Business Wire: Trust Is The Air We Breathe

March 19, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social + Evolving Media, Business Wire

Scott-FedonchikEarlier this week, Scott Fedonchik, VP of Marketing for Business Wire, crafted a must-read piece for PRSA outlining the role of trust within the communications space.  Scott notes, that while the communications industry constantly seeks new tactics and techniques to differentiate pitches and media engagement strategies, when it comes down to it, reporters are more likely to rely on sources they can trust for information. In news and financial communities, trust is a powerful and precious asset that is earned over time, requires mutual consent and is a disciplined pursuit. A great Buffett quote that is worth repeating is: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

With so much on the line when critical, market-moving information or company news needs to be shared with the world, the question is why would any company bring risk into the equation by employing anything other than a reputable, industry-compliant and trusted news distribution platform?

Learn more about the role of trust in the communications program, from the perspective of both the practitioner and the media outlet here: http://bit.ly/1xvHiil

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“Every Business Has an Audience” is a Key Takeaway from SXW2O

March 17, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

The venue was large and had already been entertained by the great Al Roker by the time Jim Weiss (CEO, W2O Group) and Cathy Baron Tamraz (CEO, Business Wire) stepped on stage. They had their hands full with a standing room-only audience and only saying something fundamentally mind blowing would turn it around. Fortunately for the crowd, that’s exactly what happened.

Cathy and Jim at SXW2O event

During the session, Cathy was asked how a newswire service could support a startup or organization that journalists weren’t actively looking for information on. “If you have a business, you have an audience,” she told the crowd. “Safe is not going to win the game.”

More news is being created and consumed now than ever in the history of modern man, she continued, adding that there are trade papers, journalists, online publications and consumers looking for relevant company news every day. You don’t have to be a big name brand to get noticed; you just have to have a good product or piece of news. In a world so cluttered with content, it was refreshing to hear someone say what every successful large and small organization knows to be true. You don’t have to be big to get noticed — you just have to appeal to your core audience.

Apple WatchTo reiterate the point that smaller companies can greatly benefit with a newswire service, Cathy cited her own company’s history. When Business Wire first launched over 50 years ago, they were distributing news for companies like Hewlett-Packard, companies that were being run out of garages. This hasn’t changed much. From startup launches to the introduction of the Apple watch, Business Wire continues to distribute market moving news across a wide range of industries.

Jim Weiss chimed in, adding that startups need to get into the practice of issuing releases. It is important to start building and archiving a digital trail for your company during its earliest stages. The digital revolution also created a wide variety of options for the format of your distributed information.

Both Jim and Cathy agreed that multimedia was not just beneficial to a news release, but a requirement in modern news consumption programming. Modern communicators like Hasbro, Intel, Cigna and more are leveraging multimedia assets like News and Picture Capsules that allow users to play a game while learning about the brand and product. IntelBy incorporating interactive multimedia within the news story, audiences spend far more time on the news announcement than they would had it just been a simple text release.  Text-only news releases engage readers for seconds, while interactive-based releases are showing engagement results between 4-10 minutes – rates that are unheard of in the current communications and content marketing space.

The next topic covered was the importance of measurement in the communication space.  Measurability is the single greatest tool in identifying how a release is impacting the market and the company goals alike. Advents, such as NUVI, create an ability to not only see where your news release is being picked up but who is engaging with it and how – reading, sharing or advocating. Being able to distinguish the public reaction of your release gives you the opportunity to take control over your campaign like never before.

nuvi report

The lineup at this year’s SXW2O was fantastic, and the reason why is because the speakers were inspiring. There is a great feeling to knowing that you can make an impact especially when the message is coming from people who make an impact every day, like Jim Weiss and Cathy Baron Tamraz. The question now is who are you trying to activate with your news, and how can Business Wire help you distribute it?

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PR Updates and Changes for the Week of March 16

March 16, 2015

Welcome to this week’s edition of recent account wins and job changes within the public relations industry.  Have news you would like us to include, just let us know!

