The Week in PR, June 8 – June 15

  1. LESTER HOLTAnchors Away: NBC’s PR campaign to have Lester Holt take Brian Williams’s anchor job permanently has begun. Last week saw a spate of whispery-type stories in CNN, New York Post and other outlets that Holt was gearing up take the anchor desk for good, while NBC decides if Williams has a future with the Peacock network. Holt took charge of the anchor desk when Williams was suspended in February after it was reported that he had lied about his experiences covering the war in Iraq. This could be a trial balloon, but it seems as if Williams’s verbal shenanigans has cost him a precious job. If NBC is on the verge of making it official, the network surely has a PR plan designed to help sell Holt as a permanent anchor and manage the fallout from giving the boot to Williams.
  2. Twitter Change Du Jour: Nary a day goes by without one of the major social channels making one tweak or another (mainly to the benefit of advertisers). But as goes social media, public relations must follow, what with an ever-growing number of people now using these channels as their primary means of gathering news and information. The latest: Twitter said last week it’s making changes to how conversations are shown on the tweet page so they’re easier to follow. The changes include grouping conversations and highlighting some of the most interesting exchanges surrounding a given tweet right below that tweet. The changes put the onus on PR pros to make their tweets count and to monitor exchanges vigorously. (Late last week Twitter said that Dick Costolo was stepping down as CEO.)
  3. SnapchatSnapchat Makes Logging in More Secure: The ephemeral-messaging app Snapchat can boast a growing number of major brands using its platform, including Acura, GE and the NBA. With its latest move to improve security, the service might lure others into the fold. The app’s most recent update on Android and iOS adds the ability to enable two-factor authentication. Once switched on inside the settings menu, login verification requires that the user enter a six-digit code upon signing in from any device he/she hasn’t used before, according to The move is designed to reduce the odds that your Snapchat account will be hacked. PR pros need more of a comfort zone if they want to communicate via Snapchat, and the company is trying to provide it.
  4. Media Trust in PR Eroding: The uneasy relationship between PR pros and journalists doesn’t seem to be improving. Nearly 25 percent of journalists said they are “often” or “always” misled by PR people, according to the Media Influencers Report, a new study from D S Simon Productions. Only one in 10 said they feel they are never misled (see chart below). The report garnered nearly 300 responses from journalists, including reporters and producers at TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and online media outlets and bloggers. Call it another case of PR in dire need of PR.
  5. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Holds His Daily Briefing PR Movers: Known for promoting within, McDonald’s last week went outside, naming former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs (above) global CCO and erstwhile Bacardi marketing head Silvia Lagnado as global marketing chief. The fast-food giant is far from a hap, hap, happy place these days as sales have flattened globally. Gibbs replaces Bridget Coffing, who announced her retirement earlier this year. The global marketing job has been vacant at McDonald’s since 2010 Edelman appointed Nadia Damouni as senior VP, financial communications & special situations. Formerly a senior journalist at Thomson Reuters, Damouni will advise clients on communications surrounding mergers and acquisitions.