Seven things PR pros need to know on Tuesday morning, 12.2.2014

FIFA hires Weber Shandwick for "mission impossible" World Cup assignment; #GivingTuesday; Did the Rams apologize to local police or not?; Baylor University brings on firm before college football playoff.

1. FIFA has reportedly settled on a firm to help it improve the reputations of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, set for Russia and Qatar, respectively, an assignment one agency executive recently called "mission impossible." The soccer body has brought on Weber Shandwick, which had worked with England on its 2018 World Cup bid, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.

2. A bizarre twist took place Monday night in the saga of St. Louis area police officers upset with some Rams players for protesting last week’s Ferguson grand jury decision. St. Louis Country’s police chief said he was grateful for an apology from the Rams for five players’ "hands up" protest on Sunday. The catch: Rams EVP Kevin Demoff says he never apologized. Both Rams coach Jeff Fisher and the National Football League are supporting the players.

3. Baylor University, on the outside looking in at the first college football playoff, hired Kevin Sullivan Communications last week, according to reports that surfaced Monday night. Rival fans immediately mocked the school for trying to influence the tournament’s selection committee after its team couldn’t get it done on the field. Sullivan says he is just focusing on media relations support.

4. It’s #GivingTuesday. One twist on the charitable initiative comes from fundraising platform Crowdrise, which is letting users see how much money has been raised for good causes via a virtual skyscraper.

5. Sony Pictures Entertainment documents made public after a cyberattack against the company show a lack of diversity in terms of ethnicity and gender among its top executives. Meanwhile, the FBI is reaching out to other companies warning about potential attacks.

6. The Wall Street Journal looks at century-old General Electric’s voyage into social media marketing, highlighting CMO Beth Comstock’s first meetings with social startup staffers.

7. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is planning to make a decision soon on whether he will run for president. If so, his top priorities would be reform of the tax code, immigration, and education. He’s also advising congressional Republicans to show that the party can govern "in an adult-like way" in the next two years. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman will not take a crack at winning the GOP nomination, sources told Politico. 

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