The Experts Speak: How to Brand Your Startup

August 21, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media

This past year’s SXSW festival offered audiences enough movies, music and tech to keep busy until – you guessed it – next year’s SXSW. For those in the know, however, that wasn’t the end of the fun. From July 19th to the 22nd there was an additional SXSW event, the SXSW v2v in Las Vegas. This boutique event, aimed to help startups grow, brought together great minds and offered future business moguls an opportunity to learn from and connect with industry leaders.


One of the topics discussed during the four days in Vegas was how a new company can develop a brand with which audiences will identify. Melodie Tao, Marketing Consultant and Founder of Marketing Melodie, spoke on just that and left the crowd inspired.

Coverage and highlights of the session can be found here.

“How can you establish your brand?” was the first question Melodie posed, and what followed was a series of tips and insider tricks to connect with modern markets. Find out what she had to say and how it might apply to your business.


Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz also spoke about startups prior to the Vegas event at the Austin SXSW. Her fireside chat was insightful and declared that “every business has an audience.” Coverage of the conversation can be found here.

Business Wire Presents: PR Industry Updates for July 24

July 24, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Nashville

This week we feature several changes in the PR industry, including:

PR Industry Updates

Phase 3 Marketing & Communications has unified the creative department of recent acquisition Brand Fever and its PR practice with The Reynolds Group, both of which are divisions of the company. Article

French/West/Vaughan has been selected by Paralyzed Veterans of America to provide marketing support for its new charity endurance racing program, Racing to Empower Veterans (REVolution). Article

The Brandon Agency has added Beth Kann to its social media and public relations team to serve the company’s expanding roster of clients. Article

After 15 years working with Golin as its public relations agency of record, the National Peanut Board (NPB) announced the agency will expand its role to include advertising and marketing. Article

Hennes Communications has hired Thomas Fladung as vice president. Article

Lisa Osborne Ross is joining APCO Worldwide as the managing director of its Washington, DC, office. Article

Alex Slater has launched Clyde Group, a new communications and public affairs firm. Article

Levick has added Stephen Aaron as vice president. Article

Whiteboard Advisors announced the addition of Ted Eismeier as an Associate Vice President in its growing communications practice. Article

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) named Olivia Alair Dalton as the organization’s new Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing. Article

Gadi Dechter joined APCO Worldwide as head of its Public Affairs Practice. Article

Warschawski announced that it has been hired by Pompeian. Article

Reputation Institute is retaining the Pinkston Group of Alexandria, Virginia, to develop and implement comprehensive media strategies to increase Reputation Institute’s national and global prominence. Article

GolfBoard has selected Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group to turnkey a brand communications and public relations program. Article

5W Public Relations has opened a Denver office to support its growing client base in the Southwestern US. Article

Lambert, Edwards & Associates has expanded its Grand Rapids team with the addition of Alaina Korreck as an associate and Abby Timmer as a digital specialist. Article

Identity announced that it launched a new website that represents the firm’s evolution as an agency. Article

Los Angeles
JMPR Public Relations, Inc. announced that it has been named agency of record for AMA Pro Flat Track. Article

CannaGrow Holdings announced the appointment of Cheryl Shuman as Senior Business Development, Public Relations, Marketing & Media Strategist. Article

JoTo PR has added Clearwater-based company, Handymen for All, owned and operated by US Air Force Captain (Ret.) Julie Daniels. Article

Shelton Group announced that it has added CertainTeed Insulation to its client roster. Article

Newport Beach
Terry Blount has been named NHRA vice president of public relations and communications. Article

American Gem Society (AGS) and AGS Laboratories appointed the Luxury Brand Group to serve its public relations and brand development needs. Article

New York
Ogilvy Public Relations has launched The Boutique@Ogilvy, a specialty division that provides communications strategy for retail, fashion and e-commerce clients and helps brands forge strategic collaborations in the fashion space. Article

Edelman subsidiary United Entertainment Group has promoted Mary Scott to president, sports and brand experiences, and Robby Wells to chief strategy officer. Article

Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations announced a new account addition and two tourism renewals to its diverse roster of hospitality and destination clients: London & Partners, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, FL and Visit Savannah. Article

Magrino was selected following a competitive search to represent Italian restaurant brand, Obicà, for national public relations. Article

Phil & Co. has formed a strategic alliance with GoDiversity to launch “cause diversity,” offering clients in the cause space the opportunity to better reach and engage with the Hispanic market. Article

Golin has made Dawn Langeland managing director of its New York operation. Article