Austin
Sanders\Wingo Advertising has introduced a new division, The Knowledge Group, consisting of 23 members across offices in Austin, El Paso, Atlanta and New York. Article

Boston
Greenough Communications announced it has increased its Account Director ranks with the addition of three senior practitioners to address the agency’s growth. Brad Puffer, Amy Legere and Rachel Vaccari will provide counsel, media relations and team leadership for the agency’s healthcare, professional services, technology and non-profit clientele. Article

PAN Communications today announced the strategic hires of Lauren Arnold and Darlene Doyle as vice presidents joining the agency’s growing technology and healthcare practices. Article

Matter Communications announced it has acquired search marketing firm Search Maven Media. Article

Hollywood Public Relations this month announced the expansion of its client portfolio with the addition of Ovuline and JMATEK North America, LLC to its roster. Article

Communications professionals responsible for sustainability and CSR will share best practices in a free webinar series organized by 3BL Media and kicking off March 18. Article

Paul Andrew has been appointed Harvard University‘s vice president for public affairs and communications. Article

Charlotte
Actor Marc John Jefferies announced he has selected French/West/Vaughan as his public relations agency of record. Article

Travel and tourism firm Fuel has named Jay Juan Garcia as director of sales and marketing. Article

Chicago
Brixy has hired KidStuff Public Relations to handle marketing and public relations for the group. Article

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has named Debra Goetz as senior vice president, corporate marketing and global communications. Article

Cleveland
Major League Baseball has chosen Game Day Communications to assist in its efforts for the 2015 All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park and other related events. Article

DC
Ketchum has named Dr. Christopher Handler as SVP and director of its social marketing practice. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has named Ellen Moran an executive vice president and the general manager of the global public relations firm’s office in Washington, D.C. Article

Wendy Katzen “Party Perfect” has selected Cornerstone Communications as its public relations and marketing strategy agency of record. Article

Global Strategy Group has hired Matt Canter as senior vice president. In addition, Kate Hansen has come on board as vice president, communications from FWD.us, an advocacy organization in the tech community; and John Cipriani as director, research, having most recently worked for the chief strategy officer at Microsoft. Article

Denver
Fruition has announced Melanie Davidson will be named president. Article

Los Angeles
Ketchum Sports & Entertainment has hired Kelly Mullen as VP of branded entertainment. Article

Silvercrest Advertising announced the launch of its public relations and communications department, which allows the firm to employ more enhanced cross-channel marketing tactics for its clients that can benefit from strategic media relations campaigns and programs. Article

The Pollack PR Marketing Group has been selected by The City of Santa Monica‘s Wellbeing Project as their agency of record. Article

Health Net has named Peter O’Neill vice president, investor relations and corporate communications.  Article

Bud Genius has launched an investor relations website. BGMedTech.com includes company news, profiles of company divisions, updates on legalization efforts, and media relations and IR contact information. Article

Caruso Affiliated has hired Steven Martin as SVP of strategic alliances and entertainment. Article

Miami
The Resort at Pedregal announced the appointment of Cataline Green as Director of Sales and Marketing. Article

Pushing the Envelope has hired Kate Walter, MA, APR as Public Relations and Project Manager. Article

Pinnacle Advertising and Marketing announced that Waldan International has retained them for a national publicity campaign.  Article

FJ Communications has recently added new assignments, including internal communications for French global energy firm Total in the Latin American region; communications strategy, media relations and event support for interactive whiteboard developer Smart Technologies in Mexico; communications planning and branding profile for Chinese manufacturer of radio transceivers and radio systems Hytera in Mexico; and external communications in Peru and Mexico for consumer finance technology company Kreditech. Article

Minneapolis
TeamQuest has announced the appointment of Dino Balafas as Vice President of Marketing. Article

New York
Ketchum‘s controversial PR assignment for Russia, a relationship that has spanned nine years, has ended in the US and Europe. Article

AMC Networks has hired Bernadette Simpao as VP of corporate communications.  Article

Jaguar Growth Partners has brought on Quyen Tran as principal leading fundraising and investor relations. Article

The CHR Group has appointed Jonathan Zaback president of its newly formed Communications and Brand Marketing Division. Article

Ogilvy Public Relations announced that Melissa Smith has been named Executive Vice President and Group Director of the agency’s New York Brand Marketing Practice, effective January 2015. Article

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative hired the global public relations firm Weber Shandwick to help expand existing markets and find new ones. Article

Island Harvest has retained Long Island public relations firm Epoch 5 to head up its public relations, branding and marketing initiatives. Article

Susan Fraysse Russ has been named senior vice president, communications at MPA-The Association of Magazine Media. Article

Spectrum has opened in New York under the leadership of managing director Michelle Gross. Other new additions include senior vice presidents Michelle Strier and Tim Goddard. Article

Korn Ferry has hired Peter McDermott as a principal in the corporate affairs practice. Article

Shutterstock has brought on Craig Felenstein as SVP of investor relations. Article

