PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of September 30

October 5, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire

PR Industry Updates

Each week, Business Wire brings you the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!

FleishmanHillard will provide pro bono communications strategy, PR, and social media services for one year to the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program. Article

Cone Communications has hired Kiva Starr as VP in its CSR strategy group. Article

451 Marketing has appointed Michael Tiedemann as EVP and executive creative director. Article

Version 2.0 Communications announced that it is partnering with The Whiteoaks Consultancy and its International PR Network (WIN) to provide international support to Version 2.0 clients and U.S. market support to Whiteoaks clients seeking North American communications services based on the East Coast. Article

McDonald’s Corporation has named Jano Cabrera as corporate senior vice president of US communications, global media and public relations.  Article

Hawthorne Strategy Group announced that it has appointed Cynthia McCafferty as President. Article

Public Communications Inc. (PCI) has appointed Grant Fuller as its director of digital strategy. Article

Resolute Consulting announced the promotion of Armando Saleh to Executive Vice President from Vice President. Article

The Archdiocese of Chicago named Grant Gallicho as its Director of Publications and Media, a new position, effective November 1, 2015 Article

Thomas Peloquin joined KeyBank Real Estate Capital as Vice President. Article

Elmendorf | Ryan and Home Front Communications merged to create a new integrated firm, Subject Matter. Article

The Master Limited Partnership Association has hired Capitol Hill veteran Steve Ruhlen as the organization’s first director of federal affairs. Article

Catherine Melquist has joined Sage Communications as senior vice president of its Satellite division. Article

Lisa A. Bushey has newly joined the American Public Education Foundation as Executive Vice President, Communications. Article

MWW Public Relations announced that Erin Bzymek has joined MWWPR as an account supervisor and lead media strategist. Article

The Petrizzo Group announced the hire of Kirk Fordham as senior vice president. Article

Los Angeles
Olmstead Williams Communications has been retained as the agency of record for TaskUs. The firm also has been retained for the national expansion of BankWork. Article

Edelman‘s US Western region president Cricket Wardein has left the agency after six years. Article

Telemundo has selected Santa Cruz Communications as AOR for the first edition of the Latin American Music Awards. Article

Live Nation Entertainment has appointed Carrie Davis as CCO. Article

The National Black Public Relations Society will outline strategies on how the industry can improve diversity, promote professional development and develop partnership opportunities at a daylong summit designed to jumpstart the public relations industry’s diversity efforts. Article

MMKpr is celebrating its 5th year in operation. Article

VAIO Corp. and its sales and operations partner Transcosmos America announced they have enlisted worldwide communications firm Grayling to relaunch the brand and a new line of products in the United States. Article

Murphy O’Brien Public Relations announced the promotion of Kimi Ozawa to Senior Vice President. Article

JMPR Public Relations announced that Alexia Bunce has joined its team as an Account Supervisor. Article

Fish Consulting announced it has added Mr. Rooter, Glass Doctor, Aire Serv, Mr. Appliance and Rainbow International to its client roster. The five brands are part of Dwyer Group. Article

Balsera Communications has been named a finalist for the Hispanic Public Relation Association’s (HPRA) ¡Bravo! Awards’ Public Affairs Campaign of the Year for its groundbreaking work with the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA). Article

ReviveHealth has added Katherine Brick is vice president in the firm’s health technology practice. In addition, the firm has added Katie Clark is marketing manager; Libby Werner as account supervisor; Carolyn Edwards as senior account executive; and Ashley Webb as account executive. Article

New York
Blogger platform Bloglovin‘ has hired Diffusion as its new PR firm. Article

Ed Dixon has joined consulting giant Mercer, where he serves as communications and public relations leader for growth markets. Article

Lauren Hurvitz has been named executive vice president and chief communications and corporate marketing officer for Turner Broadcasting System. Article

Magrino announced as a client the Willis Tower. Article

Weber Shandwick has brought on journalist Vivian Schiller while also making Jennifer Sosin chair of global strategy and insights and Josh Gilbert executive creative director of global practices. Article