MSLGroup has launched its fifth-annual grant program, Generation Activation Be:Cause. The firm will award one local nonprofit with up to $100,000 in strategic communications counsel. Article

The CHR Group has acquired marketing agency Colour. Article

BBC Worldwide North America announced the appointment of Dawn Williamson to Senior Vice President, Advertising Sales and Tim Wastney to Vice President, Advertising Sales to bolster the ad sales division based in the U.S. and Canada. Article

Sharp Communications announced two new staff members. Article

Richard Rubenstein, President of Rubenstein Public Relations, announced that the firm has been named the agency of record for New York City’s 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade. Article

Eastwick announced a new partnership with Grand Central Tech (GCT). Article

Sharp Communications announced three new major account wins to its portfolio of architecture and design brands. Article

48 Communications has expanded to the east coast with a new Public Relations division and New York office, offering new and current clients an expanded scope of services in the largest media market in the nation. Article

Lorraine Gregory Communications (LGC) has been selected by the Boy Scouts of America (Suffolk County Council) to create a fundraising campaign for the Baiting Hollow Scout Camp it owns and operates in Calverton, NY. Article

Marking its 20th anniversary in business this July, Kimball Communications announced it is opening a new office at 794 Penllyn Pike, Suite 214 in Blue Bell, Pa. Article

San Diego
After three years of intensive development with data scientists and psychologists, Zenzi announces the launch of its proprietary values marketing method to help brands fuel growth, loyalty, and engagement through stronger connections with consumers. Article

San Francisco
Twitter‘s head of communications Gabriel Stricker announced, via Twitter, that he’s leaving the company. Article

Blanc & Otus CEO Joshua Reynolds is stepping down to join a Silicon Valley startup, meanwhile Annemiek Hamelinck is taking over as general manager. Article

Ruder Finn announced the hire of Scott Beaver as Vice President, Ruder Finn West – the agency’s San Francisco office. Article

Runa Capital announced that partner Andre Bliznyuk will move to the US to open an office in San Francisco, California. Additionally, in a move to extend its operations expertise into new areas, it has hired startup veteran Marcos Sanchez to run global communications for the firm. Article

DC & San Francisco
Fenton is expanding its environment, energy and sustainability expertise with the additions of Ryan Cunningham and Eric Raymond have joined as senior vice presidents in Washington, DC, and San Francisco respectively. Article

Hong Kong
The Hoffman Agency has hired Esther Kuang Mei to spearhead its Shanghai operations as general manager. Article

Uwe Kattwinkel has been named senior vice president, communications, at airberlin. Article

Following his promotion to group managing director of TVC Group in March, James Myers has created a new board structure to lead the business and made two new hires: Simon Murphy joins TVC from The Narrative in Australia as director of client services and will oversee our UK clients including Tesco, Easyjet, Royal Voluntary Service, Eurostar and Sky; Simon Amster joins as creative content director, having held positions at NBC Universal, Addiction Worldwide/Bray Leino, and FleishmanHillard. Article

Bite has been selected by Trainline. Article

Al Berry has joined Weber Shandwick as head of content in EMEA from Bacardi Global Brands where he developed content campaigns across its portfolio of brands – among other new hires in EMEA. Article

Infiniti Middle East has appointed Four Communications as its new PR agency for the region following the recent appointment of Craig D’Silva to lead the automobile manufacturer’s PR and corporate communications activities across the Middle East and Africa. Article


Cesare Valli has joined leading Italian independent SEC Relazioni Pubbliche e Istituzionali as managing director and partner via the acquisition of a minority stake in the company. Article

Avian Media has added new roles – chief strategy officer and regional heads – as it braces for growth from existing and new clients. Article

National Public Relations has acquired the business of Equicom from TMX Group. Article

Shine PR has partnered with DelilahK. Article

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PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of July 6

July 10, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Nashville

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!

French/West/Vaughan (FWV) has been selected by Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) to provide marketing support for its new charity endurance racing program, Racing to Empower Veterans (REVolution). Article

S&A Communications hired Rachel Sheffield as web designer. Article

SevenTwenty Strategies has named Christine DiGiovacchino as creative director and Megan Blair as senior web designer, and Joe Richards as senior account director. Article

Golf Membership Consultants (GMC) has selected Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group to manage a public relations program and consult on marketing and business strategies to expand GMC’s market presence. Article

The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) today announced that Mike Zaneis will become the organization’s new President and CEO. Article

Airfoil was honored alongside its client Comcast Cable, Heartland Region with the Best of Show distinction at the International Association of Business Communicators Detroit Renaissance Awards ceremony. Article