Philadelphia
Comcast has promoted CCO D’Arcy Rudnay to EVP. Article

The annual report of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission released on March 5, 2015 named Princeton Public Affairs Group as New Jersey’s top lobbying organization based on 2014 revenue. PPAG has held this distinction for twelve consecutive years. Article

Sacramento
Perry Communications has added the California Craft Brewers Association and the Sierra Nevada Conservatory to its client roster. Article

San Diego
KCD PR has been selected by AIG Advisor Group as its agency of record. Article

San Francisco
Chris Knight has launched Divino Group, a brand marketing and PR consultancy that plans to provide CMOs and brand marketers with solutions for the new new media world. Knight founded the firm with six others, including husband Celso Dulay, who will serve as executive producer in charge of the group’s video and broadcast news services; Diana Stoneberg, a consumer tech product expert and television and radio personality; Gretchen Throop Williams, an artist with experience across graphic design, photography, music and video; Kimberly Quinn Devine, who worked with Knight for more than a decade at FleishmanHillard and Cohn & Wolfe; and Matt Schwarz and Tania Kempf, who also worked with Knight early in their careers. Article

Austin, San Francisco & Seattle
FILTER announced the addition of three new senior level staff members and the opening of an office in Austin, Texas. Article

Chicago & Nashville
Humana Inc. has named Golin its public relations agency of record. Article

Nashville &New York
Roland Corporation U.S. announced the appointment of Nashville- and New York-based firm Clyne Media as agency of record to spearhead public relations and editorial initiatives. Article

Los Angeles & New York
After spending the past seven years as an account executive at BWR on both coasts, Kevin McLaughlin has joined Craig Bankey in Main Stage Public Relations, a bicoastal firm. Article

Hong Kong
Social media platform Hootsuite has shifted Asia-Pacific PR duties to Waggener Edstrom following a competitive review. Article

Porter Novelli has relocated agency veteran Angie Schneider from Seattle to Singapore to oversee the firm’s Asia-Pacific operations. Article

Wagstaff Worldwide announced it is now working with Bangkok-based Akaryn Hospitality Management Services. Article

Frankfurt
Fink & Fuchs PR has been awarded a contract to develop and execute public relations activities on behalf of the federal administration, including all Federal Ministries and subordinate authorities. Article

London
UK telecoms group Lebara has handed multi-market PR duties to Text 100, the Holmes Report has learned. Article

Paul Fabretti has departed Telefonica to take on a global social media role for Microsoft‘s consumer apps and services (CAS) division. Article

Alison Couper has joined online ratings and reviews provider Feefo in the newly-created role of VP, brand and communications. Article

Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution has promoted Victoria Marcroft to VP of marketing, promotion, and publicity. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has launched a people and purpose practice under the leadership of Laura House. The unit has also expanded with the addition of two specialist consultants, Eloise Hindes (formerly of AB Communications) and Kitty Gordon (who joins from Which? Consumer’s Association). Article

Media company Sanoma has named Sandra van Vreedendaal as chief communication officer. Article

Weber Shandwick has been appointed by the United Nations Volunteers to coordinate media and stakeholder launch events coinciding with publication of the second State of the World’s Volunteerism Report in summer 2015. Article

Golin has appointed Kate Miller as the agency’s first head of media to lead its “connector” community. Article

Golf brand TaylorMade-adidas Golf has appointed global social media agency We Are Social as its strategic and creative social media agency in Europe. Article

Rachael Evans has joined Man Bites Dog in a senior consultancy role. Article

Sarah Long has joined Beattie Communications to lead Only Travel, its travel PR, social and digital boutique. Article

Mischief PR has been appointed as the International PR agency for Paddy’s Bathroom, a new organic and natural children’s toiletry range created by Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley. Article

Atomic has been appointed by security specialist, RiskIQ, following a competitive pitch. Article

Virgo Health has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Tom Griffiths as head of digital. Article

TVC Group managing director Nicky Minter-Green is stepping down as MD of the agency, after nine years in the role. Article

Paris
FTI Consulting has added Massimo Baldinato, John Clancy, Kyra Obolensky and Roeland Van der Stappen as senior directors; Robrecht Vandormael as director; Maria Tsoni as senior consultant; and Matilda Wallmon as consultant, bringing its team in Brussels to 60 consultants. Article

PROI Worldwide has added Distinct Communication in Luxembourg to its membership to provide more comprehensive coverage in the EMEA region. Article

Sydney
Carol Potter is joining Edelman as executive vice-chairman for the firm’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APACMEA) region, after spending the past eight years as CEO of BBDO China. Article

Tokyo
Geometry Global Japan has launched a new film to draw visitors to Saga City, Japan. The film, ‘Alien of Ariake’, tells the story of an alien creature that lives in the nearby Ariake Sea. Article

Toronto
Cohn & Wolfe | Toronto announced a series of appointments to the team, further reinforcing the agency’s core strengths, and expanding its expertise and service offerings. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada announced two new senior leaders in its corporate practice. Effective immediately, Jason MacDonald and Susan Schutta join as vice presidents in the firm’s Ottawa and Toronto offices, respectively. Article

Accor North America has awarded the public relations account for its Canadian Sofitel and Novotel hotels to Citoyen Optimum. Article

Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!