Truffle Pig has named Bloomberg’s Paul Marcum as president. Article

Century 21 Real Estate has named Cara Whitley as its global CMO. Article

Success Communications Group and Proline Communications have inked a strategic alliance in an effort to offer PR, marketing, and positioning services for the tech products and services industry. Article

CHR Group has named Jonathan Zaback as its first chief growth officer and partner. Article

Laura Davidson Public Relations (LDPR) has been appointed the public relations agency of record for Morgans Hotel Group. Article

With four new lifestyle clients this month, J Public Relations is diversely expanding its lifestyle division. Article

Brandon Berger, chief digital officer worldwide at Ogilvy & Mather, will kick off the “Advertising Outlook: Trends in Content & Technology” workshop on November 12. Article

Ruder Finn announced that Katy Kelley has rejoined the company as Senior Vice President, Creative Culture and Global Marketing. Article

Richard E. Cheney, a former Hill & Knowlton chairman who was among the first public relations executives to advise on mergers and acquisitions before resigning to practice psychoanalysis, has died, Bloomberg reports. Article

Loretta Lurie joined ContextMedia:Health as Senior Director of Strategic Solutions. Article

Laura Viscusi joined Penton as Market Leader, Supermarkets & Restaurants. Article

Amir Shub joined Offerpop as Chief product officer. Article

Craig Gorsline was promoted to President and Chief Commercial Officer of ThoughtWorks. Article

Bob DeFillippo has joined Zito Partners in a senior consulting role Article

Muck Rack has welcomed Andrew Mercier as their new Editorial Director. Article

Pamela Browner White has joined Esperanza as senior vice president of corporate relations and strategic development. Article

San Diego
KCD PR, announced today that it has been named PR agency of record and a member firm of the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE). Article

San Francisco
John Earnhardt has left Visa after joining the company in May as VP of corporate communications.    Article

Method Communications announced Tim Turpin has joined as an executive vice president. Article

Jill Mackie will join shipbuilder Vigor as senior vice president of public affairs. Article

Silicon Valley
Eastwick announced that it has promoted Heather Kernahan to president. Article

Chicago & Phoenix
Resolute Consulting announced the promotion of Jenelle Alexander, Ashley Lynch and Claudia Rodriguez to Senior Account Executive from Account Executive. Article

Uber has brought in MSLGroup to handle PR in Germany, after its main product was banned in the tightly regulated market earlier this year. Article

Hong Kong
Cohn & Wolfe has been appointed by the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation to handle the company’s public and media relations for the next three years and by Dell to provide media relations support for its annual Dell Enterprise Forum. Article

Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) has announced the promotion of Chris Riley to the position of Chairman of O&M Group Singapore. Article

Edelman has acquired Smithfield Consultants. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has promoted Jessica Walsh to managing director of the healthcare practice. Article

London Gatwick has appointed Brands2Life as its retained consumer PR agency following a competitive pitch. Article

Premium single-malt whisky brand The Macallan has engaged PR agency The Romans to work across a global communications brief, including content production and social media. Article

W has been appointed as the primary creative agency for Meatsnacks Group. Article

Megan Murray Jones has joined Lansons as a senior consultant to develop its content proposition, providing support and expertise to clients on how they create, optimise and monetise content. Article

Tony Brown has joined Firefly Communications as head of content. Article

Harvard has hired Phil Szomszor as digital engagement director and member of the board. Article

Bench PR has added Trend Micro‘s consumer business for Australia and New Zealand to its client portfolio. Article

N2N Communications has created a new partnership structure and promoted Stuart Wragg to associate partner and head of creativity. Article

Lenskart has awarded its PR mandate to Avian Media. Article

Philip Steenkamp has been named vice president, external relations and communications, for the University of British Columbia. Article

Each week we share information relevant to modern communications strategies and tactics.  Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!

