PR Updates From Around the World

January 29, 2015

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

Every day, Business Wire reads and shares a wide range of PR related news.  Starting in 2015, we will also be sharing Public Relations industry news from publications such as PRWeek, The Holmes Report, and Bulldog Reporter’s Daily ‘Dog and others from around the globe.

We hope you enjoy this segment as much as we liked putting it together!  To learn more about each news item, simply click the following hyperlink.


  • Great Wraps announces its partnership with Trevelino/Keller as its public relations agency of choice. Article


  • Konnect Public Relations started the new year with the opening of a new agency location in Austin, Texas and a completely redesigned website. Article


  • People Making Good PR announced the addition of two new associates in its Boston, Mass., office: Claire Storrs and Michelle Juralewicz. Article
  • Pierce-Coté Advertising has named Bradford Schiff as the company’s new President. Article


  • French/West/Vaughan has announced the hiring of Abigail Quesinberry as social media strategist. Article


  • Airfoil announced that in the fourth quarter of 2014 it closed nearly $1 million in new business. Article
  • Stevens & Tate Marketing has been named the agency of record for Genieco, Inc Article
  • KemperLesnik announced the promotion of Cybil Rose to vice president. Article
  • Franco Public Relations Group is celebrating its 50th anniversary with its biggest growth spurt in a long time. Article


  • Matt Burns is returning to UnitedHealthcare as vice president of communications for the company’s $40 billion Medicare business. Article


  • The Association of Public Television Stations has promoted Kate Riley to vice president, government and public affairs. Article
  • Ben Finzel has launched RenewPR, an energy and environmental communications consulting firm. Article
  • The Hill has named Neetzan Zimmerman as senior director of audience and strategy. Article
  • JDA Frontline has hired Kelly Cushman as EVP and Laurie Rossbach as VP. Article
  • Sustainable energy technology company Abengoa has named Ignacio Garcia Alvear as co-CFO. Article
  • Podesta Group has hired Josh Lahey from McBee Strategic.  Article
  • Portland expanded its recently established Washington office; appointing digital diplomacy and strategic communications expert, Scott Nolan Smith, as an Associate Director. Article
  • Clients of kglobal have yet another new creative resource to call upon as public relations and issues management veteran Gene Grabowski joins the team as Partner. Article


  • Saxum has opened an office in Houston and has hired agency veteran Teresa Henderson to serve as senior vice president of client development. Article

Los Angeles

  • Universal Music Group has named Andy Fixmer as VP of global communications. Article
  • PMK-BNC has promoted Taj Sullivan to SVP of experiential marketing. Article
  • has named MediaWorks Resource Group as the best celebrity public relations company for December 2014. Article
  • The Pollack PR Marketing Group announced that it has been selected by ESI Ergonomic Solutions (ESI) to lead its integrated public relations and national brand marketing efforts. Article
  • Long Beach City College (LBCC) has named Stacey Toda as its new associate director of public relations and marketing. Article


  • Inforpress has opened a new office in Quito, Ecuador. The new office is led by Elena Fernández. Article
  • ASGK Public Strategies has opened a South Florida office in Miami. Kelly Penton Chacon will join as a director in the Miami office. Article
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies has hired Daniel Karam as president and MD of its Mexico office. Article
  • The Miami Dolphins named Jeremy Walls and Jason Jenkins as SVP and CMO and SVP of communications and community affairs, respectively. Article
  • TNT Communications Group has welcomed veteran public relations professional, Geo A. Ropert, APR to its team. Article


  • Nashville-based communications firms DVL Public Relations & Advertising and Seigenthaler Public Relations are merging as part an acquisition by Finn Partners. Article

