Account News in Brief (May 17, 2010)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Account News in Brief (May 17, 2010)

Piedmont Healthcare has named Porter Novelli as its public relations agency of record; plus new business success for Lou Hammond & Associates, Atomic PR, Linhart Public Relations, French/West/Vaughan, Blaze, Gable PR, Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations, Phelps Group, and Thomas PR.

Paul Holmes

ATLANTA—Piedmont Healthcare, a leading not-for-profit health care system in the Southeast, has named Porter Novelli as its public relations agency of record. Porter Novelli will work with Piedmont Healthcare in all aspects of its communications efforts, including market research, strategic planning, executive visibility, media relations, physician marketing, digital strategies and issues management. "Porter Novelli demonstrated a keen understanding of our business, and we were impressed with their breadth of experience, insights into our opportunities and knowledge in the digital and social media space," says Nina Day, vice president of marketing and public relations for Piedmont Healthcare.


NEW YORK—Lou Hammond & Associates has added the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young chefs and preserving the traditions and quality of classic cuisine in America, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, an ultra-luxury cruise line that includes award-winning service, acclaimed cuisine, fine wines and spirits, gratuities and sightseeing in every port. The firm has also renewed its contracts with Atlantic City and Providence, RI.


SAN FRANCISCO—DG FastChannel, a leading provider of digital media services to the advertising, entertainment and broadcast industries, has appointed Atomic PR as its public relations agency of record. Atomic will provide executive positioning, communications and media strategy, as well as related social media, search and video activities. According to Neil Nguyen, president and COO of DG FastChannel, the firm was chosen for “its successes for a wide variety of blue-chip technology, web brands and digital marketing companies.”

DENVER—Linhart Public Relations has been selected by SmartCo Foods, a division of Smart & Final, as its Denver public relations firm of record. Linhart PR will partner with the discount grocer to help publicize the opening its first-ever retail outlets in Colorado, which are slated to open in Denver and Longmont from the end of June through July. Linhart PR will support five SmartCo store openings: two in Denver and one each in Centennial, Littleton and Longmont. Linhart PR will help by generating awareness and traffic with relevant media and influencers, planning and executing preview and grand opening events and maintaining a social media presence for SmartCo Foods. 


RALEIGH, NC—French/West/Vaughan  has been selected as public relations agency of record by DuVita, a direct sales company distributing all-natural dietary supplements. FWV is tasked with elevating the DuVita brand profile and awareness for the company’s business opportunity through development and execution of a regional public relations campaign. Says Amber McAdams, DuVita co-founder: “We chose FWV because of its extensive experience building successful brands and we’re also pleased to partner with a firm with southern roots and strong experience in our target markets.”


LOS ANGELES—Blaze, which represents brands in luxury travel, hospitality, and lifestyle industries, has been retained to provide public relations services to The Yard Gastro-pub in Santa Monica, and Eldorado Hotel & Spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For Eldorado, Blaze will manage a public relations campaign which includes media relations, social media marketing and partnerships. For The Yard, Blaze will focus on creating brand awareness locally and regionally and leveraging The Yard’s popular chef and culinary creations to position the budding restaurant as a must-visit hot-spot.


IRVINE, CA—Cofiroute USA, which manages and operates systems for toll roads in the United States, has selected Gable PR of San Diego to design and implement a strategic marketing communications program to launch its  new integrated management system in late 2010. The Gable PR team was selected because of its proven track record in launching new brands, products and services.

NEW YORK—Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations has added two new clients to the agency’s travel and tourism roster. The agency now handles brand public relations for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Starwood Hotels’ largest and most global brand with more than 400 hotels in 70 countries, and  has been named Visit St. Pete Clearwater’s domestic public relations agency of record.

SANTA MONICA—The Phelps Group has been retained by Panera Bread and Goodwill Southern California. The Phelps Group is handling strategic communications for Panera Bread in the Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County and Inland Empire markets. The agency is providing a full range of integrated marketing communications services for Goodwill Southern California.


MELVILLE, NY—Thomas Public Relations has been chosen as agency of record by Alibre, developer of affordable professional 3D CAD solutions. Thomas was chosen by Alibre because of its leadership position in public relations for international computer software and hardware companies, with a 15-year history of campaigns for companies such as Olympus,, Micrografx, and more. Thomas PR has worked with Alibre chairman and CEO, J. Paul Grayson in his other companies, including Micrografx.

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