Corporate and public affairs expert Stephen Lock is joining Latin America specialist Speyside Corporate Relations to head the firm’s fast-growing Brazil business. Article

Risdall Public Relations James E. Lukaszewski, APR, has been selected as a Fellow of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Article

New York
Burson-Marsteller has launched a new Cuba specialty team, a US-based offering that will provide clients with counsel on the political and economic environments in both the US and Cuba, as well as advice and guidance in planning for and communicating effectively about eventual Cuba market entry. Article

Global Strategy Group announced that Dana Yeganian has joined the firm as Senior Vice President. Article

RF|Binder has become part of PROI Worldwide, a partnership of independent agencies with 2014 net fees of $615 million. Article

Deloitte is acquiring substantially all of the assets of LRA Worldwide, a firm that measures customer experience. Article

Vested has announced its formal public launch. Created by senior communications executives Dan Simon and Binna Kim, Vested helps both traditional and new financial firms navigate an increasingly disruptive environment. Article

Butler Associates Public Relations has added Hostelworld Group to its roster.  Article

Horn Group, Inc. announced the promotion of Brian Sinderson from managing director to senior managing director and general manager, New York. In addition, the agency has added two vice presidents: Allyne Mills, formerly senior vice president with Beckerman|Antenna Group and Erica McDonald, who rejoins Horn Group from DiGennaro Communications. Article

Bilingual multicultural marketing communications expert Lissette M. Rodriguez announced the launch of Chic Influence, a new public relations agency specializing in building influence with the powerful U.S. Hispanic market while simultaneously bringing client stories to the mainstream forefront. Based in New York City, the agency launches with two clients-Being Latino, one of the country’s top social media marketing companies targeting Hispanic millennials, and celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist Gabriel Samra. Article

The New York Times Company announced that Clay Fisher will join the company in the new role of senior vice president, consumer marketing. Article

Swordfish Communications has announced it will offer free services to any retailer presently selling a controversial iPhone case that looks like a realistic handgun. Article

San Francisco
MSLGroup has hired Brian Lake as a vice president focusing on the technology and public affairs practices. Article

LANE has kicked off a 25 Commitments for 25 Years (#25for25) year-long campaign in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Article

Austin & Memphis
Archer Malmo has acquired Austin-based Tocquigny. Yvonne Tocquigny and Tom Fornoff will continue to lead the Austin office as chief creative and strategy officer and president, respectively. Article

Frankfurt & London
Travel Lifestyle Network announces it has elected ten new global partners. In addition to announcing new partners, the network has set important steps to accommodate further business growth. Article

Isabel Kassabian was named deputy managing director for APCO Worldwide‘s Berlin office. Article

Hong Kong
Ruder Finn has acquired the China business of Kyodo Public Relations, including operations in Beijing and Shanghai. Article

Grayling has appointed Jonathan Curtis as its new head of public affairs. Article

Tero Huovinen has been appointed senior vice president, communications and corporate responsibility at global chemical company Kemira Oyj. Leena Lie, Kemira’s current head of communications and corporate responsibility, is leaving to become SVP, communications, at Cargotec. Article

Mischief PR has hired Daniella Graham from, to the newly created full-time role of news and conversation editor. Article

Keene Communications has taken over the operations of international business-to-business consultancy BondPR. Founder Tom Burgess remains a shareholder in BondPR and will act as a consultant to the group. Based in San Francisco, he will also oversee the development of North American operations. Article

Text100 holding company NextFifteen has acquired the entire issued share capital of IncrediBull, which will be fully integrated into Text100 from January of next year. Article

Mainichi Shimbun and Cxense announced the signing of a deal. Article

Llorente & Cuenca has secured €6.35 million in funding from French private equity firm MBO Partenaires. Article

Publicis Worldwide CEO Arthur Sadoun is taking over supervision of MSLGroup, meanwhile the agency’s CEO Olivier Fleurot moves into an SVP role at the holding group. Article

Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU Singapore) was recently named the In-House PR Team of the Year at PRWeek Awards Asia 2015. Article

Coca-Cola has appointed MSLGroup as its partner in India, with a focus on content creation. Article

Toyota‘s PR chief Julie Hamp has resigned after being detained by Japanese authorities on the suspicion of illegally importing a prescription drug from the US. Article

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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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PR Updates From Around the World: June 30

June 30, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Nashville

As we come to the end of June, we wanted to share one more PR industry changes and updates blog.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.

