The Week in PR, July 6- July 13

  1. cuba3Burson-Marsteller Rolls Out Cuba Offering. That was fast. Less than a week after the U.S. resumed its diplomatic ties with Cuba, PR agency Burson-Marsteller unveiled the Burson-Marsteller Cuba Specialty Team. The unit is a U.S.-based offering providing clients with strategic counsel regarding the political and economic environment in the U.S. and Cuba. Services include real-time analysis of U.S. government policy development and strategic communications planning and execution, including digital and social media outreach. It’s impossible to know if Cuba will again become the tropical paradise it was pre-Castro, when U.S. tourists flocked there for its beaches and culture. What seems definite are opportunities for U.S. brands to do business in Cuba. Burson has decided to get in on the ground floor.
  2. bottom graphRise of the Title-Less Leader: The corner office may be losing some of its luster when it comes to leadership. More than 40 percent of people surveyed believe leadership should come mainly from the organization and all employees, compared with 25 percent of respondents who believe leadership should come just from the CEO, according to the fourth-annual Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM), which was released last week, (see graphic below). Indeed, the top-down mentality that has ruled corporate America for decades may be coming to a gradual, yet steady end. Communicators need to be on the lookout for in-house employees with solid leadership qualities who can carry a message and reside outside the C-suite. Despite being known for their dogged independence, only 35 percent of Millennials chose leadership by everyone, compared with 52 percent of respondents age 55+. The online survey, which was conducted in February and March, took the pulse of 6,029 respondents in 12 global markets.
  3. WEEK IN PR PALCEHOLDER FOR UPPER PANELToyota PR Chief Resigns: This was inevitable: Julie Hamp, Toyota’s PR chief and the highest-ranking woman in the automaker’s 77-year history, earlier this month resigned. The resignation came two weeks after Hamp was arrested on suspicion of illegally bringing painkillers into Japan. At a June 19 news conference, Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda apologized for the incident, supported Hamp and expressed the company’s belief that she had broken the law unknowingly. Things changed apparently. Our guess is Toyota—wanting to cut its losses—gave Hamp a little push. With Hamp gone from the company, the focus most likely will shift to who succeeds her. Hamp will be released from police custody in Japan, and authorities likely will not charge her with a crime because they found little criminal intent, the Japanese Kyodo News service reported last week.
  4. Reputation Institute Industry Rankings: The recently released rankings should provide PR managers with some context about consumer perceptions regarding the industries they represent. Depending on where your industry is on the spectrum, the score can have either a “halo effect or a damaging impact on consumers’ perception about your brand,” according to the study. That should help inform your content marketing/social media strategy.
    Industry Rankings
  5. PR Movers: Ketchum said that Christy Salcido has rejoined the agency as senior VP and director of the Ketchum West Brand Marketing Practice. Salcido worked at Ketchum from 1992 through 2002, specializing in consumer brands. Prior to rejoining Ketchum, Salcido was most recently senior VP at Porter Novelli Greentarget Global Group tapped Kevin Iredell as the PR agency’s research director. Iredell most recently led the research business at American Lawyer Media...Edelman announced the appointment of Kish Rajan as senior VP and senior advisor in the agency’s Public Affairs practice. Rajan, former director of GO Biz, will be based in Edelman’s Sacramento, Calif. office.

This article originally appeared in the July 13, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.