Big Changes at SHIFT
In Boston, SHIFT PR is going through some major shifts! Todd Defren, one of the founders and CEO has announced that he’s retiring and leaving mid-November. He stayed on with the firm after it was sold to National PR as part of the RES Publica holdings about 18 months ago. Amy Lyons who has been serving as the managing partner will fill Defren’s spot. RES Publica’s CEO and president, Jean-Pierre Vasseur, said it doesn’t change any long-term plans they have for the agency.
In addition to Defrens’s retirement, there will be a new holding company added to the corporate flow chart. The new company, Avenir Global, will be the holding company directly over National PR. They will also oversee international healthcare firm Axon Communications, Shift, and the UK’s Madano.
Mars Working with Four PR Firms on Global Brands
Mars, makers of candies, pet foods, hot drinks, and assorted other household brands, just announced they will be testing a new PR strategy by working with four different firms to represent their international brands. Freud’s (in London) will represent M&Ms as well as Seeds of Change, Edelman will represent Skittles, Omnicom PR Group will work with Orbit and Extra (chew gum brands), and Weber Shandwick with Pedigree. The agreements last between 18-24 months each.
MWWPR California Offices Promote Karen Clyne to EVP and GM for Western Region
A little over a year ago, Karen Clyne joined MWWPR’s leadership team. This last week her promotion was announced as she has been made the EVP and General Manager of the company’s western region and will be operating out of the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, especially regarding their technology practice and business development.
Human Rights Campaign Names Top PR firms for Equality Among LGBTQ
Three PR firms placed high on the Human Rights Campaign’s ratings for their workplace environment regarding equality especially regarding those of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer groups employed by the firms. It was recently announced that Edelman, Ogilvy, Omnicom, Interpublic Group, and FleishmanHillard all ranked high on the recent survey called the Corporate Equality Index 2018. According to the survey, corporate America seems to have improved as well with an 18% increase in companies get a 100 score (a total of 609 businesses making perfect marks).
The survey looked at five categories: employment benefits, non-discrimination policies, public commitment to LGBTQ equality, demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ inclusion and diversity, and responsible citizenship. 17 out of 22 from the advertising and marketing sector made the 100 mark – five of them listed above.
Harlem Charter School Brings In Risa Heller Communications to Fight Closure
Opportunity Charter School’s middle school was facing closure for poor performance earlier in 2017, but the Harlem school decided not to take that lying down. More than half of the students in the school have disabilities, and the school filed a lawsuit that an average of test scores is not a fair measurement in that environment. At this point, hiring a PR firm may not help the situation, but as former board member of the school, Mark Alter, said: “You do what you need to do to survive.”
The problem as far as official are concerned is that the school has failed to reach most of its benchmarks for progress since it was granted a limited charter, hitting only 4 of the 22 goals set for them over two years. For these reasons, the city tried to close the middle school while granting only a short-term renewal for the high school and dismissing any possibility of opening an elementary school as requested. The court is allowing the middle school to remain open while the case is decided.