to achieve.

We found a strong social media advocate on the Compliance team, and that made all the difference in the world in terms of selling our ideas in to leadership.

What About Companies in Regulated Industries?
Companies in regulated industries (healthcare, financial services, energy, etc.) reported social media participation despite clear legal hurdles.

1. Research the rules regarding disclosure and reporting.
2. Manage internal stakeholder expectations and identify internal champions from across the enterprise. 3. Establish a business case and ongoing management plan with Legal/Compliance teams. 4. In particularly risk-averse cultures, consider focusing social media outreach on a specific theme like Corporate Responsibility efforts.
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Participant Insights

ideas for social media success in regulated industries

The B2B Opportunity
B2B companies also reported significant social media programming across the major channels. B2B participants lagged behind their B2C counterparts in terms of the depth and sophistication of programming, but shared plans for ramping up participation.

Participant Insights

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ideas driving B2B social media trends

1. Even if buyers are senior and less likely to care about social media, the managers who influence them do. 2. As the prevalence of e-commerce continues to grow, so does the opportunity to drive traffic to websites through digital and social media programming.

3. Video trumps words when it comes to explaining products and services in simple, visually compelling ways.
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B2C companies are leading the social space now… but B2Bs are just waking up to these tools and the best will learn how to leverage them to win.

External Social Media Programming

Participants agreed that social media is a channel, not a strategy Social media programming should be part of a holistic communication and marketing approach tied to business goals.

There was wide-spread agreement that social media is not a ―silver bullet‖ for communication and marketing effectiveness.

Companies recognized that social media is distinct from traditional channels in its interactivity, transparency, and embrace of informality. These characteristics demand unparalleled degrees of collaboration across businesses and functions including Communications, Marketing, Legal/Compliance, and IT.

– Jay Baer, Independent Social Media Strategist

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Strategy vs. Channel

I realize everyone is telling you social media is a unicorn, but maybe it’s just a horse?

Evaluation of participants’ steps to develop social media programs revealed seven distinct phases.

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Getting Started

Crawl . Walk. Run. Be very deliberate about what you’re doing, and very conscious along the way.

Nail the Fundamentals: Participation & Planning
Participant Insights
Two ways to crash and burn out of the gate (and how to avoid them) LACK OF ONGOING PARTICIPATION
―Engaging in social media demands ongoing participation—the dialogue doesn’t start or stop around a crisis or product launch.‖ ―You’ve got to have a social media-oriented crisis management plan to protect against the risk of viral reputation challenges.‖

LACK OF A CRISIS RESPONSE STRATEGY

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The Twin Pillars of Transparency & Authenticity
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Participants repeatedly stressed the necessity for transparency and authenticity in every social media program, no matter its simplicity or sophistication.
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Social media leaders argue that the voice and tone that works in traditional corporate communications doesn’t work on the social web.

CONVERSATIONAL = CREDIBLE
That doesn’t mean more buttoned-up organizations shouldn’t be true to their brands— it’s a matter of establishing a tone that’s comfortable and authentic for the company and its customers. Organizations also expressed awareness of the online public’s aversion for the overly-promotional. Before launching any new social endeavor, ask yourself:


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You have to be genuine online— same as the real world. People realize when you’re faking it.

WHAT VALUE ARE WE ADDING TO THE COMMUNITIES WE SEEK TO ENGAGE?

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What makes content entertaining depends on the audience. ―Funny‖ and ―cute‖ were often used to describe highly regarded content. Helpful content provides information about products or services that enhances the customer experience. Participants reported that ―breaking news‖ or ―sneak peaks‖ of new products or services shared via social media channels received positive responses among customers.

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Content Shareable? What’s is king—the tools are important but they are only tools. Authentic messaging is what’s important.

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Participating companies characterized the content that is most often shared among target audiences in two ways: ENTERTAINING OR HELPFUL

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Using the Big Three: Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
The social media space is rapidly evolving and new technologies and tools are consistently emerging. Even if companies are not using the latest platforms, (e.g., Foursquare, Gowalla, Tumblr) most agree that keeping up with what’s trending is important. At present Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are the dominant platforms, and in the following slides we feature three celebrated programs from participating companies.

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Tackling Twitter with GM
GM tackles reputation management using multiple social media channels including Twitter. Training employees to send a mix of both personal and professional tweets and status updates builds perceptions of GM’s softer, more human side even through times of crisis. To begin, GM developed an online social media training portal for novice users and offered advanced in-person courses for more web savvy team members. About 2,000 employees completed the online introduction in its first two months alone and thousands more have participated since. GM is currently updating its social media policy and training approach to require all employees to go through training while creating two distinct groups of users – those who are authorized to speak on behalf of GM and everyone else.

GM social media training portal

Employee driven social media programming continues to support GM’s emergence from bankruptcy and brand building efforts.
Employee tweet examples include:

Source: Miller, Lindsay. Can GM employees woo the country back through social media? www.ragan.com. May 3, 2010.

