PR News: Mercury, Edelman, Porter Novelli & More

Mercury Gains DC Top Flyer

Mercury Public Affairs

Andrea Bozek might not be a household name, but she’s well-known to Republicans in DC. She’s the only person to ever work communications for both the House and the Senate at such a high level. In the House she was communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee and in the Senate she oversaw the GOP’s Senate election committee. During that time she helped both the house and the senate obtain a majority. Now, she’s got a new gig back in her hometown of Buffalo, opening a new office for Mercury there and working in public affairs and lobbying. She enters as a senior VP.

David Brain Exits Edelman

David Brain has been with Edelman since 2004, when he was brought in to oversee their European efforts. In 2012, he shifted his base of operations to New Zealand to work with the Asia-Pacific areas. Later the Middle East and Africa were added to his responsibilities. He’s been a major part of building Edelman to the point of being the largest PR firm in the world, but leaves for “personal reasons,” with no current plans to join another firm. Before joining Edelman in 2004 he was Weber Shandwick’s as well as BSMG’s (UK) CEO. He was also a planner at Batey Singapore.

Heather Blundell Becomes Permanent MD at Weber Shandwick Manchester Office

Heather Blundell has served the last 11 months as acting MD in Weber Shandwick’s Manchester office, but it’s official now. During that 11 months, the office has seen 19% growth with more than £1 million of new business coming in. Blundell has been at WS since mid-2015 when she came in as an associate director in charge of international corporate accounts while focusing on developing the people and bringing in new business.

Blundell credits the success over the last year to the people in the office that have created a strong foundation for moving forward. She plans to keep her focus on growth, strengthening relationships with their very creative staff, and building a supportive and ambitious business culture.

Three New Partners at Porter Novelli

Three of Porter Novelli’s leaders have been recognized as new partners because of their efforts in finding and developing talent within the agency, driving strategic/sustainable growth, and bringing results-oriented and strategic programs to bear for clients. The three are Inge Boets, currently the managing director at the Brussels office; Carrie Schum, EVP for strategic planning, analytics, and research in the DC office; and Jimmy Szczepanek, EVP in Los Angeles. The firm has 19 partners who stay partners only after continuing to meet annual requirements and the review of an executive committee.

Travel-Focused 2017 Findings from Social Media Summit Presented by Laura Davidson PR

New York-based Laura Davidson Public Relations (LDPR) specializes in lifestyle brands and global hospitality. They recently shared their forecast for social media trends during 2017 for travel marketing following the February 8 NYC Social Media Summit – along with Gather + Grow Media, their social media partner based in Florida and run by Melanie Ross. The summit was host to more than 70 international tourism board and hotel executives, travel industry pros, and media experts exploring social media trends for their target markets. They picked up nearly 2 million timeline deliveries on Twitter.

Key takeaways from the Summit included: Social media content has new expectations. Considering that over 4 million hours of content goes on YouTube daily, 500 million tweets, and 4 billion messages on Facebook, social media should have new expectations. Influencer marketing is vital to authentic storytelling. According to eMarketer.com, 81% of marketers believe influencers are effective. Courtney Scott (an established travel influencer) said: “The more that influencers, PR firms, and brands can have an open dialog and work together, the more we can push our industry forward, create authentic content, and do better as a whole.” Other points are that social media should no longer be considered a free marketing tool and social metrics have serious ROL.

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