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Elizabeth S. Mitchell

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Roll Call: Ketchum, MMG, Allison+Partners and More

Ketchum named Bill McIntyre director of its Washington, D.C., office. An award-winning communications professional, McIntyre brings more than 25 years of experience in communications to the role, including work in journalism, association communications and agency public relations, where he built his reputation as an innovator in advocacy strategies, crisis communications and integrated digital engagement.

McIntyre most recently served as executive vice president and group head for the Washington, D.C., office of Edelman. He led digital and traditional public affairs, grassroots and consumer marketing programs on behalf of leading companies and associations in the U.S., Canada and European Union, growing revenue and staff along the way. In addition, he is an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, where he teaches graduate-level courses that focus on digital and traditional communications. Prior to joining Edelman, McIntyre served in leadership positions and, ultimately, as CEO of Grassroots Enterprise, Inc., a high-tech communications firm that specialized in bipartisan grassroots communications support for causes, products and companies. (Release)

MMG, part of Ketchum,  announced the appointment of Helen West as president, effective Jan. 1. She succeeds John Benbrook, who is departing MMG to become CEO of a Pennsylvania-based publishing company. West, whose most recent role was vice president of strategic development, is a pharmaceutical industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in clinical research. West joined MMG in 2005 as general medicine therapeutic lead, developing and executing global patient recruitment and retention programs across indications and patient populations. In her most recent role leading strategic development, she continued to contribute to the development of recruitment strategies, but also has been driving strategic development for the company, including innovations, partnerships, and initiatives that move MMG forward. West also has held leadership roles at MMG in operational management, business development, marketing, and site support and field recruitment. (Release)

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Roll Call: FleishmanHillard, Fenton, Steinreich Communications Group, and More

FleishmanHillard has announced new leadership for its global strategic integration team. Stefan Gerard, based in New York, will serve as the firm’s global strategic integration lead. In addition to this role, he will lead the New York office’s brand marketing group. Gerard, a senior vice president and senior partner, has helped lead the agency’s strategic integration practice in the Americas since joining the firm in 2010. He brings to the position a unique mix of multidisciplinary experience across advertising, public relations, digital content, brand strategy, consumer research and experiential activation. In his expanded role as the global lead, he is responsible for developing and managing the structure and strategy for the firm’s large-scale client engagements that span geographies and disciplines, as well as overseeing the integration of creative and planning disciplines into the firm’s overall offering. (Release)

After nearly 33 years as CEO of his own firm, David Fenton has sold the agency and appointed a new chief executive. His own role will shift to one of chairman, effective immediately. Former Billboard editorial director Bill Werde has taken on the role of Fenton‘s new CEO. Werde most recently worked on new business opportunities at Guggenheim Digital, which oversees Billboard, Adweek, and The Hollywood Reporter. Fenton sold the agency to two new owners, Craig Leach, CEO of Graham-Pelton, and James Marcus, director at Graham-Pelton Consulting and former head of Fenton Studios. With the buyout, Fenton has joined Collegium, a network of cause-related agencies, which Leach and Marcus launched about nine months ago. (PRWeek)

Steinreich Communications Group, Inc. has announced that Ariella Steinreich joined the firm as media relations director. Steinreich will be responsible for providing media strategy and counseling, as well overseeing the integration of traditional and social media campaigns. Steinreich most recently was a senior associate at Burson-Marsteller where she handled global media relations for several of the agency’s clients. Prior to this position, she was at Kwittken, where she also handled media relations.

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Beard Baubles Are Sold Out, But You Can Still Wear ‘Christmas on Your Face’ For Charity

635538892045561108-BB3-hiresWith only days until Christmas, many have already lit their trees, decked their halls, and donned hideously awesome holiday sweaters, so they may be under the misguided impression that they simply have nothing left to decorate. There may, however, be one long-neglected potential canvas left to adorn with holiday sparkle; what about the beards?

As you may have heard, ad agency Grey London heard the cries of barren beards everywhere and responded with a solution that is not only undeniably decorative, but — in keeping with the holiday spirit — highly charitable.

Enter: Beard Baubles.

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Roll Call: ABC News, French/West/Vaughan, DeVries, and FleishmanHillard

Heather Riley has been promoted to vice president, Communications for ABC News. In this new role, Heather will help manage the overall communications strategy for ABC News. She’ll oversee the publicists at GMA and This Week and work closely with the company’s Washington bureau. Heather has been a member of ABC’s PR team since she joined the news division in 2011. Heather is a 10-year PR veteran with experience at the White House, MSNBC and National Geographic magazine.

