PR News from APCO Worldwide, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Porter Novelli, MSLGroup, Allison & Partners, B|W|R Public Relations, and FleishmanHillard

Kim Gagne Joins APCO as Sr. Tech Advisor

APCO Worldwide NY PR

A former Microsoft senior director of industry affairs, Kim Gagne will now be the senior advisor for APCO Worldwide’s tech practice. He will be based in the U.K. and working out of both the London and Brussels offices.

Gagne was with Microsoft from 2004 to 2014, managing the Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe areas of their legal and corporate affairs matters. Beginning in 2014, he provided government and business relations support in Singapore as director of public sector policy. He then moved on to become senior director of industry affairs in Brussels. Prior to his time with Microsoft, he worked with the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer as well as a partner and attorney at Janis Schuelke & Wechsler in DC.

Maggie Lu Becomes New Managing Director for H+K’s Shanghai Office

Maggie Lu has been with H+K since 2006, working in their Shanghai office first as the head of corporate communications and integrated marketing teams, then as deputy managing director as of 2015. She’s increased strengthened the company’s bonds with several large and long-standing clients such as Coca-Cola while also bringing significant new business to the company.

Porter Novelli Adds Matthew Foster to London Office as Director of Health and Wellness Division

Matthew Foster brings vast experience gained from working at various big PR firms in the past, including AbbVie where he served as senior corporate communications manager overseeing above-brand and external communications. He’s also spent time at Waggener Edstrom, Hill+Knowlton as account director at both agencies, Amgen, Tonic Life Communications, and Burson-Marsteller.

Catherine Merritt Leaves MSLGroup To Launch Startup

After just about a year with the consumer practice at MSLGroup Chicago, Catherine Merritt leaves behind her position as SVP to launch a startup company. Since she was one of two people leading the consumer practice in that office, the other person, Eileen Ziesemer, will continue on as the sole leader with no replacement planned for Merritt’s position. Merritt’s plans for the new startup, according to a recent Instagram post on her gallery, include “consulting, hustling, and best part: hanging out with my boys more at home.”

Fairlife Account Picked up by Doner of MDC Partners

Fairlife, a premium milk brand backed by Coca-Cola, just chose Doner as their new creative and strategy PR and advertising agency of record. Fairlife is a venture backed by both Select Milk Producers (a dairy co-op), and Coca-Cola Co. Coke is handling the distribution of the products, and the production and marketing are being handled by the co-op.

Although Doner will be handling some aspects of PR, most of the work will still be done by their existing PR agency of record and Doner will be working closely with Allison & Partners as well as their media partner, Starcom. Plans are in development to release major campaign efforts in the spring.

B|W|R Public Relations’ Nanci Ryder to Receive President’s Publicists Award

The International Cinematographers Guild is holding their 54th Annual Publicists Awards Luncheon on February 24, 2017, in Beverly Hills. They will be giving Nanci Ryder, a founding partner of B|W|R Public Relations, the President’s Award.

The Guild’s president at IATSE Local 600, Steven Poster, said: “Nancy is my definition of a hero. In the midst of a remarkable career representing some of Hollywood’s top stars, she learns that she has ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she had led efforts and raised money to help others suffering from this debilitating sickness.”

FleishmanHillard Launches Media Relations Practice

The new FleishmanHillard comprehensive media relations practice will affect all of their more than 80 offices. Laura Russo will be taking charge in her new capacity as Media Relations’ global managing director. The practice will oversee and enhance storytelling over all channels of communication and work with their social, creative, content, analytics, and innovation teams.

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