Seven things PR pros need to know on Tuesday morning, 1.27.2015

Blizzard of 2015 turns out to be a dud; Facebook suffers late-night outage; Indiana plans state-run news service; Kraft sticks up for Patriots.

1. The Blizzard of 2015 has turned out to be a dud. As of 7 am EST, just over 6 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park, far less than the two-feet-plus predicted for much of the region. Other areas such as Long Island were hit harder.

It looks like a Wednesday return to the office is probable for most New York City workers, many of whom are telecommuting on Tuesday after a citywide travel ban was in effect Monday night into Tuesday morning.


2. Facebook and Instagram went down for an hour early Tuesday morning. Facebook said the outage was the result of a configuration change and not a cyberattack, as had been claimed by the Lizard Squad hacking group.


3. Indiana will launch a state-run news service next month that will provide pre-written news stories to media outlets and break news of its own, Governor Mike Pence said late Monday. It is unclear how much the outlet will cost taxpayers, according to IndyStar.com.


4. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a strong statement of support for embattled coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady on Monday night over the deflategate scandal, saying the NFL owes his team an apology if it doesn’t find any wrongdoing. Earlier in the day, Fox Sports reported that the NFL had found a "person of interest" in its investigation, while a GQ piece on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shined light on his unusually close relationship with Kraft.

5. The Los Angeles Police Department’s chief wrote a letter to Google late last year saying that its Waze traffic app can put officers in harm’s way. He noted that the killer of two New York Police Department officers last month was reportedly using the service, the Los Angeles Times reported late Monday.

6. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is notoriously press shy, to put it kindly. But he’s happy to answer questions from the media about Skittles, at least in a new ad for the candy. Check out PRWeek’s analysis on how the personalities of many of the star players in this year’s Super Bowl are making the game a dream event for marketers.

7. Freedom Partners, a group backed by the Koch Brothers, is planning to spend nearly $1 billion ahead of the 2016 election, much of which will surely target presumptive Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. The sum is nearly twice what Mitt Romney spent from campaign accounts during the 2012 election cycle. 

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