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[Case Study] Word of Mouth in the Social Media Age: EDEKA

September 22, 2015

Seval Dogan, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire

From word of mouth to electronic word of mouth
Traditionally, word of mouth (henceforth, WOM) was primarily based on face-to-face, interpersonal interaction between a receiver and a communicator.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, WOM is the process of telling people about a particular product or service, usually yay-1463767-digitalbecause it is good and you want to encourage them to try it. This makes WOM one of the most credible and effective forms of advertising, simply because every time a person recommends to his/her peers, friends or colleagues a product or service, he/she puts his/her own credibility and reputation at stake.

Positive WOM, therefore, is one of the most important influences on organizational performance as every happy customer can be turned into one of the most committed brand fans. When activated properly, positive WOM can have a substantial impact on a company’s fortune by generating more brand awareness and by helping to successfully grow the customer database.

However, in today’s digitized world, companies face a new significant challenge. There is a real impact of speed and connectivity on word-of-mouth discussions. Today’s web-based consumer platforms have shaped a new way of sharing personal opinions: the electronic word of mouth (eWOM). Social media revolutionized not only the way individuals interact on a daily basis, but also the way companies create and grow brand awareness and loyalty via WOM. Social networks are a central place for dialogue and exchange, replacing traditional face-to-face discussions. As a result, opinions travel much faster than before, and the public image of a company has become more fragile and sensitive than ever before.

One way of generating positive eWOM is through viral marketing. The remainder of this article deals with a success story of a viral marketing campaign produced for EDEKA, one of the largest supermarket chains in Germany, by the German advertising agency Jung von Matt. While there are several key important elements to the EDEKA case (most of which are discussed below), one of the strongest elements however is that social media has been strategically used to stimulate positive eWOM.

How EDEKA leveraged eWOM for Success:  The Case of EDEKA: ‘Supergeil’ and ‘Kassensymphonie’
EdekaFounded in 1898, EDEKA is one of the largest and most recognizable food retailers in Germany. Aimed at expanding its audience to reach younger buyers by changing the corporate image from a conservative retailer to a more modern one, EDEKA joined forces with Hamburg-based advertising agency Jung von Matt. In 2014 they set up a campaign which deviated greatly from the conventional advertising and marketing standards followed by most German retailers. EDEKA and Jung von Matt produced two successful YouTube-based campaigns  that became worldwide hits, receiving national and international media coverage. EDEKA gained more than 2,000 new YouTube subscribers, over 4,500 additional Facebook Fans, more than 1,700 Twitter mentions and increased engagement on their social media channels (source: Fanpage Karma). The success of their brand campaign even secured the supermarket company its own Edeka 2reality-cooking show (‘Das Erfolgsrezept’) from RTL, a leading national TV channel.

The first spot, labeled with the rather obscene word ‘Supergeil’ (meaning ‘super cool’), launched in 2014 and reached over 14 million YouTube views within a short period of time.

Did it work?
edeka 3The EDEKA campaigns relied on visually rich content and unique storytelling elements to recreate and reposition their brand to appeal to younger demographics. They cleverly turned products and services into relatable stories, and the entertaining nature of the videos engaged users both on an emotional and intellectual level.

Generating Positive eWOM: Key Success factors
Broadly speaking, it is difficult to predict what content will trigger positive eWOM and if it will go viral on social media. Nevertheless, there are certain elements that increase the probability. As Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business, noted, people remember information when it is weaved into narratives “up to 22 times more than facts alone.”

As the Internet is becoming increasingly image rich, content that includes visuals attract more attention than content without. Videos are especially on the rise as they are highly engaging and allow a multi-sensory experience. Movement, facial expressions and human voices are more believable, more authentic. These factors help to quickly establish a connection to the viewer and generate more awareness.

Word of mouth is one of the most important factors in a modern communication program. Click here to share this information on Twitter:

Where do Latinos Go to Get the News They Trust?

