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Roll Call: Finn Partners, Carmichael Lynch, kglobal, and More

Finn Partners hired William Nowling as senior partner in its Detroit office. Before joining the firm, Nowling effectively managed the city of Detroit’s recent municipal bankruptcy filing while acting as comms director for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn D. Orr. In the new role, he will direct strategy for the office on both the local and national levels while also attending to business growth and development concerns. Founding partner Peter Finn writes, “Finn Partners believes in Detroit’s renaissance…we see tremendous potential in Detroit and we’re deepening our commitment by expanding local capabilities.” Finn also hired Angela Corsi Leon, formerly of Weber Shandwick, as AVP of the Detroit office.

Carmichael Lynch of Minneapolis promoted Neil Goodspeed to the position of senior partner/director of consumer engagement. Goodspeed, who began his career in advertising and worked at agencies BBDO and OMD before landing the senior promotion planner position at General Mills, spearheaded a media plan for client Subaru which just won Adweek’s Media Plan of the Year Award.

Crisis comms expert and former journalist Gene Grabowski left LEVICK to join another D.C.-based firm, kglobal. As partner, Grabowski will handle business development, client services, and client counseling while directing major campaigns. He spent 11 years at Levick, rising to the title of EVP.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Rubenstein Public Relations announced several new clients in the real estate sector: design firm SG Blocks, developer Continental Properties, luxury real estate firms RLTY NYC and Siras Development, crowd funding platform Fundrise, and valuation/advisory firm Butler Burgher Group (BBG). Unfortunately, we don’t even need to ask whether any of them can help us find an affordable two-bedroom in South Brooklyn.

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Roll Call: Brand.com, Waggener Edstrom, DKC PR, and More

Dave Armon, friend of the site and president of monitoring software provider Critical Mention for the past three years, is now president and CEO at Brand.com, a maker of content marketing software for both brands and publishers. President and founder Michael Zammuto is heading back into the startup space with a company called Cloud Commerce. Armon will focus on growing the company, whose offering he described to PR Week as “paid earned,” adding that “nothing like that exists today.” O’Dwyer’s notes that the company is in the process of unveiling a service “allowing brands and PR firms to commission reporter-written articles.” Armon is a reporter turned executive who spent more than two decades in various roles at PR Newswire earlier in his career, rising from bureau manager to COO. (We just hope he continues to leave the occasional comment on this blog.)

Waggener Edstrom announced the hire of two new executives in an expansion of its tech and digital teams. Emily Benning joins the team in Seattle as director of social and digital strategies; she will oversee North America account teams and clients while helping to drive “internal digital education initiatives.” Benning previously spent more than eight years at digital agency Razorfish, where she served as account manager and, most recently, associate director of advertising services. She will report to VP of social/digital strategies Matt Haynes. Marisa Hagerman joins the agency as a digital account director in its San Francisco office. Hagerman, who spent several years working in accounts at Allison+Partners and most recently served as PR principal at IT provider EMC, will report to SVP/GM Lisa Allen.

As reported in Capital New York yesterday, former Huffington Post PR lead Mario Ruiz is heading back to DKC PR. Ruiz, who led communications at Arianna Huffington’s venture before starting his own firm and w0rking with media outlets like Business Insider and Complex. Ruiz worked at DKC before joining HuffPo in the halcyon days of 2007, working in media relations for more than five years. In explaining the hire, DKC writes, “”Mario has developed a strong reputation in digital, which is why he’ll be a great addition to our media and tech practices.”

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Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Brand USA stuck with Ogilvy as its AOR after a review. Brand USA is a group created by the Travel Promotion Act to help raise awareness of the US as a global tourist destination…with or without the help of Taylor Swift.

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UNC Reveals the Scary Price of Crisis Comms

unc_logo_c_32a691In news we missed yesterday, the University of North Carolina paid Edelman $782,000 for “several months” of service, but its reputation isn’t anywhere close to being repaired.

The school felt the need to hire the firm earlier this Summer, when a former student-turned-whistleblower sought to bring more attention to the long-simmering academic fraud scandal enveloping the school by revealing that his “tutors” did most of his work for him.

