News in Brief (March 18)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

News in Brief (March 18)

The Titan Network, a marketing firm founded last year by former Cohn & Wolfe Atlanta general manager Tony DeMartino, will handle worldwide marketing for the new Elvis Presley Ranch themed resort.

Paul Holmes

ATLANTA—The Titan Network, a marketing firm founded last year by former Cohn & Wolfe Atlanta general manager Tony DeMartino, will handle worldwide marketing for the new Elvis Presley Ranch themed resort, which will open in Walls, Mississippi—15 minutes from Graceland—and is being developed by Atlanta-based EPR Enterprises. Titan will provide brand development, advertising, public relations, marketing communications, interactive marketing and sales services to the project. The marketing budget is anticipated to be in the $20 million plus range.
CLEVELAND—Kathleen Obert, formerly president and chief executive officerat Edward Howard & Co., has been elected chairman and chief executive officer and Wayne Hill, former executive vice president, has been elected president. Hill joined Edward Howard in 1991 as manager of the firm’s Columbus office. Previously, he was director of communications for the Ohio Attorney General and the Ohio Secretary of State.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United Service Organizations (USO) has named John Hanson senior vice president for marketing and communications. Hanson comes to the USO after serving as assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. According to USO president Edward Powell, Hanson “brings a deep understanding of the challenges facing many military families. He will be pivotal in helping communicate the USO’s role in assisting service members around the world.”
DENVER—The Colorado Lottery has named Peter Webb Public Relations as the successful bidder for the Lottery’s public relations contract. The new contract will go into effect on July 1, 2002 and run through June 30, 2004, with three 1-year renewals. Says marketing communications manager Lisa Murray, “The Webb group has been a tremendous asset to the Lottery in the past and we are looking forward to working with them over the next five years.”
PITTSBURGH—Alcoa has named A. Hamish Petrie vice president for people and communications, responsible for worldwide human resource functions as well as corporate communications and public strategy. He was most recently vice president and global director for human resources. He succeeds Robert Slagle, who retired in February 2002.
EAST RUTHERFORD—The MWW Group has added the Scleroderma Foundation to its healthcare and appropriations practice. MWW, which in the past year has secured nearly $300 million in federal appropriations for clients, will handle appropriations and lobbying efforts for the non-profit organization, which promotes public awareness for scleroderma, the chronic autoimmune disease that causes pain and stiffness in joints. 
CHICAGO—Edelman Public Relations Worldwide has hired Patrick Fitzgerald as vice president and group head of investor relations. Fitzgerald will lead the Edelman Chicago investor relations team in providing communications counsel to companies ranging from pre-IPO firms to newly public companies and members of the Fortune 500. Fitzgerald previously served as director of investor relations and corporate communications for Midway Games, a publisher of arcade and home video games.
KNOXVILLE—Ackermann PR has added several new clients including Salt Lake City-based RemoteMDx, for national media relations programs promoting the company’s MobilePal+GPS personal security products; PMR, to promote My HealthCard, a smart card that gives medical providers a quick, secure way to access patient records; and Knoxville's 211, to develop the communications plan for one of the nation’s first social service hotlines.
SAN DIEGO—Security Business Bank of San Diego has retained Stoorza Communications to provide public relations and marketing support. Stoorza will handle media relations and community relations, collateral development and event planning for the launch of the bank.
ATLANTA—Duffey Communications has added three new healthcare clients Matria Healthcare, a provider of disease management programs to health plans and employers; Porex Surgical Products, which produces sterile surgical products; and Premier Healthcare Network, an independent physician association.
BURBANK—Barry Ziehl has been promoted to vice president of worldwide public relations for Warner Bros. Consumer Products, reporting to Karine Joret, senior vice president of worldwide public relations, publicity and live events.
NEW YORK—Morgen-Walke Associates has added two new clients to its healthcare practice. The new clients are Immunicon, a private biomedical products company and TheraSense, a medical device firm known for its FreeStyle blood glucose test system.
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