ATLANTA—Duffey Communications has hired Nichole Taylor as a senior account manager for its new proximity marketing practice. The new practice integrates public relations, marketing communications, government affairs, public education, promotional events, grassroots marketing and community relations into templated programs, allowing for local customization of nationally executed campaigns and communications programs. The overall objective of most proximity marketing campaigns is to increase awareness and differentiation of a product or service, while motivating a geographically-specific target audience to take action during a defined timeframe.
PITTSBURGH—William J. Green & Associates is expanding its presence in central Pennsylvania with a new office in Harrisburg. WJG&A has hired David La Torre as director of public affairs and has promoted M. Patricia Wood to director of client services. La Torre previously served as press secretary to Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker and as deputy press secretary for former Gov. Tom Ridge. Wood has managed WJG&A’s Harrisburg operations for the past seven years, providing counseling to associations, business and government clients
SAN FRANCISCO—Edelman has named David Kellis vice president of its San Francisco office. Kellis will lead the consumer brand group and partner with the existing leadership team to develop new business relationships. Kellis joins Edelman after serving as director of client services for San Francisco-based boutique firm Graham & Associates.
NEW YORK—MGP & Associates PR no longer represents the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the PR firm said in a statement. MGP has provided Jackson with global public relations and reputation management services. According to agency president Mike Paul, MGP “voluntarily decided not to re-sign with Rev. Jackson or Rainbow/PUSH for another year.”
CAMBRIDGE—KRC Research, a division of Weber Shandwick, has opened a unit in Weber Shandwick’s New England office, offering a range of qualitative and quantitative research solutions in corporate positioning, brand tracking, new product research, crisis management assessment, communication audits and segmentation studies. KRC has offices in Washington D.C., London and now New England.
CHICAGO—Law firm Kirkland & Ellis has named Brian Pitts as public relations manager. He will be responsible for developing and implementing a firm-wide public relations plan, and for media relations, internal communications support, project management, media training, strategic planning and counsel as well as managing external relationships with consultants. Most recently, Pitts served as director of media relations for the corporate practice in the Chicago office of Porter Novelli.
BOSTON—PerkettPR has expanded its client roster with the addition of three new clients: Blackmagic Design of Australia, independent developer of driver software for uncompressed video hardware; BCD Forum, an independent, non-profit trade association that addresses the business of broadband; and Building Engines, a provider of web-based and wireless application service tools. In addition, the company has deepened its industry-specific expertise with the addition of two senior strategists: Lauri Harrison, formerly of Lauri Harrison PR, and Ben Heskett, former editor at CNET Networks.
MINNEAPOLIS—Padilla Speer Beardsley has promoted Sean McDonnell to director of the writing practice. McDonnell, a four-year veteran of the firm, also chairs the PSB Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) education committee. In addition, Kimberly Huston was named an account executive with the consumer practice.
BLOOMINGTON, MN—Case Western Reserve University, one of the nation’s leading independent research universities, has selected Weber Shandwick as its public relations agency of record. Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis will lead the university’s national media relations efforts and will work closely with Interpublic sister agencies Campbell Mithun and Jack Morton Worldwide.