Not content, he blew the whistle again last week — and now the world knows that more than 3,000 student athletes got what amounts to a free pass for classes that, in many cases, didn’t even exist.

The New York Times report was brutal.

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Roll Call: Edelman, Ruder Finn, Hill+Knowlton and More

Today Edelman announced the appointment of three new global sector chairs. Tish Van Dyke will run Food and Beverage, Deidre H. Campbell Financial Services and Amy Hemingway Energy. The three new appointees will report to global director of sectors/global chair of Edelman Health Kym White.

In the release, White notes that the move marks an attempt to further consolidate the firm’s practices by appointing “specialists with deep knowledge of their businesses” to chair each sector and serve various clients united by business but separated by geography, language and culture.

Van Dyke has been with Edelman for 17 years, most recently as a D.C.-based general manager directing the firm’s “pan-industry health engagement efforts” and serving on its global health team. Campbell, who joined the Corporate practice a year ago after building a career in various financial communications roles, will lead a “team of more than 150 financial services communications experts” in here new position. Hemingway, who joined the firm in 2006 and has led campaigns for various energy companies, noted that in her new role she will encourage Edelman clients in the natural resources, clean tech and power industries to be more transparent in their engagement with stakeholders and media.

Robin Kim will be EVP/MD of global technology at Ruder Finn as of November 10. Kim previously served as EVP at Edelman’s Silicon Valley practice, where she oversaw the firm’s enterprise and B2B technology group. In addition to supporting general growth in the San Francisco region, she will support the firm’s growing roster of tech clients. Prior to joining Edelman, Kim spent more than 16 years within the WPP organization, playing various management roles at Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe and Hill & Knowlton. She will report to CEO Kathy Bloomgarden.

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Q&A on PR Council Rebranding: ‘Industry Needs a Differentiator’

Last week, the former Council of PR Firms announced a change: going forward, it would be known as The PR Council, with recently-promoted Chairman Christopher Graves of Ogilvy as its new chair. Here’s the quick video used to introduce the repositioning last week:

While Jack O’Dwyer was unimpressed with the Council’s refusal to drop the word “PR” from its name, Stuart Elliott of The New York Times and others covered the news — and today we spoke to Matt Shaw, SVP and Director of Communications for the Council, to get a more intimate take on what the change means for the larger industry.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • MWW will be PR AOR for Lapolla Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of “polyurethane foam insulation, reflective roof coatings and equipment” designed to reduce energy consumption. MWW will primarily handle media relations to spread awareness of the brand’s eco-friendly building materials. Lapolla already has some big-name backers: the company was one of those selected to participate in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and recently signed Ty Pennington of Extreme Makeover as a spokesperson. (No word from Vanilla Ice.)

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Roll Call: Waggener Edstrom; H+K Canada; Hemp PR; And More

Waggener Edstrom promoted Tiffany Cook from EVP to VP/head of its consumer sector. Cook, who has been with WE for 16 years, will oversee related efforts across the retail, consumer technology, automotive, and spirits industries. PR Week tells us that she will report to co-founder/partner Pam Edstrom.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies‘ Canadian operations named Dimitri Gourdin SVP and GM of its Montreal office. Gourdin, who earned a law degree at Paris’ Panthéon-Assas University and a masters’ from Paris Management School, previously served as VP of marketing/comms at BIOMOD, a biotech company serving the health and beauty industries. In the 90′s he worked in crisis comms at Burson-Marsteller’s Paris office and in 2005 he launched his own Montreal-based firm called Arcane Communications.

Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick, PR veterans and founders of both Goldman McCormick PR and Legal PR Team, have announced the creation of a new firm called, simply, Hemp Public Relations. We’ll let you guess which sort of clients they plan to serve — and it’s OK if you’re, like, a little slow

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Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Cohn & Wolfe China signed a three-year contract to represent Tourism Fiji; C&W is the first China-area firm appointed by the group. The purpose of the contract: to convince more of China’s growing leisure class to choose Fiji as its next tourism destination. Sadly, while the islands boast more than their share of natural beauty and local attractions, only Tom Hanks can hear the volleyballs.

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