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Burson Marsteller

B-M Announces New U.S. Digital Lead

Michael Bassik has been chosen to lead Burson-Marsteller‘s U.S. digital practice as MD and practice chair. He will be based in New York, reporting to Pat Ford, the firm’s U.S. president.

Bassik was previously SVP at Global Strategy Group, where he was a leader in the public affairs division. While there, he worked with clients including Google, Al Jazeera English, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Other prior clients include John Kerry for President, Hillary Clinton for President and Obama for America.

It was just announced that Dallas Lawrence has been selected as B-M’s chief global digital strategist. Like Bassik, Lawrence also has a strong public affairs background.

Lawrence Appointed B-M Digital Strategy Leader

Dallas Lawrence has been chosen as Burson-Marsteller‘s chief global digital strategist. He was previously MD of digital public affairs, a role he assumed in May 2003 when he joined the firm from Levick Strategic Communications. He was also a member of the comms team during the presidency of George W. Bush, serving as the director of the Office of Community Relations and Public Liaison for the U.S. Defense Department.

In his new role, he will report to CEO Mark Penn.

B-M Throws a Birthday Party

Burson-Marsteller celebrated the 90th birthday of namesake Harold Burson at Guastavino’s in New York City on Tuesday. (Beautiful space, BTW, if you’re looking for a new place to host an event.)

Among the distinguished guests we saw: Mark Penn, Karen Hughes, Kelly Cutrone (who like our funky-fresh bird sweater!), Julia Hood, and, of course, Mr. Burson himself.

A couple of other snapshots after the jump.

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B-M UK Launches Be More

Burson-Marsteller UK has launched Be More, the firm’s brand marketing practice led by managing director Philippe Pendaries. The practice team is composed of 20 members including traditional consumer practitioners, digital specialists, content creators, and designers. Recent additions include Joe Sinclair, head of digital and Dan Humphries, director of audiovisual comms. The practice is looking for new hires.

Accounts include Sony Ericsson, Activia, Shell, and De Beers. And recently, the practice was awarded the Ford consumer business, according to PRWeek UK.

Research: ‘Fortune’ Global 100 Tweeting More Often

Burson-Marsteller has released the findings from its Second Annual Social Media Check-Up, finding that the Fortune Global 100 are relying more and more on Twitter to directly engage with their audience.

According to the study, 67 percent of these top companies are using Twitter to speak with consumers or mention other users, and 57 percent are retweeting content from their corporate accounts. This is more than a 75 percent increase in both of these activities.

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Burson’s COO Heading to Bloomberg

Richard Powell Jr., Burson-Marsteller’s worldwide COO and chair of the firm’s global corporate practice, is heading to Bloomberg to serve as that company’s chief communications officer.

Powell will oversee Bloomberg’s comms strategy and infrastructure as it expands in both new and existing markets. He will report to Bloomberg’s head of government relations and public affairs, Kevin Sheekey.

Burson’s statement, which talks about who will be handling Powell’s responsibilities, is after the jump.

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Burson Partners with Targeted Victory

Burson-Marsteller has partnered with Targeted Victory, a political and advocacy firm that specializes in online and mobile communications, data management for political and advocacy campaigns, and other digital comms. Targeted Victory also has a proprietary technology that it developed with a separate partner, Lotame Solutions, called Audience Targeting Platform that is used throughout the duration of a campaign.

Edelman’s Deri Joins Burson China

Chris Deri has been appointed CEO and market leader of Burson-Marsteller China. Deri was previously with Edelman, serving as EVP and head of the global CSR and sustainability practice.

Burson-Marsteller China also promoted Cindy Tian from president to executive chairwoman. She was appointed president in 2006. Both executives will report to Bob Pickard, Asia-Pacific president and CEO.

Politico’s Allen: ‘The Challenge is Breaking Through the White Noise’

A still from yesterday's event. From left: Mike Allen, Karen Hughes, Don Baer, and Pat Mitchell

During the Paley Center for Media’s International Council forum on digital media and politics in New York on Wednesday, Mike Allen, chief political correspondent for Politico, discussed the current explosion of media coverage.

“Now there is no place that everyone automatically goes for news. In the new world, all media outlets face the nightclub conundrum – when they’re hot, everyone goes there. Politico needs to make sure we don’t end up like Studio 54,” he said.

The panel was moderated by Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media, and the other panelists included Don Baer and Karen Hughes, both worldwide vice chairs at Burson-Marsteller and former presidential communications advisers, for Clinton and Bush respectively.

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B-M Launches PivotRED

Burson-Marsteller has launched a new subsidiary called PivotRED, which will offer client services that fall outside of the firm’s network. According to the press release, PivotRED will have “expertise in a number of global industries, including: natural resources, energy, information services, digital media and technology, consumer brands, financial services, transportation and automotive.”

The consultancy will operate as an “autonomous subsidiary” led by CEO Andrew Goldberg, based in New York. Previously, Goldberg was chairman of B-M’s corporate and financial practice.

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