The Future of Strategic Communications: Thoughts from the C-Suite

March 6, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Marketing, Business Wire 

Business Wire and CommPro.biz recently hosted a conversation between seven PR and communication industry CEOs on the topic of innovation in the communication industry.

Innovation Leadership Participants, from left to right: Sabrina Horn, The Horn Group, CEO Jennefer Witter, The Boreland Group, CEO Patrice Tanaka, PadillaCRT, Co-founder, Chief Counselor and Creative Strategist Stacey Cohen, Co-Communications, CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire, CEO/Chairwoman Barri Rafferty, Ketchum, North America, CEO, Sandra Fathi, Affect, Pres/Founder Fay Shapiro, CommPro, CEO

Innovation Leadership Participants, from left to right: Sabrina Horn, The Horn Group, CEO Jennefer Witter, The Boreland Group, CEO Patrice Tanaka, PadillaCRT, Co-founder, Chief Counselor and Creative Strategist Stacey Cohen, Co-Communications, CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire, CEO/Chairwoman Barri Rafferty, Ketchum, North America, CEO, Sandra Fathi, Affect, Pres/Founder Fay Shapiro, CommPro, CEO

Participants of this discussion included:

Click here to read how these respected CEOs view the role of innovation, collaboration, creativity, mentoring and leadership within their agency and the public relations industry as a whole:  http://bit.ly/1wZ1F7f 


PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of Feb 23

February 25, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Senior Client Services, Rep Business Wire 

Here are 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!

Boston
Racepoint Global announced the hiring of Edward Christopher as Executive Vice President, Account Services. Article

Dallas
Lewis Public Relations announced Ashley Brazell has joined the firm as an associate to accommodate new clients and continued growth. Article

The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has named its officers and board of directors for 2015. Article

Deoleo North America has chosen The Integer Group as its agency of record. Article

DC
Planit announced the promotion of Hector Gonzalez to director of account management. Article

BrandLinkDC has been retained by &pizza, a Washington, D.C.-headquartered pizza brand. Article

Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group has been selected to spearhead a golf destination public relations program for the greater Branson area in southwest Missouri. Article

DBC PR + Social Media has been hired as AOR by handcrafted soda maker Q Drinks and Kitchensurfing, a private chef service. Article

Los Angeles
W2O Group has acquired Arc2 Communications & Media. Article

Virtual Piggy has selected Los Angeles-based technology public relations firm PMBC Group as its strategic public relations partner. Article

JMPR Public Relations, Inc. announced that it has been signed as agency of record for Strider Sports International. Article

Miami
Ink Link Marketing was named PR Agency of Record by Church’s Chicken. Article

Sachs Media Group has launched the Breakthrough Research unit, which will specialize in public policy analysis, data collection, and message testing. Karen Cyphers will lead the team as VP of research and policy. Article

Republica has appointed Tony Arner to the role of CFO. Article

Fish Consulting announced it has added Blink Fitness, Captain D’s, i9 Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe to its roster. Article

InHealth Media has named Patrick Shaw as its new public relations coordinator. Article

New York
DBC PR+ Social has been appointed the agency of record for Kitchensurfing and Q Drinks. Website

René Mack, former president of the travel practice at Weber Shandwick, and Cathleen Johnson, founder and head of the travel practice at Edelman, are now leading Percepture Travel, a division of Percepture, Inc. Article

Jennifer Connelly, founder and CEO of Jennifer Connelly Public Relations (JCPR), has been named one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ. Article

5W Public Relations has been named PR Agency of Record by Dr. Creflo Dollar, American evangelist pastor and founder of World Changers Church International (WCCI), and Creflo Dollar Ministries, one of the largest Christian community churches in the world. Article

Curzon PR is expanding its international presence with the establishment of a New York office. Article

Indra Public Relations announced the signing of Aquaçai USA and is the official PR agency on record. Article

