Five things for PR pros to know Friday morning

Obama uses televised statement to announce Iraq action; Malaysian government to take over, revamp troubled Malaysia Airlines; WHO calls on governments to do more fighting Ebola; Twitter changes advertising fee model; NYT to begin using the word "torture."

President Barack Obama used a White House statement to announce airstrikes on ISIS forces in Iraq and airdrops to refugees in the country on Thursday night as the humanitarian and military crisis there grows. The statement was picked up by the major cable news networks, and the Obama administration used social media to amplify its reach.

Update: A Pentagon spokesman announed on Twitter Friday morning that the US has conducted airstrikes in Iraq.


The Malaysian government’s official state investment company said early Friday that it plans to take over Malaysia Airlines, pulling the company from public trading. It said the government takeover is the first stage in a "complete overhaul" of the airline. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was lost in March, and MH17 was shot down over Ukrainian airspace last month with nearly 300 passengers onboard.

The World Health Organization on Friday morning called the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a "public health emergency of international concern," reinforcing the need for governments to redouble their efforts to fight the disease. Earlier this week, PRWeek looked at how groups such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WHO are communicating about Ebola and clearing up misconceptions about the outbreak.

In a Facebook-like move, Twitter revamped its advertising fee model on Thursday, giving marketers new ways to specify where they want their spending to go. The move could also help the microblogging service court small businesses.

The New York Times said Thursday that it will begin using the word "torture" to describe harsh interrogation methods used by US military and intelligence personnel after the September 11, 2001, attacks. "From now on, The Times will use the word ‘torture’ to describe incidents in which we know for sure that interrogators inflicted pain on a prisoner in an effort to get information," executive editor Dean Baquet said in a memo on the topic.

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