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Posts Tagged ‘Daniel J. Edelman’

PR ‘Matriarch’ Ruth Edelman, 1929-2013

Ruth EdelmanToday brings news that in some way touches everyone in the public relations industry: Ruth Edelman, who helped build husband Daniel’s eponymous firm into the world’s largest, died this weekend at 84 after a brief battle with leukemia.

The Chicago Sun-Times describes Ruth as the firm’s “matriarch”, but of course her role went well beyond “pick[ing] out the lamps and furniture” for Edelman’s first Chicago office.

In fact, she was something of a bellwether for powerful women in the industry, and her networking skills were legendary. Son and current president/CEO Richard Edelman explains:

“She was my dad’s kind of silent partner…In the present generation, she would have been an executive, but in the ’50s she was the corporate wife. She never had a formal title while my dad was alive, but everybody knew she was the power behind the throne.”

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Roll Call: Edelman, 360 Public Relations, We Are Social and More

Edelman PR announced this week that Ruth Edelman will serve as deputy chairman of parent company DJE Holdings following the January passing of her husband, company founder Daniel J. Edelman. This will be a non-executive role; Edelman will provide counsel to both clients and executives while also hosting agency-sponsored events. A new non-executive DJE chairman will be chosen from outside the company in due course. (Release)

360 Public Relations announced the addition of Meredith Gandy as senior publicist in the agency’s growing New York office. Gandy previously served as Senior Publicist at KQED, the Bay Area’s PBS station. She garnered attention for prime-time, nationally acclaimed programming, such as “Saving the Bay” and ” China From the Inside.”  Most recently at KQED, Gandy supervised national efforts for the top-rated PBS KIDS program, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” Gandy will contribute to clients based in 360PR’s New York and Boston offices. (Release)

We Are Social filled a pair of important new roles within its New York office.

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Daniel J. Edelman, 1920-2013: Public Relations Pioneer

Today brings sad news for the entire PR worldDaniel J. Edelman, 1920-2013: Daniel J. Edelman, industry innovator and founder of Edelman PR, died of heart failure in Chicago this morning at the age of 92.

Edelman, born in New York City on July 3, 1920, displayed an interest in journalism early in his life: He produced a community newspaper with a friend at age 11 and quickly became a sports writer/editor before earning his master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1941.

Edelman’s introduction to public relations came during his service in the armed forces. Drafted to serve overseas in 1942, he produced a newspaper for fellow soldiers before being assigned to, in his own words, “write an analysis of German propaganda” and advise the United States military on counter-messaging efforts.

Upon his return from the service, he got a job writing for CBS News before working as a music publicist at a record label representing Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie and other stars of the era. According to Edelman, his real PR breakthrough came when he devised a brilliant promotional campaign for a radio show hosted by Mel Torme and sponsored by home hair care brand the Toni Company: he packaged Torme’s latest album in a cover designed to resemble a hair care kit and sent it around to local DJs to earn press attention.

The company was “so impressed” that it hired him before sending him to Chicago to work as its PR director. His first project for Toni further revealed his PR instincts: Toni’s promo campaign involved two twins, one of whom had received an expensive salon perm and one who had performed her own at-home perm with a Toni set. Edelman encouraged the company to take the “Toni twins” on tour, challenging women in the audience to guess which one had done the job herself.

Edelman held the Toni role for four years before deciding to start his own firm (and scoring his former employer as Edelman PR’s first client).

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Spin the Agencies of Record

The stars have certainly aligned for Steve Stoute’s agency, Translation: Hip-hop juggernaut Jay-Z, film legend Ron Howard and iconic American beer brand Budweiser, along with a host of other talents, marketing gurus, PR experts and businesspeople are joining forces to create a film based on the two-day “Budweiser Made in America” film festival to be held in Philadelphia, PA, in September.

Sovereign\Santander has chosen Arnold Worldwide to represent the bank’s rebranding in a review competition that included Mullen and SapientNitro. Santander, the Spanish brand that bought Sovereign—and its 722 branches—in 2009, hired Arnold Worldwide to position the brand and execute its sweeping marketing and advertising efforts.

The Marcus Graham Project, an intensive summertime program designed to help rectify the ad industry’s lack of diversity, is celebrating its fifth anniversary by announcing that the project is going full time. This evolution, named Locomotus, will require $2.6 million in its first year.

Co-founder Lincoln Stephens emphasized the investment will benefit the industry as it seeks to remain competitive in a globalized and diversified marketplace and bolster the careers of motivated, talented, young professionals. Dan Wieden, MGP supporter and co-founder/global executive creative director of Wieden & Kennedy, explains “Locomotus takes the best of what portfolio programs and student-run agencies have and moves it to the next level.”

Stalwart anti-spyware brand McAfee, recently bought by Intel, has chosen Daniel J. Edelman’s Zeno Group as its AOR. This marks an account boon for Zeno, which is expanding its tech portfolio in its Silicon Valley office. Zeno will presumably be promoting McAfee’s digital products which give users the option of customizing their security settings.

Moet & Chandon USA has chosen Miami-based BRPR to head its digital strategies, sponsorship integration and brand communication across all platforms in the USA.