French/West/Vaughan (F/W/V) announced 10 new hires and six promotions. Associate Creative Director Dawn Marie Strzepek joins the firm from Petco Animal Supplies; Media Director Mibbie Majors joins from Carat, an ad agency based in Detroit; Senior Designer Jarrett Arant served as a designer at Delta Apparel; Senior Account Executive Ryan Roccaforte worked at ASGK Public Strategies and FleishmanHillard; Social Media Analyst Jessica Berinson joins the firm from Ignite Social Media of North Carolina; Digital Media Planner Ben Gartman started his own marketing company called Brokrr; Sally Van Denover will be account coordinator; Molly Ashbaugh will be a production artist; Kathryn DeLong will be an account executive; and Charli McKee will be studio coordinator.

F/W/V also promoted Scott Palmer to digital and social media director, Rachel Wing to group account director, Rich Griffisto art director, Claire Simmons to senior account supervisor, Laura Wallenta to senior account executive and Lauren Towns to account executive.

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Ugly Sweaters for a Good Cause: Brands Celebrate UK’s ‘Christmas Jumper Day’

proxyIn the UK, the donning of hideously tacky Christmas sweaters has gone beyond an ironic fashion statement and party theme; today, Friday, December 12, is Christmas Jumper Day, a day dedicated to celebrating all things sequins and yarn while supporting the British charity Save The Children. The idea is for every person who sports a Christmas “jumper” today to consider giving a small donation of £2 by texting WOOLY to 70050.

Curious to see how organizations and brands would take part, we took to Twitter to explore the XmasJumperDay hashtag, and found roughly what we expected: many seriously fabulous sweaters; companies and organizations decking themselves out while ensuring the charitable side of things remains the focus; and, of course, some brands hijacking the hashtag for their own purposes.

Here are some examples of brands and organizations keeping the clickbait classy by supporting Save The Children:

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Roll Call: Ketchum, FTI Consulting, Cohn & Wolfe and More

Ketchum announced it has increased its investment to a significant majority position in its operations in Brazil. Previously, Ketchum owned a minority stake in the operation, which has been its valued partner in Brazil since 1997. The firm will be rebranded as Ketchum, from Ketchum Estrategia, effective immediately. Ketchum’s Brazil operation will continue to be led by its co-founders, partner and CEO Valeria Perito and partner and COO Rosana Monteiro. Long-time associate Regina Gobbo, senior vice president, will also play a vital role in the office’s future. Perito will report to Jon Higgins, Ketchum senior partner and CEO, International. Under her leadership, the Brazil team will continue to collaborate closely with other offices and affiliates across Ketchum’s global network, and in particular within the rapidly growing Latin-America region. (Release)

FTI Consulting, Inc. announced that it has bolstered its Media & Entertainment group with the addition of three professionals in Los Angeles, including Philip Schuman, who joins the firm as a senior managing director and co-leader of FTI Consulting’s Media & Entertainment group, as well as Cindy Wang and Daniel Punt who both join the firm as managing directors from HighView Media (“HVM”). In addition, FTI Consulting announced that Alexander Trauttmansdorff and Fabrice de Sez of HVM’s European unit will become affiliated with FTI Consulting to provide media and entertainment expertise in Europe. (Release)

Cohn & Wolfe has appointed Kristie Kuhl and Maura Bergen to EVP roles in its US healthcare practice. Kuhl and Bergen will focus on client relationships and respiratory product launches. Both will manage multi-layer teams at the firm. Kuhl previously worked at Makovsky as EVP and deputy practice leader during a career of more than 13 years at the firm, while Bergen previously served as MD at Twist Marketing, a W2O company, and served as director of public relations at Novartis. (PRWeek) Read more

VP of Korean Air Lines Resigns After Tantrum Over Macadamia Nuts Delays Flight

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There are some valid reasons for an airline executive to delay a flight, but we’re betting the plane full of people recently forced to embark on their trip 20 minutes late wouldn’t consider a bag of macadamia nuts one of them.

As a recent Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Incheon, South Korea sat on a runway at JFK preparing to depart, Cho Hyun-ah, the airline’s vice president in charge of in-flight experience, was served a bag of macadamia nuts by a junior flight attendant. What’s the problem with that, you ask? Well, Ms. Hyun-ah was traveling first class, and the airline’s guidelines for proper service apparently state that no first class passenger should ever suffer the indignity of opening their own package of nuts — the macadamias were supposed to be served on a plate.

