Notable headlines from around the public relations industry this week include some new faces.
Mark Penn Takes the Reins at MDC Partners
First up and tasked primarily with damage control is Mark Penn, who recently took control of MDC Partners with a $100M infusion of equity. Penn, who presides over Stagwell Group, the name behind this cash influx, has called for strategy in his operations. MDC is currently searching for a new CEO as it seeks to right the ship for a struggling agency. Penn sees the potential in investing his time and financials into the firm, acknowledging that some brilliant creatives and strategists were currently working with MDC Partners. This, he says, will help address the needs of the modern marketer.
James Donnelly Takes Over Crisis Management for M Booth
Former Ketchum founding member James Donnelly has been hired by M Booth to handle issues and crisis management. M Booth, which represents a wide variety of clients, has stressed the importance of having a proactive plan for crisis management with the creation of this role for Donnelly. Previously with Ketchum, Donnelly was a part of the initial crisis team, later becoming senior vice president of the same team and remaining with the company for 25 years.
White House Appointee John Ullyot Departing
Turnover within the White House continues with the latest announcement of the resignation of John Ullyot, who was the assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Previously, Ullyot has come under fire for a controversial recommendation made regarding the condemnation of white supremacists on social media. He has long been considered a strong supporter of President Trump, and he was announced as a White House appointee to his position in 2017.
Latham To Lead the Royal Charge as New PR Representative
A new face has surfaced on the team supporting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Previously, it was announced that the support teams for the royal pair and that of Prince William and wife Kate Middleton. Now, former Hillary Clinton campaign advisor Sara Latham will lead the charge for Prince Harry and Markle.
Latham has a brought range of experience, primarily in politics dating back to the Clinton administration. She also did some work as the Special Advisor to the Secretary of State surrounding the Olympics in London in 2012. From there, she went to work at U.K. PR agency Freuds.
Going forward, Latham will be in charge of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s communications strategy and will be a direct report to the Queen’s Communications Secretary.