Didit has acquired public relations firm Bridge Global Strategies LLC in Manhattan. Article

Atrium PR announced that it has hired Gabrielle Fratangelo as Account Executive. Article

5W Public Relations announced that senior PR executive Dara Busch has joined the agency as a Senior Vice President who will be overseeing its Consumer division. Article

Philadelphia
ScripsAmerica announced that it has selected Gregory FCA as agency of record for its investor relations initiatives. Article

Phoenix
Havas PR has opened a full-service office in Phoenix. Article

Harlem Globetrotters International is partnering with five firms as it celebrates the team’s 90th anniversary. The company is working with United Talent Agency, Whistle Sports, Licensing Street, and Lead Dog Marketing. It continues to work with Coyne PR on communications. Article

The members of the Public Relations Society of America Counselors Academy have elected Abbie S. Fink, vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations as its chair. Article

San Francisco
Expense report technology Tallie has selected Waggener Edstrom Communications as its AOR. Article

DC & New York
ICR announced two senior hires to its Corporate Communications Group. Crisis communications and public affairs veteran Michael W. Robinson joins the firm as managing director and former business and financial journalist John Jannarone as senior vice president. Article

Los Angeles & Paris
The Comexposium Group has acquired Mobile Motion LLC. Paran Johar, the founder of the Los Angeles-­-based company, remains its CEO. Article

San Francisco, Seattle & Paris
Edelman has hired four new executives to help boost its food expertise in Europe and the US Western region. Article

Hong Kong
Ogilvy Public Relations Indonesia announced Misty Maitimoe as Deputy Managing Director of the organization. Article

Ogilvy China has been selected by the Consumer Electronics Association to assist with strategic brand communications and activation in support of the 2015 International CES Asia, which will run May 25-27 in Shanghai. Article

Vero Public Relations has launched a new division to manage social and digital communications and content development for clients. Vero Content Creative will be based in Bangok and offer services including community management, social media strategy development and implementation, online brand monitoring, key opinion leader outreach and management and creative content marketing. Article

À La Carte Productions, a division of Peter Knipp Holdings, has appointed Heat branding as the official public relations agency of the World Gourmet Summit 2015. Article

Lenovo is looking for marketing communications agency support for its global smartphone business, the Holmes Report has learned. Article

Frankfurt
Rocket Internet has spun-off its communications division as a standalone agency called RCKT. Article

London
Former Shell communications chief  Björn Edlund has joined Omnicom public relations firm Kreab as a senior advisor in London. Article

Weber Shandwick’s Stockholm-based business intelligence unit, United Minds, will open in London. Headed up by Hélène Vinberg, associate at Prime-the Swedish firm acquired in 2014-and United Minds, the new operation is part of a push to expand the firm’s strategic planning offer. Other moves include the recent appointment of UK director of analytics Elizabeth Gladwin and the addition of an analytics practice in Germany. Article

Teneo Holdings has appointed Charles Watson as chairman of Teneo International. Article

Corporate law firm Addleshaw Goddard has added media lawyer Lucy Middleton to its reputation protection team. Article

Baku 2015 European Games has appointed Colin Gibson as deputy director of communications. Article

Instinctif Partners has been appointed by Fisch Asset Management to raise its pan-European profile. Article

A new oil and gas consultancy backed by GE and McDermott has called in H+K Strategies London to help build its brand. Article

Ogilvy PR has named Michael Frohlich to the newly-created role of chief operating officer for EMEA.  Article

Paris
MSC Cruises has named Luca Biondolillo as chief communications officer. Article

Sydney
Dilip Yadav is departing Weber Shandwick after 20 years with the agency in India. Article

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Don’t Eclipse Your News During the Lunar New Year – Why Sending News to China During the Spring Festival is a Bad Idea

February 18, 2015

Bio Pic 2

By Matt Allinson, Media Relations Manager – International Markets

China’s Lunar New Year is nigh (February 19), but the travel frenzy known as Chunyun (a 40-day period surrounding the Spring Festival) is well underway. It is a migration unlike any other, with an estimated 2.8 billion passenger trips undertaken between February 4 and March 15. Millions upon millions of people will be hurrying home to reunite with family and enjoy the holiday. It is said to be the largest annual migration in the world.

China

Chunyun travel in progress

With so many people concentrating on getting from one place to another, it stands to reason that not a lot of business gets done in the People’s Republic of China during this time of celebration. It also stands to reason that sending out a news release around the holiday is not a wise move – unless, of course, you’d rather people not see your news.