Upset over the rookie attendant’s mistake, Hyun-ah called over the senior flight attendant. But when he failed to produce the proper manual for flight service, Cho reportedly shouted, ordered the plane to return to the gate, and forced the senior flight attendant to disembark.

The debacle caused the flight to leave New York about 20 minutes behind schedule (presumably a bit more inconvenient for Cho’s customers than an unopened bag of nuts). Read more

Rolling Stone Revises Apology as Backlash Against its Handling of Rape Story Grows

A Note to Our Readers | Rolling StoneIn order to change the current culture and systems that allow colleges and universities to systematically fail victims of sexual assault in the name of self-preservation and rosier PR, many things must take place — not the least of which is the spreading of awareness of such egregious failures through deep-digging, responsible journalism. It’s for this reason that Rolling Stone‘s recent article “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” was so explosive; it’s also the reason that the magazine’s bad-to-worse handling of the story has caused such a massive firestorm.

A few weeks after the magazine published its account of “Jackie’s” brutal assault by seven members of a UVA fraternity, some discrepancies in the details of the student’s story began to surface. In response, Rolling Stone posted a statement on Friday, signed by managing editor Will Dana, which admitted, “there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account,” and then added, “We have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”

This “apology” didn’t sit well with many readers, as it seemed, rather than taking responsibility for its own failure to fact-check, the magazine was effectively placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of a possible trauma victim. The backlash was swift, and many took to Twitter, using the hashtag #IStandWithJackie to call out the magazine, pointing out that trauma victims often misremember details, and that this didn’t necessarily mean her story was fundamentally untrue.


Rather than further apologizing for its tone-deaf apology, the magazine responded by quietly deleting its statement and publishing an updated version the next day. The new version explains the editorial choices in greater detail and puts the responsibility of fact-checking and well-rounded research back on its own plate. The statement reads in part: Read more

Roll Call: Steinreich Communications Group, HealthStar PR and KBS

Steinreich Communications Group, Inc. has tapped a 16-year Conde Nast communications executive, Lauren Theodore, as vice president of its consumer practice. While at Conde Nast, Theodore created communications strategies and handled media relations for titles that included SELF, Glamour, Brides and Modern Bride. She also had handled assignments for the company’s corporate communications department. Since 2004 she was senior director of public relations at SELF Magazine, where she implemented numerous high-profile publicity campaigns on behalf of the brand’s executives, events and initiatives, and developed regular partnerships with top national broadcast and digital media outlets. She was recognized as the corporate Marketer of the Quarter in 2012 by Conde Nast. Prior to her career there, Theodore worked at Bayard Advertising Agency in New York. (Release)

HealthStar PR (HSPR) announced the appointment of industry veteran David Bashaw as executive vice president. Mr. Bashaw will be responsible for helping manage the agency, as well as ensuring that clients continue receiving unrivaled client service, strategic thinking and executional excellence. With nearly 20 years of health communications experience, Bashaw has spearheaded strategic and high-profile U.S. and global programs for leading healthcare companies including: Novartis, Eli Lilly and Myriad Genetics. His diverse therapeutic areas of focus include oncology, endocrinology, immunology, diabetes, respiratory disease, ophthalmology, cardiovascular, surgical orthopedics, infectious disease, addiction treatment and genetic testing. Bashaw has worked extensively on health literacy and compliance issues developing programs for special/diversity populations. He has created numerous public health campaigns, developing third party advocacy programs in partnership with health organizations such as the Society for Women’s Health Research, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Prior to joining HSPR, he was principal at Bashaw Consulting. (Release) Read more

Girl Scout Cookies Are About to Go Digital

01_homeWhile it’s notoriously difficult to pass up a box (or six) of Thin Mints when an adorable troupe of Girl Scouts intercepts you on your way to the bank or the grocery store, at least you can use the “they gave me the puppy eyes and seemed so genuinely invested in their little business that I couldn’t say no” excuse. And if you haven’t run into a cookie stand of late but have a hankering serious enough to warrant ordering your cookies for delivery, that at least takes the deterring extra step of filling out a form or contacting your dealer niece. But what if all that stood between you and the wonder that is the Samoa was a click of your mouse while you’re curled up on the couch watching Grey’s Anatomy?

That’s right; Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., after barring online sales of their cookies for years, has officially approvedDigital Cookie,” an online platform that will allow Girl Scouts to sell and ship their wares via the internet superhighway. There will even be a mobile app; goodbye, skinny jeans. Read more

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