ExamMed has selected Trevelino/Keller as its principal integrated PR and marketing agency. Article

Arketi Group has created a new website for Zotec Partners. Article

AEP Texas has named Andy Heines as director of corporate communications. Article

Shift Communications has expanded its healthcare practice with the addition of new clients: Decision Resources Group, a provider of high-value data, analytics and insights products and services for the healthcare industry; Medullan, a digital healthcare innovation lab; and Sermo, a leading social network for doctors. Article

PAN Communications has been selected by Drizly. Article

marlo marketing took the top honors at the June 2015 Bellringers’ Awards for the agency’s Community & Consumer Affairs campaign to launch and market The Lawn on D,  Boston’s first-of-its-kind outdoor interactive landscape located on D Street at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC).  Article

Maura Sullivan has been named assistant to the Secretary of Defense for public affairs. Article

The Incite Agency and Fenway Strategies have joined forces. Article

Sage Communications has teamed with Glory Days Grill to co-sponsor the Track and Field competition at the 2015 World Police and Fire Games in Fairfax, VA. Article

Sage Communications announced five new sports and entertainment contract wins through its Brotman|Winter|Fried division. Article

212 Communications LLC announced that Bill Atkinson has joined the firm as partner. Article

Stratacomm LLC announced the hiring of Kristin Ford-Glencross as an account director in the company’s Washington, D.C. office. Article

Dan Ponder, CEO of Detroit-based Franco Public Relations Group, was recognized as Michigan State University Broad College of Business Executive MBA Program’s Alumni of the Decade. Article

Los Angeles
JMPR Public Relations announced that it has been named agency of record for Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories (BHMA). Article

The Long Beach Grand Cru has selected Bob Gold & Associates as its official PR agency. Article

Movement Public Relations announced the signing of its newest client, Proof of Concept. Articl

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications announces the appointment of Robert W. Grupp as director of its Master of Arts in Mass Communication (MAMC) program specialization in Global Strategic Communication.  Article

Nissan North America has promoted Brian Brockman to director, internal communications. Article

New York
Heineken USA has promoted Tara Rush to senior vice president of corporate relations. Article

CA Technologies has appointed Jeff DeMarrais as senior vice president and chief communications officer. Article

De’Longhi Group America has named Current as public relations agency of record following a competitive review. Article

The Pollack PR Marketing Group (PPMG) announced that it has been selected by The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) to lead its integrated marketing and public relations efforts. Article

Magrino has added new international architecture and design client, Rottet Studio. Article

Hotwire is reshuffling its US management as global CEO Brendon Craigie moves stateside to steer the tech agency’s growth in this market. Article

WPP Group is partnering with Snapchat and the Daily Mail on a new content marketing company, Truffle Pig, to be headed by Alex Jutkowitz. Article

J Public Relations expanded its relationship with The Ritz-Carlton brand with the addition of three more properties to its roster, resulting in a total of 14 properties. Article

Krupp Kommunications took home three awards at the 13th Annual American Business Awards (Stevie Awards) at the organization’s ceremony in Chicago on June 22 winning in three different categories. Article

Gramercy Institute announced its roster of winners for its 13th Annual Gramercy Financial Marketing Strategy Awards. Article

DeVries Global announced that Loretta Markevics has joined the agency as Executive Vice President, Global Creative Intelligence. Article

The Content Council announced that four new board members were elected to its board of directors. Article

San Francisco
Allison+Partners has launched All Told, a new division that combines the agency’s research, content, creative, digital and measurement expertise into a centralized offering. Article

Financial comms boutique the Blueshirt Group is moving into healthcare as this sector undergoes an IPO boom. Article

Silicon Valley
Weber Shandwick has upped Bradford Williams to head of global technology. Article

Atlanta, Boston & Chicago
Myelin Communications announced the acquisition of HY Connect, an advertising agency in Chicago, and Dodge Communications, a public relations and integrated communications firm in Atlanta. Rich Levy, CEO of Myelin, will become chairman of both companies. Article

Hong Kong
ICR announced that veteran business journalist Edmond Lococo has joined its Beijing office as senior vice president. Article

RFI Studios, the digital arm of Ruder Finn, has won a competitive pitch for the Audi R8 LMS Cup digital business in China. Article

Terri-Helen Gaynor has resigned as Asia-Pacific CEO at Burson-Marsteller. Article

AMI Communications has been selected as agency of record by the leading satellite operator SES Astra. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has launched the H+K HER (Helping Executives Rise), a program to support female employees. Article