Shaun Bowers Interfax ChinaI had the opportunity to speak more about this with Shaun Bowers (pictured left), the Managing Director of Interfax News Services in China. He was kind enough to answer some questions I had, as well as some questions that are often put to me.

Q: Can you describe the impact Spring Festival travel has on not only the news distribution business, but all business in China?

A: It (business) almost stops. Family is at the very center of Chinese culture and this is the time of the year that workers all across China return to their home province to visit family. Often, it is the only time they will see their family during the entire year.

Starting in January, factories will stop taking orders because of the holiday and will be rushing to fill orders they have in hand. The distance workers have to travel means journeys can take days, so often workers will start traveling two weeks early … and it’s not uncommon for a factory to close for an entire month. So for most businesses, it is a quiet period … unless you are a food vendor near a train station or a retail clothing store (it is traditional to buy new clothes for the Spring Festival).

Q: A question I have received in the past is: Don’t the Chinese have the most cell phones (per capita) in the world? Wouldn’t they still be absorbing news on their devices during the holiday?

A: Perhaps you should ask them if they sit around the Thanksgiving dinner table and read the news. The Spring Festival is a time for celebration – the whole of China is on holiday and people are focused on fun and seeing old friends.

Q: To which western holiday would you compare the Lunar New Year? Or is there such a comparison?

A: It’s hard to compare … for Europe it would be Christmas, and for the U.S. I would say it’s like Thanksgiving … at Thanksgiving, people will do anything to get home. The U.S. has 330 million people and I’m sure readers can relate to what a nightmare travel can be during Thanksgiving. Now imagine adding another 900 million people, and you get a sense of what it’s like.

Q: What have been your personal observations and experiences with the Lunar New Year? Any crazy travel stories?

A: My wife’s family is from Hong Kong so we don’t have to travel, but it’s quite normal for us to sit down to dinner with 67 immediate family members … some of whom have traveled from all corners of the world. There is a saying in Hong Kong: “Don’t go on holiday as everyone you know will be on holiday, so stay in Hong Kong and enjoy the peace and quiet.”

yay-15943958-digital

According to Shaun, it’s not that people in China don’t read news during the holiday; it’s just not a top priority. Chinese New Year is the one time of year when all workers can return home and, in essence, MUST return home. It is important for them to do so and it is expected that they will return with gifts for the whole family. And in the end, what’s more important: being present with family or reading up on news about listed companies?

Shaun’s advice, and mine, is to hold off on sending any news to China between the 18th and 24th of February.

And I will take this opportunity to remind you that it’s a best practice to always make sure the country to which you’re trying to send news is not on a holiday.  A quick check of timeanddate.com, bankholidays.com, officeholidays.com, or any similar site can save you time, resources and headaches when sending news internationally.

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PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of February 16th

February 17, 2015

There were a lot of changes in the PR industry last week – below are just a handful of these updates.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.

Atlanta
Public relations, event activation and lifestyle marketing agency The Garner Circle & Co. launches a year-long campaign titled “The Garner Circle Year of 10.” Article

Edelman has named Alicia Thompson general manager of its Atlanta office. Article

Boston
Boston-based 451 Marketing announced Lisa Bell as its new vice president of consumer public relations. Article

Milldam Public Relations announced the formal launch of its Outreach Division. Article

People Making Good PR announced the promotion of two associates: Brittany Southwick and Jasmine Mitchell. Article

Charlotte
Paul Mason is leaving the University of North Carolina Greensboro after 10 controversy-filled months. Article

Miami Heat forward Luol Deng has selected French/West/Vaughan as his marketing and endorsement agency of record. Article

Chicago
ASGK Public Strategies has hired Sarah Hamilton as MD in its Chicago office. Article

Stephanie Chaney Casanova recently made the transition in-house to work for Loews Chicago Hotel as the Director of Public Relations. Article

Troy, Mich.-based Bianchi Public Relations has announced that Kelsey Falk has joined its team as an intern for the winter 2015 semester. Article

Cleveland
Carnegie Mellon University has named Steve Kloehn as VP for marketing and communications. Article

Mary Wade Atteberry has been named associate vice president for communications and marketing at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Article

Cincinnati Financial Corporation has promoted Elizabeth Ertel to assistant vice president, corporate communications. Article

DC
John Stauffer will join APCO Worldwide later this month as co-lead of the firm’s StudioOnline practice and lead digital strategist within the Washington office. Article

Hillsdale College today announced the selection of the Pinkston Group as its media and communications partner. Article