Great weather for the bike commute today!‖

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Repaying taxpayers ahead of schedule because we are designing, building, and selling the best cars and trucks ever.

Facebook Fantasy with PepsiCo and Doritos
PepsiCo’s Doritos Canada leveraged Facebook to promote a contest where users were asked to name a mysterious new chip flavor and create a 30-second video commercial advertising it.
Doritos offered $25,000 and 1% of future consumer sales to the winning commercial and name. The contest drew over 75,000 participants, 14.5 million page views, and 2.1 million video views. More than 900,000 consumers visited the Doritos Facebook page over the course of the two-month campaign. Doritos' sales in Canada doubled during that time.

Source: Wood, Cara. Creative solutions from Doritos, Club ABC Tours, Meg Whitman. Direct Marketing News. October 12, 2009.

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Utilizing YouTube with Ford

Ford gave away 100 Ford Fiestas for six months complete with free gas, insurance, parking and a concierge service to 100 lucky recipients.

Each one was sent on ―monthly missions‖ which were documented for public consumption and shared across major social media platforms.
Official Fiesta Movement content has drawn 6.5 million YouTube views and 3.7 million Twitter impressions. The program has elicited the interest of about 50,000 potential buyers, 97% of which don’t currently drive a Ford. Ford sold 10,000 units in the first six days of sales.
Source: McCracken, George. How Ford Got Social Marketing Right. Harvard Business Review. January 7, 20110.

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Navigating the Blogosphere
Organizations recognized the rise of citizen journalism and the need to engage bloggers to support brand development and reputation management. Blogger outreach is now part of most participating companies’ general media relations strategies. Most companies stressed the need to differentiate between bloggers with real influence versus those with relatively small followings leveraging monitoring services to determine the appropriate level of engagement.

Participant Insights

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ideas supporting stronger blogger relationships

1. Invite bloggers to on-site events and give them special access to products and services. 2. Be transparent about relevant business goals and ensure bloggers disclose their association with the company. 3. Consider providing bloggers “deconstructed content” (key facts and links) rather than traditional press releases to enable them to better use their unique voices in posts.
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You can’t be everywhere. Concentrate on where your consumers are.

Internal Social Media Programming

Growing Interest in Internal Social Media Applications
Participants conveyed significantly greater focus on external rather than internal social media applications, but expressed strong interest in ramping up capabilities—primarily via social media equipped intranets—in 2011 and beyond. The most frequently referenced intranet features included leadership blogs, wikis, and “Facebook-like” interfaces.

40%

of study participants already have social media equipped intranets

50% 10%

of study participants plan to redesign their intranets in the next one to two years to include greater social media capabilities

of study participants do not have significant social media intranet capability and do not plan to add tools in the next one to two years

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*Note: Percentages reflect estimates based on evaluation of participant profiles developed via interviews.

These tools present a whole new way of collaborating across the enterprise.

Adding Value Inside the Enterprise
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The most common internal social media objectives were:
• •

Enhancing knowledge management Supporting collaboration within and across teams, functions, and geographies Developing culture and community
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Participants reported that investment in internal social media applications is most strongly tied to tool purchase and development. Upkeep and ongoing management is not a major cost.
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Employees are using social media all the time at home. Now, we’re using the tools they’re familiar with in the workplace.

Organizations use intranet analytics (blog development, comments, discussion board activity, etc.) and broader engagement and communications survey results to monitor and measure the impact of internal social media programming.
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Three Keys to Effective Intranet Management
Participants agreed on three critical steps guiding effective intranet development and ongoing management:
1. Ensure proper leadership and employee buy-in.
•Create a business case to build executive support. •Begin and end development with employee needs in mind—not a corporate vision. •Engage employees throughout the design process to develop a user-centric experience.

2. Establish strategic roll-out plans including pilot programs.
• Leverage formal internal communications channels and informal influencers to drive awareness and adoption.
• Ensure opportunities for training and dialogue about how to leverage new tools.

• Establish clear roles and responsibilities to ensure effective content management at corporate and local levels.

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3. Build ongoing governance and moderation plans.

Be patient and develop thick skin. It takes a while to get an effective intranet off the ground.

Developing Social Media Policies

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1. 2.

Participant Insights

themes regarding employee social media policy development:

Most companies either have, or plan to develop social media policies in the next year, citing social media’s popularity and the need to manage risk. Effective policies are natural extensions of existing codes of conduct. For example: • Keep confidential information private • Only speak on behalf of the company if authorized • Identify yourself as an employee if endorsing a product/service Strong policy development is the result of: • External benchmarking—many policies are published • Cross-functional collaboration —typically Comms/ Marketing, Legal/Compliance, and HR play leading roles Employee buy-in and adoption of policies is driven by clear internal communication and relevant learning opportunities.
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3.

4.