Hello! Fashion Monthly has hired W to handle its PR on a retained basis.. Article

Shine Communications has won the Open’er Festival brief and will lead the UK PR strategy and delivery to raise awareness of the leading European festival through lifestyle press, digital influencers and social media. Article

MediaWorks has appointed Charlotte McLauchlan as group head of communications. Article

Octopus Group has been appointed by Scredible to drive a PR, social and content program. Article offers candidates and recruitment personnel at both healthcare agencies and pharmaceutical companies a way to connect and match a qualified employee with the right job. Article has called in Turtle PR to maximise its exposure within the online travel industry. Article

Havas Health has acquired Just: Health Communications. Article

TJX has brought in Ogilvy PR to handle European PR duties after parting ways with FleishmanHillard. Article

The $4.5 billion Godrej Group has awarded its public relations mandate to Adfactors PR. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has created H+K SJR in Canada, drawing on the communication and storytelling expertise of H+K and the audience development, content and digital publishing experience of Group SJR. Article

Hong Kong & Sydney
Burson-Marsteller announced that Margaret Key has been named CEO, Asia-Pacific. Prema Sagar, Principal and Founder of Genesis Burson-Marsteller, takes on the additional title of Vice Chair, Asia-Pacific. Key is based in Hong Kong, and Sagar is based in New Delhi. Article

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Introducing the Market Impact Report – Revealing the Effect of News Releases on Stock Activity

June 15, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

Earlier today, Business Wire and News Quantified launched the Market Impact Report.  This groundbreaking new measurement tool allows communication professionals to track the impact their news releases have on publically traded companies’ stocks.

Although there are a lot of options for measuring communications efforts, there is a gap when it comes to attributing financial ROI to company issued news. Business Wire identified this gap and in News Quantified saw an opportunity. News Quantified, in partnership with Business Wire, developed a measurement system that will tie news release data with market trading behavior. Now, PR and IR pros will be able to track exactly how the market reacted to the issuer’s stock immediately following the release of company news. They will also be able to compare this trading behavior to that of other company stocks.

What’s the big deal about keeping track of changes to market behavior following the issuance of a news release? With the Market Impact Report you can achieve a deeper understanding of how and why your company stock moves when you issue a news release. You have a deeper view of what kind of investors your news is attracting and how your news is influencing their trading. The report includes 27 key variables ranging from volume and variability to ticks and block trading.

By understanding who your news is reaching, you can tailor your communication in the direction that best benefits the value of your company’s market presence.

Oliver Schmalholz, co-founder and CEO of News Quantified, has spent the last 15 years analyzing market behavior. It was during his time running a private trading firm that he recognized the benefits of an out-of-the-box product that could analyze news impact on stock trading behavior. “News and market data have historically been kept separate – our alliance with Business Wire will help to tear down that wall,” says Schmalholz.  “We are thrilled to partner with a company that has the reputation and expertise of Business Wire.

Business Wire is excited about the partnership and looks forward to the possibilities that lie in providing clients with the first ever financial impact tool. “Business Wire’s collaboration with News Quantified provides listed companies with a better understanding — and appreciation — of the relationship between news and share price.  To see how news is directly influencing market behavior is revolutionary,” said Gregg Castano, Business Wire President. “The Market Impact Report consolidates information from disparate sources into a convenient, user-friendly report that distills complex data into key findings. It is another example of Business Wire’s differentiating value proposition.”

Click here to learn more about the Market Impact Report: or email us today to schedule a time to discuss this in greater detail.

Are you attending NIRI 2015 this week?  If so, Business Wire is offering sample reports for investor relations professionals that stop by our booth. The Market Impact Report is the first product in the industry that provides communications professionals with comprehensive stock impact data.

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PR Updates From Around the World – June 1-10

June 10, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Nashville

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!

PR Industry Updates

Independent agency Drumroll announced that it has named Andy Davidhazy as Creative Director. Article

French/West/Vaughan has been selected by the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau as its creative services agency of record following an 18-agency competitive review. Article


Public Communications Inc. announced Craig Pugh will join the national integrated communications firm as president. Article

Crisis specialist Hennes Paynter Communications has rebranded as Hennes Communications following the departure of former partner Barbara Paynter, who is launching her own consultancy. Along with the rebranding, the firm has promoted Nora Jacobs to senior vice president at the firm. Article

Furniture retailer American Signature has selected The Richards Group as agency of record. Article

Purple Strategies has appointed Robert Fronk as managing director of reputation strategy. Article

