Seven things PR pros need to know on Tuesday, 12.16.2014

Pakistani terrorist attack dominates Tuesday morning headlines; Fleishman appoints Gerard to lead global strategic innovation; Sony warns staff about fraud; Camille Cosby sticks up for her embattled husband.

1. Dominating the news cycle Tuesday morning are events in Pakistan, where Taliban gunmen reportedly killed at least 126 people, many of them children, at a military-run school in the northwest region of the country.

2. FleishmanHillard has appointed Stefan Gerard to the role of global strategic integration lead, based in New York. He will also helm the brand marketing team in the Omnicom Group firm’s New York office. Gerard joined Fleishman in 2010 as SVP and senior partner. Previously, he co-founded brand-engagement firm Gen Art and worked at creative shops such as Y&R New York and Deutsch Los Angeles.

3. Sony Pictures Entertainment has warned current and former staff that their personal data may be at risk of misuse by fraudsters following the massive cyberattack against the company last month.

Top executives at the studio held two separate meetings with employees on Monday to address the ongoing fallout from the cyberattack. Both chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal were well received, according to Reuters.

Crisis communications experts weighed in on Monday on how media outlets may respond to Sony’s request that they delete and stop reporting on data accessed as part of the mass-hacking.


4. Camille Cosby released a statement on Monday defending her husband, Bill Cosby, comparing the more than a dozen allegations of sexual impropriety against him to Rolling Stone’s botched investigation into a purported gang-rape case at the University of Virginia. "None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim. But the question should be asked — who is the victim?" she said in the statement, according to CBS News.


5. In what’s become one of the marketing industry’s annual rituals, Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy took the wrapping off his holiday card on Tuesday morning. The message, which is actually an interactive game, will raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

6. Democrats are bumping into each other trying to figure out how to take credit for the improving economy, according to The New York Times. Some want to tout economic progress; others fear that will offend voters whose lives haven’t improved since President Barack Obama took office.

7. Lesson number one in how law enforcement should not use social media: the San Jose Police Department put an officer on leave after he reportedly mocked and threatened protestors in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri, via his Twitter account.

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