September 17, 2015

By Pilar Portela, Business Wire Miami

With the recent 2016 presidential campaign coverage and the Donald Trump press conference scandal it should come as no surprise Jorge Ramos of Univision was voted the most trusted Spanish Language news anchor by 38% of US Hispanics. The poll conducted by SoapBoxSample also revealed Diane Sawyer is the most trusted English language news anchor by 39% of Latinos.

HispanicMediaInfographicAs we look to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), it’s important to recognize where Latinos are consuming their news and the sources they deem trustworthy. After all, if you are a PR person trying to activate this audience, these publications are key to building relationships with Hispanic consumers.

The top news sources Hispanics find to be very or extremely trustworthy are newspapers (55%) and TV (55%). This is not news to smart Hispanic marketers. Many utilize commercial newswires such as Business Wire to reach these media outlets in one easy distribution.

When it comes to social media, 94% of Hispanics read their news on Facebook. This is huge! Social platforms are the jumping off point for today’s word of mouth marketing. To tap into this massive rate of news consumption, try Facebook’s targeted advertising. Relevant, interesting branded content targeted to particular audiences can be easily shared by readers, and those shares are seen as approval of the organization and their message.

Even more interesting is 54% of Hispanics say they find English and Spanish Language sources to be the same and 26% find English sources more credible. This is why companies like Business Wire distribute news to Hispanic media and communities in both languages. It allows for the end users to select the language option they prefer, ensuring a much higher potential for news engagement.

Today’s marketers must keep in mind that Latinos as a whole have become prominent players in the demographic landscape in the US. Making up 16.7% of the US population with an estimated purchasing power of $1.5 trillion this year, there is no doubt today’s Latinos play a key role in the US economy and in politics.

So how are you reaching these audiences? As we referenced earlier, one of the easiest ways to activate today’s Hispanic audiences is to share your news with them via a service like LatinoWire.  This news service translates and distributes your news in both English and Spanish to all relevant on- and off-line news and industry specific publications ensuring discovery and action by your key Latino audiences.  Click here to see the organizations, large and small, who are already marketing successfully to this important audience. Want to try LatinoWire for your next Hispanic audience release?  Let us know; we would love to answer any questions you have.

To read and access the SoapBoxSample poll go to:

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NYSE Proposes Changes to Material News Notification Requirements for Listed Companies

September 14, 2015

By Matt Van Tassel, Business Wire

Last week the NYSE submitted a proposal to the SEC to update some of their material news requirements for listed companies. The two points of the proposal that will be of most interest to Business Wire clients are the extension of the pre-market notification requirement and a change to when companies should disclose announcements after market.

Pre-Market Notification

The proposal expands the time for companies to comply with the Material News Policy to between the hours of 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM Eastern. Currently companies must disclose material news announcements to the NYSE, at least ten minutes prior to wire dissemination between the hours of 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM Eastern.  The reasoning behind the expansion is that most material news is released prior to 9:30 AM and has the potential to cause both price and volume volatility on other markets during this time, as well as at market open.

Note: Newswires like Business Wire do not handle pre-notification of material news to the exchange. 

Post-Market News Dissemination (4:15 PM is the new 4:00 PM)

The NYSE is proposing companies should wait to disseminate their material news announcements until either the publication of their securities’ official closing price on the Exchange or 15 minutes after the scheduled closing time on the Exchange (which is 4:00 PM Eastern). Why you may ask? Even though the NYSE is closed at 4:00 PM, there are other markets where those securities are being actively traded. This in turn can create discrepancies in the stock’s pricing which may cause investor confusion.

We will continue to monitor these proposed changes to the NYSE notification process and keep you updated.

For additional details, visit’s summary of the proposed changes.

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How Should I Promote My Content: An Infographic for Smart Marketers

September 10, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

Great content is only as great as how it’s distributed. If people aren’t seeing your branding and message, they won’t be able to act on it. If people aren’t engaging with your content, they can’t be eased further into the marketing funnel.