New York

  • Cohn & Wolfe has appointed Jim Joseph as chief integrated marketing officer and president of the Americas. Article
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies is participating in the Environmental Defense Fund‘s Climate Corps initiative to help control costs and carbon emissions through improved energy management. Article
  • Cablevision Systems Corporation has appointed Cindi Buckwalter as senior vice president, investor relations. Article
  • Yappn Corp. has named Jeanny So as vice president, corporate communication. Article
  • Julie Livingston has launched Livingston PR, which will offer marketing and communications services, as well as assist in business development and strategic partnerships. Article
  • Wakeman Agency is expanding its offerings to include public relations services for social change films. The new initiative, called Films for Change, will create awareness for films that focus on social issues as well as to generate interest in social change efforts. Article
  • Hotwire‘s US managing director Leslie Campisi has parted ways with the firm after three years building the UK-based agency’s presence in the US market. Article
  • After more than 15 years in the senior corporate communications role at Honeywell, Tom Buckmaster is retiring. He will be succeeded by Mike Bennett, currently vice president of marketing communications for the company’s automation and control solutions business. Article
  • Rubenstein Public Relations has been named AOR for Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment‘s production of Rent in Havana, Cuba. Article
  • Business Wire has promoted Kim Deonanan to regional VP for Northern and Central Europe. She joined Business Wire’s London office in 2002. Meghann Johnson was promoted to regional manager. Article
  • Lumentus has hired Christine Bertinelli as a senior partner. Article
  • King + Company announced that in the past six weeks it has been retained by full-service villa rental organization Luxury Retreats and post-hospital rehabilitation and long-term specialty carefirm Alaris Health. Article
  • Access Communications today announced the formation of Access Studio, a content creation and distribution division designed to help companies elevate their most compelling stories, expand their reach and measure their impact. Article
  • Weber Shandwick announced that it has been named global agency of record across multiple marketing services disciplines by Sealed Air Corporation. Article
  • 5W Public Relations announced the addition of Strike Ten Entertainment to its roster of Consumer and Lifestyle brands. Article
  • Voya Financial announced that Paul J. Gennaro has joined the company as senior vice president, Corporate Communications, and chief communications officer. Article


  • Graphic-solution provider ChyronHego has hired Wall Street Communications as its exclusive media relations and content marketing agency. The firm will work to boost ChyronHego’s visibility. Article


  • R2C Group announced the launch of a new campaign for, an online community for Christian singles. Article

Hong Kong

  • Singapore-based Rice Communications is opening of Rice Communications Myanmar with anchor clients including Hughes and Bosch.  Article
  • The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society has appointed Strategic Communications Consultants to manage its public relations communications efforts in Hong Kong for a third consecutive year. Article
  • Waggener Edstrom has promoted Henry Wood to head of Studio D, Asia Pacific.Article
  • Racepoint Global has expanded its RPG Studios offer across the Asia region with the addition of three key positions: Noel Wong has been named senior art director, tasked with leading creative integration across the region; Jennifer Russell joins Racepoint’s Hong Kong office as a multimedia specialist, responsible for video content; and Cassie Feng joins Racepoint’s Shanghai office as a multimedia associate and will support creative strategy. Article


  • The UN organization dedicated to gender equality has called in Havas PR to support the next phase of its #HeForShe campaign, which was launched today by actress Emma Watson in Davos. Article


  • Misha Dhanak and Joe Sinclair, who resigned from leadership roles at Citizen Relations UK last year, have started a new agency with the backing of advertising agency Mother. Article
  • Investigative journalist May Linn Gjerding has joined Geelmuyden Kiese as senior analyst to head the firm’s research and analysis group of eight people. Article
  • Hope&Glory has won a new brief for leading community-driven hospitality company Airbnb following a competitive pitch. Article
  • Marston’s Beer Co. has appointed Shine Communications as its new digital agency following a competitive pitch. Article
  • Social insights and analytics business Crimson Hexagon has appointed Lansons to run its UK public relations program following a four way pitch. Article
  • Kaizo has been appointed by NetSuite to provide corporate communications and trade PR in the UK. Article
  • Chameleon has been selected by App Annie to provide communications strategy and public relations support in the UK. Article
  • Senior MD Malcolm Gooderham has departed FTI Consulting, just 12 months after he joined the firm to lead its EMEA thought leadership practice. Article
  • HSBC‘s Pierre Goad has taken on leadership of the bank’s human resources function, in a new role that retains oversight of communications. Article
  • Grayling CEO Pete Pedersen has resigned after two years in the role. Article
  • Ketchum has promoted European digital director Stephen Waddington to the newly-created global role of chief engagement officer. Article


  • Weber Shandwick has promoted Svetlana Picou to executive vice president, CIS and Central and Eastern Europe. Article
  • Paris-based ALIZE RP announces the launch of its new website: Article
  • The Cline Group International announced the appointment of Ari Applbaum as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Israel/EMEA. Article


  • JSW Cement has awarded its PR and media relations mandate to i9 Communications, which is a part of Comniscient Group (parent to Blue Lotus, Blue Bytes, Trust Research Advisory). Article


  • Ogilvy & Mather Japan has announced major changes to its senior management team with the appointment of Aki Kubo as Chairman and Todd Krugman succeeding him as President. Article
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The Daily Dog Interviews Marketing SVP Tom Becktold on PR’s Role in the Marketing Process

October 25, 2012

The Daily Dog, as part of their “Exhibitor Insights” video series from this month’s PRSA International Conference, spoke with Tom Becktold, our SVP Marketing, about how PR pros are in a perfect position to drive companies’ greater marketing messages, how social media has given PR a bigger presence in C-suite decision making, and how PR should be guiding marketing and advertising. Check out Tom’s interview with Richard Carufel below:

LA Communicators Share Online Newsroom Best Practices

April 9, 2012

by Warner Boutin, Account Executive & Luis Guillen, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire LA

Business Wire LA hosted a media panel breakfast event on Wednesday, March 28th examining best practices for online newsrooms.