The Smith River Sports Complex (SRSC) in Virginia announced the hire of its new Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Article

ConnellyWorks announced the appointment of Melissa King as Director of Events. Article

PRA Group has named Nancy Porter vice president, corporate communications. Article

Meredith Williams has joined Crosby Marketing Communications as an executive vice president and co-leader of the government practice. Article

Environics Communications has promoted Kelly Mack to a vice president in the firm’s Washington, DC, office. Article

Edelman‘s relationship with the American Petroleum Institute (API) is set to end, the Holmes Report can reveal. Article

Denver
The Integer Group has appointed David Battrick as Group Director of Digitail®, and Balind Sieber as Director of Digital Creative. Article

Turner Public Relations has added four new accounts: The Carneros Inn, a luxury resort located in Napa Valley’s wine country; Hyatt Playa del Carmen; Westgate Park City in Utah; and Gociety, a social network for adventurers. Article

Houston
Pierpont Communications announced that Dave Stump joined the firm as vice president of business development. Article

Los Angeles
Blaze has added HelloTel App to its roster. Article

Miami
THR33FOLD has developed an integrated model that leaves the traditional marketing agency environment of departments working in silos in the past. Article

JoTo PR has added Consumer Energy Solutions and Dazz cleaning spray company, Sunstate Labs, to its client roster. Article

Minneapolis
PadillaCRT has hired Jennifer Iwanicki as VP of creative operations in its Minneapolis headquarters. Article

Jean Hill, formerly a vice president at the Minneapolis PR agency Maccabee, has been promoted to Senior Vice President. Article

Nashville
ReviveHealth has hired Megan Ferington Pruce, former director of corporate communications at the Cleveland Clinic. Article

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications announced it has hired Mary Roddy Sawyer as Vice President of Public Relations. Article

New York
Creative and media agency Out There Inc. has brought on Issa PR to handle strategy and overall branding and visibility, as well as media relations for its Z Zegna campaign. Article

Alcoa has hired Nahla Azmy as VP of investor relations. Azmy is succeeding Kelly Pasterick, who was named VP of global financial processes for global primary products at Alcoa. Article

First Niagara Financial Group has promoted Kate White to EVP and MD of human resources and corporate communications. Article

Excelsior Wine Company has retained Conundrum as PR AOR for Little Black Dress Wines. Article

Rubenstein Public Relations has announced two new client wins in the real estate and global manufacturing export industries: MIPIM, a leading property market, and Phipps & Co, a manufacturer of furniture, fixtures and finishes for the commercial, residential and hospitability sectors. Article

Blue Chip Public Relations is celebrating its ten year anniversary of serving financial companies across the country, announced Bill Bongiorno, Founder and President. Article

1-800-PublicRelations announced its performance based PR business model hit an industry milestone, successfully booking over 200 CEOs in 2014 on major TV/ Radio news networks and major publications. Article

Pollock Communications announced two new additions to its roster that expand beyond its traditional arenas, into the back pain and sports nutrition categories. Article

Marketing, reputation, and crisis strategist Davia Temin has been named for a third consecutive year to the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW). The annual list honors “professionals who are transforming the way organizations do business.” Article

Alexandra von Plato has been named Group President of North America for Publicis Healthcare Communications Group. Article

Longtime public relations executive and civic leader Steve Aiello has been named to the Wagner College Board of Trustees and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Board of Governors, the latter being a mayoral appointment. Aiello currently is a senior counselor with Hill+Knowlton Strategies in New York. Article

Capstone Hill Search has announced further expansion of the company’s international network, strengthening operations in New York City with the appointment of Jamie McLaughlin as President of its US operations. Article

Jaison Blair has been named senior vice president, investor relations and corporate communications, at Time Inc. In addition, Daniel Kile becomes senior VP, brand communications. Article

Steaz has selected Sparkpr‘s New York office as PR agency of record and Moosylvania as social agency of record. Article

Osteo Bi-Flex is launching a national education campaign to raise awareness of joint health and to encourage consumers of all ages to start paying attention to their knees, ankles and other joints. The company has retained MWW for a campaign that will provide US consumers with steps they can take to help strengthen their joints and to help support their joints throughout their lives. Article

The Jefferson, Washington, DC has named DKC Public Relations as its agency of record. Article

Phoenix
Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center announced the addition of Patrick Connors as director of sales and marketing. The announcement also said Ken McKenzie joined as the resort’s new general manager. Article

San Diego
Clearpoint Agency was selected by Connequity to lead the startup’s public relations and marketing communications program. Article

