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

News in Brief (March 11)

Walter Murphy, who headed public relations Ford Motor Company for more than two decades, has died. He was best known as right hand man, publicist and speechwriter to Lee Iacocca during his tenure as president of Ford.

Paul Holmes

DETROIT—Walter Murphy, who headed public relations Ford Motor Company for more than two decades, has died. He was best known as right hand man, publicist and speechwriter to Lee Iacocca during his tenure as president of Ford, and retired from the company after Iacocca moved to Chrysler. Murphy died at age 86 of a heart attack. Murphy joined Ford in 1947 after serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II, and in 1973 was put in charge of Ford’s worldwide public-relations operations. He was “a powerful public relations executive with 400 executives working for him worldwide at Ford,” says his son John Murphy. “If you were in the same room with him, he’d find a way to bring out the best in you.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Audrey Sheppard, most recently director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health, has joined The Kamber Group as senior advisor. Sheppard, who began working in politics on George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign was also political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 80s, and later helped to found the International Institute for Women’s Political Leadership.
STOCKHOLM—Sweden’s Ericsson has appointed Henry Stenson as its new senior vice president for corporate communications. He was most recently senior press officer for SAS. He replaces Roland Klein, who is leaving to start a new communications consultancy with DaimlerChrysler communications chief Christoph Walther.
LOS ANGELES—Rogers Cowan | Weber Shandwick Entertainment Marketing has been selected by Texas Instruments to handle media relations for its TI DLP Cinema division. TI DLP Cinema is a digital projection system designed to replicate the visual experience of film, and more than 40 prototype projectors have been installed in cities from Los Angeles to London.
NEW YORK—Corporate and investor relations firm Adam Friedman Associates has joined The Phoenix Network, an international network of independent, owner-operated public relations agencies. Says Adam Friedman, “With communications increasingly becoming global, we felt it vital to extend our capabilities by partnering with firms that share our commitment to excellence. Our involvement with The Phoenix Network allows us to provide greater reach for our clients by making available to them consulting and program implementation in most major cities around the world.”
BLUE BELL—Unisys Corporation has promoted Richard Badler, head of corporate communications, to senior vice president. Badler joined Unisys in 1998 as a corporate vice president and oversees the corporation’s worldwide activities for reputation management, public and media relations, including related consultant relations, advertising, employee communications, corporate identity and public affairs.
SAN FRANCISCO—Access Communications, which earlier this year strengthened its consumer practice with the addition of Intuit, has won three new business-to-business technology accounts, adding $2.5 million in new business income in the last four weeks. The new clients include Discreet, a division of Autodesk; Trend Micro, a publicly traded provider of network antivirus and Internet security software; and Active Decisions, a leading supplier of guided selling applications.
MOUNTAIN VIEW—Reactor, one of the top 25 advertising agencies in Silicon Valley is opening a new office in San Diego to meet the marketing communications needs of high-tech and biotech clients in Southern California. The new office will provide marketing communications services including direct mail, print and web advertising, collateral development, and public relations.
BEACHWOOD, OH—Stephen Lee, formerly senior vice president with Edward Howard & Co., has joined integrated communications firm Marcus Thomas as senior vice president and head of the firm’s high-stakes communications practice, which includes crisis communication, media training, and environmental public relations.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—David Bolger, former vice president of communications at the U.S. Telecom Association, has joined United Parcel Service as director of public relations in Washington, where he will handle telecommunications, environmental, labor, education and international issues. Bolger, who had been an independent crisis consultant since leaving USTA in July, has prior experience as director of public affairs for the Federal Railroad Administration.
NEW YORK—Blue Worldwide, the advertising agency subsidiary of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, has named Gail Anne Grosso executive vice president and chief creative officer. Grasso was previously president and chief creative officer at Publicis Seattle.
SAN FRANCISCO—In the first four weeks of 2002, technology public relations boutique AtomicPR has been named agency of record for three new clients: Sagent Technology, a leading provider of enterprise business intelligence solutions; Guidance Software, a leader in computer forensics and investigative solutions; and, a destination for online, multi-player poker.
CHICAGO—Jeff Burnett, senior vice president and healthcare practice director in Manning, Selvage & Lee’s Chicago office, has been appointed as deputy managing director of the office, taking over from Nancy Brennan, who recently took over from the department Kathy Rand as managing director of MS&L/Chicago.
LOS GATOS—Technology public relations specialist Sterling Communications has added the broadcast division of Avid Technology and Gupta Technologies to its client roster. Avid opted to establish a relationship with SCI after acquiring iNEWS, an existing SCI client. Gupta chose SCI because of its industry knowledge and expertise in representing former client Centura Software, from which Gupta emerged.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Two former Hill & Knowlton employees, Jim Friedman and Amber McCracken, have joined the Alliance for Aging Research as deputy director and communications director respectively. Friedman was head of H&K’s healthcare practice in D.C., where he worked on stem-cell research issues with Alliance for Aging Research director Dan Perry, while McCracken was an account supervisor. The Alliance supports stem-cell and cloning research, and also works to train people in caring for the elderly.
MINNEAPOLIS—Jim Brophy and Ralph Frattura have joined the digital services staff at Morgan&Myers. Brophy, former director of business development at Internet consulting firm marchFIRST, joins as senior counselor, digital services. Frattura will be a counselor in the digital services group, which he joins after working in broadcast at station WITI-TV in Milwaukee, and serving as e-learning practice lead for divine.
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