Operational Implications
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Cracking the Code on Monitoring & Measurement
Companies are distinguishing between monitoring of online mentions and activity versus measuring the ROI of social media spend. Participants cited Radian6 as the paid monitoring partner of choice, but competitors such as BuzzMetrics, Evolve24, Focus, Symphony, and Sysomos (among others) were also mentioned. The most common free services include TweetDeck and Google Alerts.

Participants generally agreed that there is no consistent, reliable approach to measurement and determining ROI.
There is widespread agreement that looking solely at metrics like ―followers‖, ―friends‖, or ―views‖ is not sufficient.

Everyone is struggling to figure out how you determine the impact on the business. It might not be a dollar figure.

Companies expressed the desire to improve the way they assess quality of online interaction, level of user engagement, and ultimately impact on business performance.

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Measurement Progress: The Barcelona Principles
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Top experts from the Association for Measurement and the Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and other major industry organizations have established a set of seven principles to guide communications measurement. Principle six states that ―social media can and should be measured‖ and outlines the following agreements to inform future social media measurement efforts:

• • • • • •

Social media measurement is a discipline, not a tool; but there is no “single metric”. Organizations need clearly defined goals and outcomes for social media. Media content analysis should be supplemented by web and search analytics, sales and CRM data, survey data and other methods. Evaluating quality and quantity is critical, just as it is with conventional media. Measurement must focus on “conversation” and “communities” not just “coverage”. Understanding reach and influence is important, but existing sources are not accessible, transparent or consistent enough to be reliable; experimentation and testing are key to success.

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How Much Does it Cost?
Most participants don’t line-item ―social media‖ in annual budgets. Money is allocated on a project by project basis by different functions, divisions, or sub-brands, depending on type and need.

Participants most frequently estimated spending between five and fifteen percent of their overall external communications budgets on social media programming in 2010.
Most organizations predicted budget increases in social media spending in 2011, but participants were hesitant to quantify growth estimates. Social media programming budgets may be off-set by investment in talent (FTEs) with specific social media-related roles (salary is a fixed cost).

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Typically, there is more budget allocated to digital assets than social media programming—they’re costly, but also more established, better understood, and easier to measure.

There’s a reason it’s called return on investment— you have to put in to get out.

The Evolution of the Communications Team Structure
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integrally involved in social media programming in regulated industries.
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Social media is forcing business units to collaborate in ways they never have Communications tends to oversee social media programming before. You really have and execution, but Marketing also plays a leading role— to be aligned across particularly when social media programming is oriented around the enterprise. product launch and promotion. Legal/Compliance teams are more

Organizations are trending towards more formal collaborative social media oversight models that are inclusive of diverse business units and functions (Comms, Marketing, Legal/Compliance, Business Leaders). There are disparate approaches to evolving team structures. Some organizations have created new groups of 1-10 people focused exclusively on social media. Others rely on current staff to expand their expertise. The direction of choice depends on whether organizations see value in leading in this space or if they’re content to be participants. Most organizations are either already including or plan to include a degree of social media competency in job descriptions.

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Building Social Media Capabilities
Most organizations do not have formal internal learning programs established to promote the development of social media expertise. Participants leverage the following learning solutions to support social media competence building among communications team members: Peer-to-peer training: Many companies identified internal social media experts and empowered them to bring colleagues up to speed. Reverse mentoring: Younger professionals are frequently tapped to onboard more experienced team members. One-off courses provided by agencies: Most participants mentioned leveraging agency-sponsored workshops to build social media knowledge. Many participants advocated attending social media conferences, but highlighted that many cover familiar territory and the most effective ones are targeted at their particular industries.

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We’ve found it works great to have a peer lead training sessions. People are more receptive to new ideas from someone they know.

You need an expert— whether in-house or agency-based—to really make the most of social media.

Agencies & Vendors
Most organizations continue to see value in partnering with third parties to develop and execute social media programming.
Participants reported that PR and Advertising firms both have significant influence as social media counselors.

Boutique digital and social media shops also provide valuable insight to a smaller portion of study participants. Most companies did not share plans to significantly shift the nature or scope of agency engagement.

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Concluding Thoughts & Contact Details
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Social media is disrupting the way the world communicates and companies must continue to evolve how they interact with people to remain relevant. The pace and scope of change as new tools and technology emerge demands an unparalleled degree of organizational nimbleness. As digital and social tools become the go-to resources for everything from news and information to friendship and love, smart brands will continue to figure out better ways to add value to the online experience—internally and externally. We look forward to addressing your feedback, questions, or comments.
Renee Horne Director, Digital & Social Media Engagement FedEx Corporation rlhorne@fedex.com Daniel Dworkin Senior Consultant Ketchum Pleon Change daniel.dworkin@ketchum.com

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Disclaimer: FedEx and Ketchum are providing this summary for informational purposes only. We are not providing advice, legal or otherwise. 39

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