Kevin Dinino, President of KCD PR, was recently named a 2015 San Diego Business Journal Most Admired CEO finalist in the Privately-Held Company category. Article

Boostcase has chosen Havas Formula to execute a strategic PR program. Article

San Francisco
Spark has promoted Tim Turpin to the newly-created role of GM. Article

Stephanie Dowling has been named Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii‘s Regional Director of Communications. Article

Dani Dudeck has been promoted from vice president of communications to become Zynga‘s first chief communications officer. Article

Aduro Biotech has appointed Sylvia Wheeler as senior vice president, corporate affairs and investor relations. Article

Seattle
Nasdaq-listed tech firm F5 Networks has selected Waggener Edstrom as its PR agency of record following a competitive review. Article

David Marriott and Joel VanEtta have joined Allison+Partners‘ corporate practice, expanding the agency’s senior talent in crisis and public affairs. Article

W2O Group firm Twist Mktg has brought on Jon Maron as MD, leading its technology practice. Article

Seattle-based full-service communications agency PRR announced a leadership transition that maintains its status as a women-owned firm while bringing employee-ownership into a portion of its structure. Effective January 2015, Founder and CEO Rita Brogan has transitioned ownership of the company such that it is owned and controlled by its employees; Rita will however continue active involvement as Chair of the Board of Directors and servicing several accounts. Article

Boston & NY
Version 2.0 Communications announced that 2014 was a year of record growth for the agency, highlighted by expanded client programs and new client wins, numbers of staff, significant expansion in the Boston office and the opening of an office in New York. Article

Denver & Miami
Moore Communications Group has acquired Denver-based Financial Social Media (FSM). Article

LA, New York and London
Health advocacy and communications agency Kyne is opening offices in Dublin, Ireland and Los Angeles. Article

LA & NY
Fastlane Communications recently announced the acquisition of Winning Message. The firm’s principal, Kevin Levi, is now a partner and managing director at Fastlane, and Winning Message will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and west coast operation of Fastlane. Article

Hong Kong
Walmart has named Maggie Sans to the newly-created role of SVP and chief corporate affairs officer in China. Article

Silicon Valley startup AppsFlyer has named the Hoffman Agency as its regional communications agency in Asia. Article

OgilvyOne Indonesia has been awarded the digital marketing responsibilities for Sariwangi, following a competitive pitch. Article

London
Porter Novelli has named senior executives Dave Black and Paul George as partners at the firm.  Article

Rozzyn Boy is departing Tata Communications after five years to become chief communications officer at Dutch-based telco VimpelCom. Article

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has called in Threepipe to handle digital advertising duties. Article

Nigel Fairbrass has joined G4S as group director of media. Article

iris has been appointed by BMW Group following a six-way pitch to become its lifestyle PR partner in the UK. Article

Grayling has hired investment and corporate specialist David Andrews to lead the agency’s financial services and wealth management business. Article

Molson Coors has appointed Eulogy! to develop and execute PR strategies for three of its key brands Coors Light, Grolsch and Singha. Article

Fink & Fuchs PR has added Hasbro Deutschland as a new account. Article

Vosene Kids has appointed Threepipe following a competitive pitch to help with a new integrated consumer campaign across multi-channel platforms. Article

Following a number of client wins requiring more “through-the-line” creative and moving image content, PrettyGreen is launching PrettyPictures and PrettyGreen Studio. The new creative offering will be headed up by Sam Stocking. Article

Cake, the Havas-owned brand entertainment agency, has won a competitive pitch for the PR account for V Festival sponsored by Virgin Media, in the festival brand’s 20th anniversary year. Article

blu (UK) has appointed Publicasity to handle its UK trade communications. Article

Good Relations has appointed Neil Ginsburg as business development director. Article

WP Engine has appointed Octopus Group to manage its launch into the UK market. Article

David Broome is joining executive search specialist Oskar Yasar Partnership as managing partner. Oskar Yasar Partnership will change its name to Broome Yasar Partnership and has also appointed Polly Fergusson and Al Loehnis as board adviser. Article

EBay has kicked off a wide-ranging review of its business communications support in Europe. Article

Paris
Publicis Groupe is poised to acquire fast-growing South African PR consultancy Epic Communications, giving subsidiary MSLGroup its first operation in Africa. Article

Spanish PR firm Inforpress has opened new offices in Washington DC and Brussels as the latest steps in its ambitious international expansion plan. Article

Toronto
Ketchum promoted Emma Capombassis to the position of director of its Toronto office. Article

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