Maroon PR is working with Big League Chew bubblegum, owned by Lincolnshire, Ill.- based, Ford Gum & Machine Co. Article

Highgate at Seven Oaks in Bakersfield, Calif. has selected Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group to direct a public relations program. Article

MediaDC announced the hire of Elizabeth Sheldon as National Account Director. Article

ConnellyWorks has announced the appointment of Margo Dunn as Director of Marketing. Article

Stratacomm LLC announced hiring Karyn G. Le Blanc as a Senior Vice President in its Washington, D.C. office. Article

TradeMark East Africa has selected Agenda as its North American public affairs agency to advance its mission of growing East Africa’s prosperity through trade. Article

Eisbrenner Public Relations has promoted Tricia Marion from assistant account executive to account executive. Article

The 2015 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, is working up with digital and social specialist OTTO Detroit, Franco Public Relations Group and students from Wayne State University-who will elevate the social media discussion-to bring the race experience to a global audience through social media. Article

Los Angeles
Global nutrition company Herbalife has named Ric Hobby as senior vice president for global government relations; Megan Jordan as senior vice president for global corporate communications; and Randall Popelka as vice president, government and industry affairs. Article

Joanna Massey has been named to the newly created position of vice president, corporate communications and investor relations at Lionsgate. Article

rbb Public Relations has been named agency of record for Sawgrass Mills. Article

Liquor marketer Bacardi is reviewing below-the-line marketing duties, including PR, across its North American brand portfolio, after a similar exercise consolidated creative and media with Omnicom Group agencies earlier this year. Article

The Buzz Agency has added new clients including the US Immigration Fund, Habit Burger, Boca West Country Club, Sunflower Creative Arts, Aviation Week Events and Clive Daniel Interiors. Article

Nicki Gibbs has been promoted to senior vice president, strategy at Beehive PR. Article

Beehive PR has added three new communications strategists to its team. New hires include account director Abigail Greenheck, account director Ericka Webb and account coordinator Maggie Pendleton. Article

Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations has named Rebecca Frazer the 2015 Guthrie/Mayes PR Student of the Year. Frazer, a junior at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky., was chosen among a strong group of applicants from Kentucky colleges and universities who were nominated for this position. Article

Newport Beach
Global Results Communications (GRC) announced the addition of several new technology companies including mGage, CellTrust and Numerex to its list of clients. Article

ASICS America Corporation today announced it has named United Entertainment Group its new US public relations agency of record. Article

New York
APCO Worldwide and Text100 have launched a joint offering focused on digital healthcare. Article

Kathy Cripps, longtime president of the PR Council, will step down from her position by the end of the year. Article

Ruder Finn announced that John McInerney will assume a new role as Director, Healthcare Digital Strategy. Article

Utilidata has hired Global Strategy Group as its agency of record for communications and public relations. Article

Samsung Electronics has extended its relationship with FleishmanHillard, handing the firm a US corporate PR brief following a review that took place earlier this year. Article

Jesse Comart has been named vice president, global head of communications, at MediaMath. Article

Turner Public Relations had added vice president of tourism Emma de Vadder. Article

R&J Public Relations has added John De Bellis as director of business development. Article

The Halo Group has hired James Best as senior vice president, marketing and business development. Article

Coyne has been selected as agency of record by global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland to provide public relations strategy, ideation and program activation in North America. Article

Finn Partners has been retained by Cinnabon as agency of record following a competitive review. Article

United Entertainment Group has been selected as the communications agency of record for Speedo USA, a division of PVH Corp. Article

MWW Public Relations announced the addition of U.S. Bank to its client roster. Article

The Halo Group will be launching international beach chic Spanish accessory brand Flossy Shoes into the US marketplace with an integrated social media program. Article

Turner Public Relations has added Waldorf Astoria Park City to its client roster. Article

Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR has added a new client, Dr. Joshua Perlman, co-founder of the NYC Smile Spa in midtown New York. Article

Glass Lantern Public Relations has been named the public relations agency of record for CORAnet Solutions. Article

Wearable maker Polar has brought on Max Borges as it looks to gain US market traction in the popular activity tracker space. Article

Ogilvy PR has hired Robyn Massey to the newly-created role of global chief communications officer. Article

June marks the 14th anniversary of the launching of M&A/consulting firm Gould+Partners. Article

Finn Partners announced it has been retained by Cinnabon as agency of record following a competitive review. Article

Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR has added Z Skin Cosmetics to its client roster. Article

Brian Communications announced four new senior leaders to the team who bring extensive communications and business experience to their roles at the agency. Article

