News in Brief (December 23)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

News in Brief (December 23)

Big Think Marketing & Communication, the virtual PR firm founded by big agency veterans Barbara Hines and Elizabeth England, has expanded its services and is changing its name to Stratagent.

Paul Holmes

FLOWER MOUND, TX—Big Think Marketing & Communication, the virtual PR firm founded by big agency veterans Barbara Hines and Elizabeth England, has expanded its services and is changing its name to Stratagent. According to Hines, “By refocusing and enhancing our core competencies to formally embrace brand management and corporate communications we are able to provide important strategic advantages to forward-thinking companies who more and more seek an integrated business approach to crisis and reputation management.”

AUSTIN—Loomis Group, a high-tech strategic communications firm, has been chosen to provide public relations services to the New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium, a New Jersey-based corporation working to take nanotechnology solutions from concept to completion.  Loomis Group and the Consortium will team to publicly launch the group, outlining its mission and reaching out to potential member companies worldwide.

LONDON—Michael Burrell, founder of Westminster Strategy, is joining Edelman to become chair of the firm’s European public affairs practice. Based in London, Burrell will report to international president Alison Canning and will work closely with the U.K., Brussels and Washington public affairs teams, providing senior client counsel, developing new business and building the management and professional capabilities of the firm’s public affairs practice.

DALLAS—The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has named Dallas-based M Strategies Consulting its agency of record for strategic counsel and issues management. M Strategies’ president and owner, Michelle Smith, will lead efforts to build and further solidify relationships with NABJ stakeholders and offer strategic counsel to the organization’s executive director and executive board members.

CHICAGO—Fleishman-Hillard has named Jeff Burnett as a senior vice president in the firm’s Chicago healthcare practice. Burnett will report to Paula Waters, senior vice president and head of the Chicago office’s heath care practice. Burnett joins Fleishman-Hillard from Manning Selvage & Lee, where he was a deputy managing director and director of the Chicago healthcare practice.

PORTLAND, ORE.—The Oregon Cultural Trust, a statewide cultural program designed to raise new funds to invest in the state’s arts, humanities and heritage assets, has chosen Fleishman-Hillard Portland to undertake a variety of community outreach efforts statewide. The campaign is designed to encourage Oregon residents to donate during the month of December, taking advantage of an innovative new tax credit that rewards and encourages increased private philanthropy to nonprofit cultural organizations.

NEW YORK—Makovsky & Co. has been selected by the Berlin-based Association of German Mortgage Banks for the development of a comprehensive investor and media relations campaign to generate awareness in the U.S. market for the German Pfandbrief, a covered bond collateralized by long-term assets. Pfandbriefe are issued by 20 mortgage banks in Germany and 17 public-sector banks.

EL SEGUNDO, CA—Bob Marsocci has been named vice president of corporate communications for Hughes Electronics Corporation. He will retain his position as senior director of communications for DIRECTV, a subsidiary of Hughes, and continue to serve as a DIRECTV spokesperson. Marsocci succeeds George Jamison, who was named vice president of communications at United Technologies.

SANTA CLARA—Tasman Networks has named Walt & Company as its public relations agency of record. Headquartered in San Jose, Tasman manufacturers high-performance mid-range network routers. The PR firm will provide a comprehensive public relations program that encompasses company and product positioning, new product launches, strategic initiatives, and product reviews. The program will also include Walt & Company’s multi-level media and analyst relations approach, spanning both horizontal and vertical industry/market segments.

ROSEMEAD, CA—Southern California Edison’s board of directors has elected Barbara Parsky to the additional position of vice president, corporate communications at SCE. She will take on the new role in addition to her current position as vice president, corporate communications of Edison International.  Her responsibilities include formulating communications strategies, media relations, internal and external communications and advertising for the corporation and for each of its operating companies worldwide: Southern California Edison, Edison Mission Energy and Edison Capital.

NEW YORK—Articulate Communications, a specialist in business-to-business and technology PR formed last year by former FitzGerald Communications executive Laura Grimmer has added three new clients. SAS Institute, the world’s largest privately held software company and the market leader in business intelligence, has selected Articulate to create a bylined article to showcase the company’s financial services expertise. Acsis, a provider of data collection enabling products and supply chain execution solutions, chose Articulate to execute an industry analyst campaign. And Workspeed, a provider of integrated Web-based and wireless applications for commercial real estate, selected Articulate to assist in managing its communications activities.

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