The 10 Required Questions of Content Promotion

The 10 Required Questions of Content Promotion

A major goal of a marketing plan, reaching out to the public, is to turn potential leads into clients and customers.  A successful marketing campaign raises visibility, creates brand loyalty, and more resulting in a large ROI. After all is said and done, how do you actually reach your market and effectively engage your audience? 

The first step is identifying the power of content marketing. According to a 2015 poll by Smart Insights, almost 30% of respondents listed content marketing as the most important digital marketing trend for the year. The second most selected answer (big data) received less than half the votes (14.6%). The most popular forms of content marketing are social media content other than blogs (93%), eNewsletters (80%), articles on your website (78%), illustrations/photos (75%), and videos (74%). There are many options for how to reach an audience and companies are trying them all. Are they organized in their efforts? A shocking 56% of the respondents said they do not have a content marketing strategy or plan, even though they are actively utilizing content marketing.

Not having a game plan is very inefficient and can lead to disaster. Imagine a basketball team running onto the court without knowing any plays to execute. LeBron James might be the best player in the world, but even he wouldn’t score too many points if he was playing with a team that didn’t have a strategy. Your content, similarly, might be the most interesting, engaging, and disruptive, but if you don’t have a plan of distribution, you’ll be the only person aware of it.

How do you get as many eyes as possible onto your great content?

Business Wire put together this infographic that illustrates how content marketing travels down a road, and what steps to take to reach your desired audience.

It’s important for communicators to remember that assets are tools and how you use them will determine their effectiveness. If your news features an eye-catching headline, native advertising is a good route. If you have newsworthy content, issuing a news release would amplify your content to journalists and other media professionals. If you have multiple related pieces and multimedia, a news or picture capsule makes for a great interactive asset that captures audiences’ attentions for far longer than passive content.

What are some of the key takeaways from the infographic?

  • If you have newsworthy content – issue a news release
  • If you have comparative data – make an infographic
  • If you have a video – make a vine or GIF for additional social messaging
  • If you have multiple related pieces – issue a news or picture capsule

Content marketing is proving to be more than just a trend. If you utilize this highly effective method for reaching potential clients and customers, for building brand awareness and loyalty, remember to have a game plan. Content and distribution working together will raise visibility of your message and lead to a desired ROI.

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Al Roker Entertainment and Business Wire Developing New Video Series

September 8, 2015

Al Roker Logo

Al RokerGood things are happening with the collaboration between television icon Al Roker and leading newswire Business Wire. This week it was announced that a news video series is in development combining Al Roker Entertainment’s extensive expertise in online programming with Business Wire’s news distribution and media analytics platforms. The programming will shine a light on the startup community and their industry disrupting announcements – news announcements published by Business Wire.

Read the full news release here:

“We are always looking for interesting partners in entertainment and business,” said Al Roker, CEO, Al Roker Entertainment. “The Business Wire brand provides access to breaking news well suited for compelling video content for social and digital platforms and this is one of ARE’s specialties.”

Stay tuned for additional details coming later this month.

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PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of September 1

September 2, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire, Nashville

Each week, Business Wire brings you the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!


InfiniteLatitude is expanding its US ranks, adding Jo Communications as a new partner. Article

gShift announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SiteCondor. Article

ProPRcopy has continued its rapid expansion by adding more than a dozen skilled writers to its team in the past month. Article

Razberi Technologies has selected integrated marketing communications firm M/C/C as its agency of record. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies announced that Mark Edgar will join the firm’s Dallas office as a senior vice president on Sept. 1. Article

Kate Bedingfield has been appointed communications director for Vice President Joe Biden. Article

Los Angeles
Hill+Knowlton Strategies announced veteran public affairs and public relations strategist and agency leader Larry Krutchik will join the firm Aug. 31 as a senior vice president. Article

Marie Moore has joined Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. as vice president of communications for TBS and TNT. Article

