News in Brief (November 25)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

News in Brief (November 25)

Brett O’Brien, who has spent eight years on the staff of former House minority leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), is joining Harbour Group, the public relations firm formed last year by Washington law firm Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman.

Paul Holmes

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Brett O’Brien, who has spent eight years on the staff of former House minority leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), is joining Harbour Group, the lobbying and public relations firm formed last year by Washington law firm Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman. O’Brien will add expertise in defense, intelligence and foreign policy issues. He served as an international relations expert with Gephardt and earlier with Senator George Mitchell (D-Me.). During his 12 years with the two senior Democrats, he visited about two dozen countries on official business. The firm also added Erin Graefe, former Washington finance director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

BIRMINGHAM—Alabama Power  has named Bobbie Knight vice president of public relations. She will manage the company’s corporate communications efforts and oversee the daily operations of a department that includes media relations, advertising, communication services and employee communications. Knight began her career with Alabama Power in 1978. Since that time, she has served in roles of increasing responsibility in the company’s customer service, human resources, public relations, corporate services and materials services departments. Most recently, she served as the company’s manager of supply chain management.

CHICAGO—Reputation Partners, the new corporate communications consultancy recently formed by Nicholas Kalm and two other Edelman veterans, has hired Megan Hayden, former director of corporate communications for Household International, as a senior associate. At Household, one of the nation’s largest consumer finance companies, Hayden directed the company’s external communications strategies, served as corporate spokesperson and was a key communications counselor to Household senior management. 

NEW YORK—M Booth & Associates has added four new accounts to its travel and lifestyle practice: Trip Network, Ski Utah, Rocky Mountaineer Railtours and Borgata, Atlantic City. For Trip Network, the firm will raise consumer awareness of and, both one-stop online travel booking sites; for Ski Utah, M Booth will build on the post-Olympic awareness of the region’s diverse ski resorts and enhanced hospitality infrastructure; for Rocky Mountaineer Railtours, the firm will handle consumer and trade promotions in the U.S. and Canada; and the firm will handle the launch of Borgata, the first new resort to open in Atlantic City in more than 13 years.

SANTA CLARA—Walt & Company has been selected as the public relations agency of record for the National Retirement Planning Coalition, a group of prominent financial industry and advocacy organizations, to develop a national campaign to heighten public awareness of the need for comprehensive retirement planning.

DENVER—BRW LeGrand has promoted Lisa Miller to life sciences team leader. In a newly created position Miller will be responsible for managing day-to-day contact with life sciences clients and for new business development. Current clients include Accelr8, Global Healthcare Exchange, and Heska Corporation. Miller, a veteran of Schwatz Communications, has been with the firm for three years.

NEW YORK—CSTV: College Sports Television has named Eric Handler as director, corporate communications. He will oversee media relations efforts on behalf of the college sports network, which is scheduled to launch in February, 2003.  Handler comes to CSTV from the United States Tennis Association, where he was director of publicity for the USTA’s professional tennis unit. Prior to the USTA, Handler spent six years at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as director of communications for the Walt Disney Internet Group.

BALTIMORE—Warschawski Public Relations has added two new clients: GuilfordPare and the Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund. Baltimore-based GuilfordPare is a financial consulting firm specializing in workers’ compensation and injury management. IESF is a not-for-profit organization established to assist Israeli victims of terror and their families.

SAN DIEGO—McQuerter, a 21-year-old high-tech PR and marketing agency, has named Tina Wilmott as vice president of public relations. Wilmott will report to founder and CEO Greg McQuerter and will be responsible for building and managing the firm’s public relations practice worldwide, providing corporate communications and product publicity counseling, program planning and overseeing the agency’s account teams.

CLEVELAND—Edward Howard & Company has added six new clients. In the corporate communications practice, the firm is going to work for Ohio Machinery, City Year Cleveland, Chapman & Chapman, and M&G Polymers. In the public affairs sector, the firm has signed the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and Technical Assistance Cooperative.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide added six new staffers to its Washington office in the month of October, led by senior vice president Christine Shreeve, who joins the health and medical group from Matthews Media Group, where she oversaw a variety of National Cancer Institute accounts. Other appointments include Michael Drake, as senior designer from Streamline; Rebecca Wong, as account supervisor, health and medical, from the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors; senior account Jennifer Mullen; account executive Amy Martin; and assistant a/e Jacquelyn Glazer.

LOS GATOS, CA—Sterling Communications, an independent public relations agency focused on technology and life sciences has added three new clients in the telecommunications, software and biometric technology sectors. Elematics, based in Beaverton, is a provider of multi-vendor, multi-carrier control plane software for real-time service control and connectivity in global communications networks. Merant, headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., is a provider of software and services that enable organizations to control and manage business-critical information assets. Saflink Corporation, based in Bellevue, Wash., is a developer, marketer and integrator of biometric security solutions.

TRENTON—The MWW Group has promoted Jennifer Beck to vice president in the company’s public affairs department. Beck will continue to direct the firm’s Trenton office as general manager and will assume added public affairs client management responsibilities.

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