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Weber Shandwick Canada Announced as CANFAR Agency of Record

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Weber Shandwick Canada has been selected as agency of record for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). The firm will work pro-bono with CANFAR in a public relations capacity including “senior communications advice and counsel, brand-building, issues management, corporate communications, media relations and digital and social media strategy development.”

Greg Power, president of Weber Shandwick Canada, is quoted on the need CANFAR addresses in the “battle to eliminate HIV/AIDS by funding the research that will lead to a cure.”

Our official partnership with CANFAR will provide them deeper access to our innovative thinking on advocacy to drive brand awareness and organizational success in the hopes that together, we can help win the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Marketing, PR Kickoff for the Chevrolet Cruze Begins Today

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The Cruze is news. Today marks the “marketing and public relations rollout” of the new Chevrolet Cruze, Youngstown’s Business Journal reports. The fanfare begins with a national television advertising campaign followed by a press event tomorrow at its production complex in Lordstown, Ohio. Set to be present, the story says, are General Motors North America president, Mark Reuss and Gov. Ted Strickland. Rumor has it President Obama might make it out, too.

With Detroit native Tim Allen’s voice featured on the marketing campaign, advertising focused on comparisons to competitor compacts, and more TV ads with what is expected to be a “large social media component,” on the way, we’re likely to see a lot more of this car. GM says “product integration in relevant shows and events, as well as advertising specific to the features and benefits of the Cruze” are up next.

[Image via The Torque Report]

Reading Between the Sofas: Marian Salzman on the Oval Office’s New Additions

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Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, was among the expert voices pulled in to a New York Times article on the Oval Office’s “makeover.”

Here’s what she tells the Times about the impact of the Oval Office’s new items:

President Obama introduced blue into the overall color scheme in a way that conveys his more holistic commitment to change. Not only is his office warmer – think caramel – but it also gives a nod to the environment with the vibrant shades of blue he uses as accent hues. It’s a quick, design-y way to say, “I’m always thinking about the planet and our future generations, even when I am meeting and greeting heads of state, contemplating legislation, or doing whatever presidents do in their private office spaces.”

The Times lists the furniture added in the redo as “a woven rug with quotations from Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and others; two fawn-colored cotton-rayon sofas; two elegant midnight-blue lamps by Christopher Spitzmiller; and an extremely contemporary mica coffee table from Roman Thomas, a New York furnituremaker.”

PR Magic Button to Repair Barber Image?

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The New York Post reports former NFL running back Tiki Barber has hired 5WPR “to help change the perception of his affair with Johnson.” They mean TV intern Traci Johnson, who the article says blogged in defense of her relationship with Barber just last week.

When contacted by PRNewser, 5WPR declined to comment.

Sources told the Post that Barber “paid for a professional photo shoot and is offering it to publications, despite the fact that he’s claiming poverty and can’t pay Ginny the settlement she wants.”

That should raise some eyebrows.

5WPR is reportedly the third firm he has hired to address his image after the split. His now-ex, Ginny, filed for divorce in April.

Revolving Door: 9.2

revolving door.gif Here are this week’s PR and media highlights from mediabistro’s Revolving Door Newsletter:

Michael Shear has been named reporter at The New York Times. He had been White House reporter at The Washington Post.

Fred Barbash has been named deputy managing editor at CQ-Roll Call. He had been senior editor at Politico.

Jenny Miller has been named Eat Out writer at Time Out New York. She had been freelancing.

Gustavo Arellano has been named managing editor at OC Weekly. He had been staff writer there.

Click here to receive mediabistro.com’s Revolving Door Newsletter via email.

More Threads Unravel For American Apparel: Employee Found Dead

american apparel.jpg American Apparel employee Danarichie Lyndon Sindo was found dead in a fifth-floor restroom yesterday, Gawker reports. The 44-year-old Philippines native’s death is the latest bad news to hit American Apparel, adding to what Gawker calls the company’s “ever-growing list of public relations woes.”

The company has a lot on its hands besides fashion these days. Among its other current woes: recent talk of its possible delisting, shareholder lawsuits, and rumors it’s nearing bankruptcy. That’s not to mention the fact the company has the Los Angeles Times quoting Howard Davidowitz, chairman of national retail consulting and investment banking firm Davidowitz & Associates Inc. as saying it’s operating like a “madhouse.”

What this means for the once-king of hipster hoodies and sultry billboards is yet uncertain. ConsumerAffairs.Com reminds us that “not long ago” it was “the undisputed king of hipster cool, churning out simple, understated v-neck shirts and leggings while growing at a breakneck pace.”

[Image via American Apparel website]

How to Handle the Pope’s PR

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With the Pope’s trip to Britain on the horizon, the Guardian takes a look at Benedict XVI’s press team and what it’s up against when it comes to pushing out a certain kind of message and image.

The article offers up the PR “disasters” Benedict XVI has already faced, from the Regensburg address in 2006 to his decision to pardon Richard Williamson. The man the article says is “not a natural communicator” allegedly has too many cooks in the kitchen.

“Statements are disjointed, as if several contributors have been involved and then it has all been hacked together by the Vatican press officer, Father Federico Lombardi,” the article suggests.

It offers the confusion in contrast to Pope John Paul II’s press situation, which was overseen by press secretary Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who was said to have the message well in hand.

All said, it purports that the Pope’s visit, set for Sept. 16-19, should thus be an interesting time as far as the issues, and the team, are concerned.

Social Media: Impact’s NOT Just About How Many Friends You Have

social-networking-icons.jpg A new study out of the City College of New York on how information (and infectious diseases) spread across networks suggests it’s not just about how many “friends” you have. Rather, as theTimes of India reports, it’s where someone is located in the network that counts.

It references Nature quoting Dr. Hernan Makse, who is leading the research, on the way being core affects one’s ability to pass the word along.

“If someone is in the core, they can spread information more efficiently. The challenge is finding the core,” he is quoted as saying.

Research showed that being at the periphery of a network led to less ability to spread, whereas being “near the core” made it “just as likely to spread information or infections as similarly situated nodes with more connections.”

That balances out some of the potential between smaller and larger players, to the extent that in the case of LiveJournal, someone with a thousand friends, the article says, could have less impact than someone with a hundred based on where each is located in the network.

Former Ford PR Pro Stanley Drall Dies at 87

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Former Ford PR manager Stanley Drall died at 87 on Thursday. Drall started with Ford out of high school and earned 90 cents an hour in his first job there, reported the Detroit Free Press.

He left to join the army, studied journalism at the University of Michigan after World War II, and took a spot in Ford’s PR department in 1948, retiring 53 years later. After retiring from Ford, he went on to work at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.

What’s Reputation Got to do With it?

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There’s no ignoring what people say about a company these days. And that makes reputation more important than ever. A Forbes article explains the importance of tying products and services with corporate image to make the most of the mix between corporate offerings and consumer needs.

It’s really about the companies and whether their actions are viewed as credible, whether they have earned the trust of some combination of the public, stakeholders, and the voices that influence the way the company is seen in a broader realm, the article suggests. These days, that matters to the bottom line.

Corporate reputation has already become a decisive factor in the competitive landscape–companies that mobilize who they are and what they stand for to take advantage of this shift will dominate their space for years to come. Executives who understand and act on this opportunity will emerge as the leaders of the reputation economy.

The article looks at SAP, Sprint, and Best Buy, and how the three companies have experienced the “reputation economy.”

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