Seven things PR pros need to know on Friday, 11.14.2014

Firms pitch FIFA for "mission impossible" account upholding reputation of upcoming World Cups; New Justice Department data-collection program revealed; Secret Service officer on personal cell phone partially to blame for September White House intrusion.

1. A handful of global PR agencies are pitching for an account one executive described as "mission impossible:" helping embattled world soccer body FIFA improve the reputation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups set for Russia and Qatar, respectively. The account work is mostly focused on Russia, where the country’s military involvement in Ukraine and its anti-gay-rights stance have concerned FIFA officials.

The organization has invited Edelman, Weber Shandwick, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Burson-Marsteller, and Bell Pottinger to pitch for the business, with the goal of picking one by the end of the year.

2. The Justice Department is using Cessna airplanes to collect data from the cell phones of criminal suspects, but the program is also grabbing the information of everyday Americans, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening. The US Marshals Service program operates aircraft that mimic cell-phone towers from at least five airports around the country.


3. The Department of Homeland Security’s report on the Secret Service shortcomings that let an intruder run deep into the White House in September faults the agency on a number of levels. What’s getting the most attention is that its response was held up by one officer taking a call on his personal cell phone while on duty.


4. The Atlantic City Alliance, the group created to promote the casino hub as a tourism destination, could be disbanded soon. The casinos that fund the organization have asked the state legislature, which mandated the Alliance, to cut the cord on the group, which costs about $30 million a year.

5. Goldman Sachs is working to bolster its reputation to technology-focused graduates more likely headed for Silicon Valley, urging them to consider a career on Wall Street instead of the tech sector. One pitch to programmers: life in the financial space is much more diverse and exciting than you think.

6. One investor behind Reddit said he was caught off-guard by the resignation of its CEO on Thursday. Chief executive Yishan Wong abruptly stepped down yesterday; Ellen Pao will replace her on an interim basis.

7. The New England Patriots apologized Thursday night for inadvertently tweeting an account name that included a racial slur as part of their promotion celebrating the milestone of 1 million followers. 

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