Flackable has been selected as the integrated communications agency of record by Vesticor Advisors. Article

Flackable Promotes Hailey Lanier to Account Executive Article

Swordfish Communications has launched a new service that will help organizations reach out to journalists important to them, and perhaps even generate their own press coverage. Article

Flackable has promoted account coordinator Hailey Lanier to account executive. Article

In business for more than 17 years, Off Madison Ave continues to experience tremendous growth and is poised for another successful year with the addition of eight prominent client accounts and seven new staffers. Article

San Diego
Elevator announced it has acquired Copper Blue Creative effective June 1. Article

San Francisco
OutCast’s Helena Maus has been named North America CEO of sister agency Bite as it continues to recover from a bout of management shakeups and financial turmoil. Article

Wearable maker Fitbit has brought on FleishmanHillard and Burson-Marsteller as the company prepares for its IPO while also facing legal troubles. Article

Glass Lantern Public Relations has been named the public relations agency of record for CORAnet Solutions, Inc. Article

Glassdoor announced Dawn Lyon has been named vice president of corporate affairs. Article

Beauty and grooming retailer Birchbox announced the promotion of Claire Paull to Chief Communications Officer. Article

Waggener Edstrom Communications has appointed Kass Sells as the agency’s president of North America (NA). Article

Silicon Valley
Relypsa has appointed Charlotte Arnold as vice president, corporate communications. Article

PayPal has consolidated international PR duties covering EMEA and Asia-Pacific to Edelman, the Holmes Report can reveal. Article

eBay head of comms Alan Marks is stepping aside for Dan Tarman to take over as chief communications officer as the company prepares to split with PayPal and readies for a new CEO to take the helm. Article

Atlanta & Nashville
Ignite Creative Group announced its new office location in downtown Cumming, Ga. along with the expansion of a second office in Birmingham, Ala. Article

Chicago & LA
Porter Novelli announced two new managing directors in its Southern California and Chicago offices. Linda Martin, partner, will lead the Porter Novelli team in Southern California, while Adam Scholder, senior vice president, takes on leadership of the Chicago team. Article

SKDKnickerbocker has added former congressional reporter Kate Nocera to its Washington public affairs team and political and communications veterans Jaclyn Rothenberg and Maureen Shanahan to its New York office. Article

New York & San Francisco
Global Gateway Advisors and LyonSHARE Communications Group have announced the formation of a strategic alliance to expand each firm’s resources to better support their clients. Article

Seattle & Toronto
Waggener Edstrom Communications and Canadian-based independent Environics Communications have forged a new partnership. Article

Hong Kong
Following a six-month project, British retailer Jack Wills has engaged AKA Asia on a retainer basis for media relations, influencer relations and partnership management.  Article

Following a competitive pitch, Fishburn has been appointed by joint venture partners Lend Lease and LCR. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has hired public affairs specialist Henry Groundes-Peace as an associate director within the financial and professional services team. Article

Chris Lawrence has joined Bite‘s leadership team as creative director. Article

Colgate-Palmolive has selected Cohn & Wolfe for its new Dutch Sanex PR campaign. Article

Greene King has chosen Hudson Sandler to handle its trade media relations programme. Article

Broadgate Mainland has appointed Gareth David as executive director. Article

Pop Brixton has appointed agency W to handle its launch. Article

PROI Worldwide has added KISS Communications of Cambridge as its fourth partner agency in the United Kingdom. Article

Live and on-demand TV service enabler TV2U has appointed Babel PR to drive a multi-market brand awareness and media relations campaign for both its B2B and B2C offerings. Article

Hunter Public Relations is expanding internationally with the opening of its first office outside the United States. Article

H+K Strategies has brought together 15 media players, including LinkedIn, BuzzFeed, Twitter and Brandwatch, to form the first in a series of publishing boards. Article

A new association has been launched to accompany the increasing convergence of marketing and technology in the UK. Article

Group managing director David Wilson is leaving Bell Pottinger after 15 years with the UK PR firm. Article

To increase its presence on the African Continent, PROI Worldwide has added Levanter Africa in Kenya to its partnership. Article

Business Communications Agency has opened a new office in Israel, offering marketing and communications services. Article

Edelman has hired FleishmanHillard’s Esther Busscher to lead its Brussels office. Article

WPP PR firms H+K Strategies and Buchanan have joined forces to launch a corporate and financial comms consultancy that focuses on the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Article