Hanser & Associates has named C. Ryan Hanser as president and principal. Bonnie Hanser, chief operating officer and principal since 1996, will retire December 31, 2015. Article

A new advertising campaign produced by Peter Mayer Advertising for the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) recently launched with a series of new TV spots and a brand video.  Article

Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC) hired Mercury Labs to advance the organization’s marketing communications efforts. Article

Newport Beach
Morgan Marketing & Public Relations is celebrating its 20th anniversary as the PR agency of record for Wienerschnitzel. Article

New York
The Blue Focus-owned We Are Social has a new US leader, Rob FitzGerald. Article

Blue Fountain Media has picked Feintuch Communications to implement an integrated public relations program. Article

Steinreich Communications Group has expanded its capabilities in the travel and hospitality sector with the acquisition of Montgomery Communications. Virginia Montgomery been named vice president and group director of the travel and tourism group of Steinreich Communications. Article

Sugru has selected Manifest to boost profile of Sugru inventor and CEO Jane ni Dhulchaointigh. Article

Southard Communications continues to grow its consumer practice with the addition of seven new accounts. Article

GLOSSYBOX is relying on up-and-coming CLY Communication to handle public relations and events also in North America. Article

Glass Lantern PR announced today the launch of their PR Timeshare program. Article

Access Communications has recently been chosen Agency of Record for BlackBerry, MongoDB, Ooma and VCE. Article

5W Public Relations has been named PR Agency of Record by OneJet. Article

Healthcasts has announced the appointment of Denis Wyrwoll as Senior Director of Market Research. Article

Marketing Maven announced the appointment of Andrea Pass to the position of Vice President, Media Relations. Article

Edelman has named Ted Smyth vice chair and chief of staff to Richard Edelman, president & CEO. Article

The Marino Organization (TMO) has announced that Michelle Friedman has joined the agency as an account director. Article

Nicole Giantonio joined Patina Solutions as Managing Director. Article

Slice Communications announced that it has hired Tyler Cameron, Mason Luvera, Alisa Gross and Renee Stanzione as their new account managers to help service the agency’s rapidly expanding client base. Article

San Diego
Caroff Communications celebrates 20-year anniversary. Article

San Francisco
Lynn Fox is joining W2O Group to become a tech lead, as the holding group acquires her boutique shop Fox Communications. Article

Sparkpr is packaging a new suite of services deemed “Agile Narrative” intended to help companies build and integrate narratives. Article

Fineman PR announced the addition of HealthRIGHT 360 and Renteria Wines as new clients. Article

Spark PR announced that it has hired Toby Trevarthen as its first ever Chief Narrative Officer, starting October 1. The agency also appointed Tim Donovan to the role of Executive Narrative Strategist. Article

Silicon Valley
Interprose announced Cathy Palmen has been named president of the company, with founder Vivian Kelly serving as chief executive officer. Article

Ketchum Pleon has been selected to handle communications for the US tech startup Hashplay and its live streaming platform #Play, which enables live streaming of gameplay content on mobile and virtual reality devices. Article

Hong Kong
Ogilvy Malaysia has appointed John Deschner as its Chief Executive Officer. Article

Ketchum has announced the appointments of two senior level executives at the company’s office in Singapore, as well as the launch of its specialty change management unit in the region. Article

GCI Health has appointed Cally Clarkson as its first director of medical education. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has strengthened its sports and entertainment capabilities with the addition of Adam Paris and Emma Wright. Article

Kingsland Drinks has appointed food, drink and lifestyle agency Stir PR as its retained public relations agency. Article

Buman Media has been selected by App Annie. Article

Cxense announced an extensive list of new and expanded customer relationships across the world during the second quarter of 2015. Article

The Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding has appointed KBC to implement an integrated marketing and public relations program in the UK. Article

PlasticsEurope has appointed Leonor Garcia as director public affairs. Article

Niamh Keohan has been appointed director of marketing and public relations at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai. Article

Each week we share information relevant to modern communications strategies and tactics.  Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!

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