Business Wire’s VP Web Communications, Ibrey Woodall moderated the panel. Panelists included Brian O’Connor, Director of Marketing & PR, Cunard Cruise Line; Serena Ehrlich, Director of Marketing, Mogreet; Deborah Braidic, Manager Website Content/Internal Communications, Children’s Hospital LA and Amanda Hedlund, Web Communications & Media Relations Specialist, Children’s Hospital LA.

L-R: Amanda Hedlund, Deborah Braidic, Brian O’Connor, Serena Ehrlich & moderator Ibrey Woodall

Based on the recent Bulldog Reporter/Business Wire Communicators Online Newsroom Survey results, panelists discussed anecdotes, challenges & overall benefits of their online newsrooms. Here are some of the highlights of the discussion:

General survey findings:

  • Half (48.4%) of corporate communicators currently have an online newsroom
  • The online newsroom remains a relatively modest investment for most companies
  • Companies are integrating their social media activity into their newsrooms
  • Two most important site features: PR contacts and search module

On building your online newsroom:

  • Stakeholders should come together from the very beginning – O’Connor
  • Corporate communications and web development must be on same page. “We streamlined things early, which prevented the marriage from falling apart down the road” – Braidic
  • Know your audience’s needs. “We make sure our audience can quickly find our latest news” – Hedlund
  • Determine what content your audience wants to see
  • Journalists want quick access to your newsroom rather than searching full site

On making your online newsroom relevant:

  • Customize newsroom based on top 3 most frequently accessed content type:
    • Photos, press releases & b-roll – Cunard Cruise Line
    • Multimedia, PR contacts and all social media content – Mogreet
    • Multimedia, Experts/Physicians lists and protected logos – Children’s Hospital
  • Categorize your releases and list experts as well – Ehrlich
  • Use inbound site traffic to create potential blog posts. “I check the web traffic analytics for blog ideas” – Ehrlich
  • Analyze your online newsroom’s web page stats on a weekly basis
  • Make your corporate blog accessible on your online newsroom

On online newsroom maintenance, crisis communication and security:

  • Every company should have dark site ability, allowing you to prepare pages ahead of time for a potential crisis
  • Dark sites need to be light on graphics and multimedia
  • Some of my clients maintain 10-12 different dark sites for “just-in-case” situations – Ehrlich
  • You must know your target market if you’re going to password protect your newsroom – Ehrlich
  • Password protected content needed sometimes:
    • We don’t want somebody pulling a photo archive on a ship we don’t manage anymore – Cunard Cruise Line
    • Sometimes we’ll use passwords to prevent logos from being stolen – Children’s Hospital LA

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit our events page or follow Business Wire events on Twitter, hashtag #bwchat.

New Year, New Online Newsroom

January 24, 2012

by Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services, Business Wire Florida

Click here to download the 2011 Communicators Online Newsroom Survey Exec Summary

Hopefully, one of the items on your list of New Year’s resolutions is to closely review the workings of your current online newsroom. Do you have a fully developed and optimized online newsroom? Does it have the expected features? Does it fit well into your overall set of public relations and social media tools? Does it allow you to work efficiently and timely?  If not, do you have the budget to afford one that does?

Based on the results of the October 2011 Communicators Online Newsroom Practices Survey by Business Wire and Bulldog Reporter, the majority of organizations who intended to create an online newsroom in the future expected to do so within the next three to six months. That means that 2012 will be the year that some communicators will finally take advantage of the technology available to them.

In the past, barriers to utilizing an online newsroom have included lack of resources, inability to self-publish content, inability to integrate social media, lack of traffic, lack of analytics, lack of automated posting of press releases, inability to customize or highlight content, and simply the absence of a user-friendly content management interface.

Fortunately, very few of those surveyed felt that the cost of an online newsroom was a hindrance. Both large and small companies pay less than $10,000 a year for a standard online newsroom. Use this number as a parameter when working the cost of an online newsroom into your 2012 budget.

One of the obstacles communicators have had to deal with is one I’ve seen way too often. You won’t find this hurdle noted directly on the survey because it deals with internal departmental control and strife. However; you can imagine or even relate to the situation when you see that most organizations use an internal IT department to create their online newsroom. This may explain why communicators have not been able to self-publish content, automate press release postings, integrate social media, or even highlight specific content.

An online newsroom is a means by which a communicator can perform their job more efficiently, update content more frequently, supply desired material to journalists more easily, and interact with multiple audiences more timely – especially during a crisis situation. It is not just another section within an organization’s marketing website.

