News in Brief (July 11 2005)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

News in Brief (July 11 2005)

Manning Selvage & Lee has named Sheila McLean, previously managing director of Hass MS&L’s Detroit office, as senior vice president and director of corporate affairs.

Paul Holmes

DETROIT—Manning Selvage & Lee has named Sheila McLean, previously managing director of Hass MS&L’s Detroit office, as senior vice president and director of corporate affairs. McLean will be joining the senior ranks of MS&L’s Washington, D.C. public affairs practice to provide counsel to clients in environmental and energy matters and manufacturing issues.  She will also continue to work on some of Hass MS&L’s Detroit-based clients, including General Motors.

WALTHAM, MA—Racepoint Group, the technology, health and science public relations firm owned by Larry Weber’s W2 Communications, has been named agency of record for Ropes & Gray, a national law firm with offices in Boston, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The firm’s campaign will spotlight the work and insights of attorneys within the firm’s IP, technology and healthcare practices. 

PHILADELPHIA—Cable giant Comcast Corporation has named Diane Dietz has been appointed senior director of public affairs and vice president of The Comcast Foundation. Dietz will direct the company’s public affairs activities, including its national community investment and outreach initiatives. She also will oversee The Comcast Foundation, which provides financial support for organizations and programs that work to strengthen the communities Comcast serves. She will report to Joseph Waz, vice president of external affairs.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Veteran print report Tom Squitieri is joining Dittus Communications as a senior media advisor. He will work with clients to create strategies and messages that support their media campaigns, from simple announcements to super-charged political issues and will use his writing skills to create op-eds, feature articles, white papers, speeches, advertising copy, and direct mail. Prior to joining Dittus, Squitieri spent 16 years as a correspondent for USA Today, covering military, defense, and intelligence issues; foreign affairs; and national politics.

BOSTON—Greenough has added Epsilon and Fiber Tower Corporation to its client roster.  A database marketing firm, Epsilon has selected Greenough to drive a corporate media campaign aimed at increasing the firm’s name recognition and bolstering awareness of its integrated marketing services. FiberTower chose Greenough to develop a targeted outreach campaign aimed at successfully launching the company at CTIA Wireless 2005, and to drive visibility for its approach to backhaul service for wireless carriers.

PALO ALTO—Colin Crook, who most recently led the market launch for Mozilla Foundation’s open source web browser Firefox, has joined technology public relations specialist Voce Communications as account supervisor. At Voce, he will specialize in applying digital advocacy campaigns for clients’ corporate, personality and product programs. Prior to Voce Colin managed strategic PR initiatives for open source software clients such as SpikeSource and Medsphere, in addition to Mozilla.

ST. LOUIS—FH Out Front, the gay and lesbian public relations practice launched last year by Fleishman-Hillard, has been selected to plan and coordinate the nationwide public relations campaign for a gay and lesbian demographic study commissioned by the National Gay Newspaper Guild. The study, conducted periodically since 1984, has become one of the premier sources of statistical information on gay and lesbian demographics. The last survey was released in 2000.

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Weber Shandwick has named Naomi Aoki, a former Boston Globe business reporter, to its corporate practice. Aoki, an award-winning journalist who covered the biotech and retail beats for the Globe for nearly five years, joins Weber Shandwick’s New England office as a vice president. She will provide strategic media relations counsel and media training to the firm’s biotech and corporate clients.

KNOXVILLE, TN—Ackermann PR has added seven additional clients to its roster: Texas Wesleyan University, a private Methodist university; Chapman Hext & Company, a full-service CPA firm; Chattanooga Creek Clean-Up Committee, which is working with the Environmental Protection Agency on a two-mile Superfund site along the Chattanooga Creek; TrustFirst, a financial services firm; Today Realty Advisors, a real estate development and management firm; Labovitz Consulting, which provides property management services to hotels and other commercial properties; and Thunder Enterprises, a real estate development firm.

IRVINE, CA—Geno Effler has been appointed manager of brand communications for Aston Martin North America. Previously, Effler spent three years handling public relations for the Mercedes-Benz and Maybach brands in the Western United States. From 1993, Effler spent nine years at Kia Motors America, where he helped launch the Korean-based company into the U.S. Previously, he spent five years in agency roles working with clients such as Mazda, Lamborghini and Pirelli.

NEW YORK—Euro RSCG Magnet has hired Melanie Vigliotti as vice president in its consumer practice. Vigliotti will oversee the firm’s entire consumer lifestyle portfolio including Coppertone, K-Y and American Eagle Outfitters. Prior to joining Magnet, Vigliotti ran the Johnson & Johnson business at Edelman, where she led integrated campaigns for Johnson’s Baby & Toddler, Oral Care (Reach & ACT brands) and o.b. sanitary products.

CHICAGO—Million Dollar Round Table, an association for senior life insurance and financial services professionals, has retained Gibbs & Soell Public Relations as agency of record for public relations. The MDRT PR program will focus on promoting the prestige of MDRT membership within the life insurance and financial services industry, enhancing the value of membership in the association, and developing tools for members to effectively communicate with clients. 

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