3BL Media announced the acquisition of Dunstans Publishing Limited. Article

Nestle has appointed APCO Worldwide to help it recover from reputational damage incurred in a recent crisis over the company’s Maggi noodle brand, according to the Economic Times of India. Article

United Spirits Limited has named Abanti Sankaranarayanan as business head for luxury and corporate relations, India. Article

SPAG Asia has added an office in Mumbai to its headquarters in Gurgaon. Article

Sony India has awarded PR duties to Avian Media following a competitive review that featured a number of competing firms. Article

Sharif Rangekar has moved into a chairman role at Integral PR, after serving as CEO for more than a decade. Article

Cohn & Wolfe India CEO Rafi Khan is stepping down from his role, with the firm promoting Megha Sharma to lead its operations in the country. Article

Ogilvy & Mather Japan announced the appointment of Abi Sekimitsu as Content Director of OgilvyOne K.K. Article


Lifestyle Delivery Systems has named Tim Hamilton as corporate communications executive. Article

OneUp Sports announced that it has hired John McCauley as Vice President, Content and Strategy, a new role for the company. Article

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Peter Shankman Does it with Pizza: How to Build a Professional Relationship

June 3, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

At the recent HUB Convene event, we had the opportunity to hear from Peter Shankman, a communications pro with a lot on his mind, especially about airlines and a certain car rental company. During his presentation, Peter discussed the importance of customer service on a company’s sales and marketing funnel, and the lack of customer service received from most of the companies we interact with on a daily basis. After asking an audience member why they praised a recent flight, and learning that it was because they were safely transported from point A to point B, Peter broke down society’s current standards for customer service: Getting what we pay for passes as the pinnacle of service today. For the consumer, this is terrible, but for organizations this presents a fantastic opportunity. If people’s expectations of customer service are so low, it shouldn’t take much to wow someone, making it very easy for smart organizations to create a positive and lasting impression.

shaking hands

Paying a friend a compliment or going out to lunch can strengthen ties and facilitate a year’s worth of inside jokes. Building a professional relationship is no different. It is the small, almost effortless, actions that can be the difference between meeting people’s expectations and completely redefining them. In today’s world of low customer expectations, it doesn’t take much to impress someone, so impress as often as possible.

Peter Shankman didn’t just preach relationship building; he described how he puts his plan into action. For Peter, going above and beyond in relationship building starts with pizza. After signing on a new client, he likes to drop by their offices unannounced with a surprise pizza lunch. This allows Peter and his clients to communicate and learn more about each other’s expectations and goals, ultimately resulting in better executed programming. What makes it special is that for Peter, it is not a required act, but rather done as a choice of goodwill.

Peter Shankman does it with pizzaThis is something we at Business Wire are keenly aware of – the impact building relationships has on the success of one’s PR program.

Media relations doesn’t have to be about throwing a pizza party but can be just as easy. One of the easiest ways to build awareness, and potentially coverage, of your company is to build relationships with key journalists and bloggers, before news is available to share, and after. If a journalist likes communicating with you, that can help you build a respectful, reciprocal relationship. With a personalized email or a tweet, you may end up surprising the very person you need to help amplify your message.

The digital age has made everything impersonal. We believe that we are building stronger, more personal ties with a person because we have access to their lives, their day-to-day activities and insight into their thought process. But in reality, access to information is not the same as building relationships.

Professional relationships can’t survive on the back burner. Here are some other steps that you can follow to make a new acquaintance in the media industry:

  • Be Neighborly – Allow reporters, bloggers, and other media access to learn more about your company or business. Inviting them to your facilities and providing access to both c-suite and ground level employees allows them to understand your company and your company’s vision. Let the people covering your story learn more about your organization’s story, beyond just the latest announcement.
  • Show Interest – A relationship is a two-way street so you should make sure to not only reach out when you need coverage, but also follow reporters on Twitter and other social media without the intention of pitching. They receive hundreds of pitches daily in their email box and don’t need the same clutter in their social media feed. @reply to comment on topics of interest, answer questions, engage in conversation and retweet articles when relevant to your followers.
  • Know Their Schedule – One of the best ways to stay on the media’s good side is to know the publication schedule of the person you are contacting. Knowing when a particular writer goes to print or has a deadline allows you to reach out at an appropriate and convenient time, as opposed to the night before their work is due.
  • Preferred Treatment – If you invite a journalist to an event, or even to your offices, reduce the friction associated with that visit. Providing transportation such as car service, a meal, a room to work out of while on site and more can make a lasting impression. Making someone feel special, without showboating, can go a long way.

Check out the following articles to learn more about building media relationships in 2015.


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