Will you be able to use dedicated communications technology to meet the varied demands of 2012? In other words, are you a PR warrior with the proper battle weapons?

Learn more about Communicators Online Newsroom Practices: join us for our free webinar on Tuesday, February 28 at 1pm ET. Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services for Business Wire, will moderate the panel, which includes Cindy Haas, Director, Corporate Communications, Ryder System; Maggie Jensen, APR, Media Relations Consultant, Securian Fianancial Group; and Mike Trask, Manager of Corporate Communications, Bally Technologies. Register for the free session HERE.

Business Wire’s Michael Becker Takes On Web Disclosure

August 2, 2010

Recently, Bulldog Reporter’s IR Alert published a piece authored by Thomson Reuters’ Steve Roycroft on web-based disclosure and its future.  Michael Becker, SVP, Financial Product Strategy for Business Wire, responds today in an article called It’s Time for the Truth: Let’s Unleash the Facts — a Response to Thomson Reuters’ Web Disclosure Column. If you work in investor relations, make sure you give it a read to ensure you’re getting an accurate picture of the state of disclosure today.

Bulldog Reporter’s 2010 Media Relations Summit Recap

July 1, 2010

by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire New York

Business Wire was on-site as an anchor sponsor at Bulldog Reporter’s 2010 Media Relations Summit held on Monday June 28 at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. More than 20 top public relations and media executives shared insight and vision about how PR professionals can survive a challenging, yet exciting, future in communications.

BW Director of Global Agency Relations Tom Mulgrew Introduces Keynote Speaker Tina Brown of The Daily Beast

There were five provocative keynote sessions during the Summit. Tom Mulgrew, Director of Global Agency Relations at Business Wire, did an outstanding job introducing the second session titled “The Future of Media: Digital Changes Everything.” Keynote speaker Tina Brown, founder of The Daily Beast, gave her perspective on how consumers’ needs are changing and which business models will sustain media going forward.

The other sessions were:

  • The Future of Public Relations: Seizing the Opportunity
  • The Future of Journalism: Transforming the Fourth Estate
  • The Future of Media Relations Technology: New Tools for Greater Impact
  • The Future of Social Media Marketing: PR’s New Paradigm

The event also included intimate roundtables, which was my favorite part of the conference. Journalists, bloggers, editors, and producers gave insight into how their professional world is changing and how they prefer to work with communicators. I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with some very impressive writers and editors from The Daily Candy, Crain’s New York Business, Newsday,, and Food & Wine Magazine. They discussed the media they cover and suggested the best ways for PR professionals to pitch their publications. Sarah Shepard, Director of Sales, New York Region, Christine Corey, Account Manager, New York and Tom Mulgrew each did a fantastic job leading their own roundtable sessions which sparked great discussions. Sarah moderated sessions with and Self Magazine,  Christine moderated a session with Bloomberg Television and Tom led a roundtable discussion with Popular Mechanics.

Here are some highlights from the roundtables discussions I participated in:

  • Brook Siegel, Entertainment Editor for DailyCandy, says that DailyCandy “prides itself on covering what’s new and undiscovered or makes life more fun and stylish.” When it comes to pitching, Brooke is most annoyed when someone pitches a story that has nothing to do with what they cover. Another pitch peeve: sending pitches in the mail. If you send her something via email, there is no need to send it via snail mail too.
  • Food & Wine Senior Editor Christine Quinlan thinks that photos with stories are great. 300 dpi is a good size for print, and 72 dpi is good for online.
  • Sylvia Carter, Food Columnist at Newsday, says that PR people should read the publications before pitching them and research the reporters to see what they wrote about in the past. Also, she suggests placing food stories in other sections of the paper. Business sometimes covers food trends from a business angle.
  • Lauren Salkeld, Associate Editor at, also stressed the importance of being familiar with the publication or website. She finds it insulting when she gets a pitch that is not relevant. She also finds blanket emails insulting. She likes when emails are addressed directly to her.

Business Wire & Bulldog Reporter Ring the Opening Bell at NASDAQ Today

June 25, 2010

Business Wire Bulldog Reporter Ringing NASDAQ Opening Bell

Business Wire was among the representatives for Bulldog Reporter’s Media Relations Summit, which rang the NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell today. Sarah Shepard, Regional Manager for Business Wire New York (third from left), was on hand with Fay Shapiro, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher of Bulldog Reporter, to celebrate with other Summit partners. Business Wire is an anchor sponsor for the one-day Summit, which will be next Monday, June 28 at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York as well as online as a virtual conference.

Business Wire Bulldog Reporter Ring NASDAQ Opening Bell

For more information about the Summit, visit Come by and see us on-site at the conference or at Virtual Booth #8!


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