10 things PR pros need to know on Wednesday morning, 3.18.2015

Ogilvy wins lucrative FEMA account through Michael Baker partnership; Starbucks' duBrowa back on Twitter; Bibi wins; Premera acknowledges data breach affecting 11 million.

1. Ogilvy Public Relations has teamed up with Michael Baker International to take on a $130 million disaster preparedness account from FEMA. They’re calling the joint venture Resilience Action Partners. The work includes helping Americans get ready for floods and other natural disasters.

2. Starbucks comms leader Corey duBrowa is back on Twitter after a short hiatus. He explained his decision to briefly quit the platform, then rejoin, in a Medium post entitled, "Why I deleted my Twitter account, and why I’m back." DuBrowa said he felt attacked by critics of the coffee chain’s Race Together initiative. Quartz said the company needs to have a conversation with itself about race, not with its customers.


3. Twitter has opened an office in Dubai to help it focus on the Middle East, where the service is wildly popular and where it helped fan the flames of the Arab Spring starting in late 2010.

4. The latest from South by Southwest Interactive as the festival wraps up:
How weary brands and agencies can get the most out of SXSW.
Did we mention flying cars?

5. Health insurer Premera Blue Cross has acknowledged it was hacked, and the cyberattack could affect 11 million customers dating back to 2002. Compromised data includes financial and medical information. The attack started last May but was only discovered this January, the company said on Tuesday.

6. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection to a fourth term in office after a hard right turn in the race’s closing days, saying there will be no Palestinian state as long as he’s in office. The election was forecasted to be much closer than it actually was.

7. Publishing giant Pearson Education is under fire for monitoring students’ social media posts. The education publisher said it was just trying to make sure they weren’t leaking test questions.

8. Media outlets CNN International, The Economist, The Guardian, the Financial Times, and Reuters have formed a programmatic advertising alliance called Pangea. The Guardian led the charge on the initiative, according to Capital New York.

9. Kraft Foods Group is recalling more than 240,000 cases of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese because of the risk that they could contain small pieces of metal. It conducted a similar recall four years ago.

10. Donald Trump will form a presidential exploratory committee on Wednesday after hiring several staffers in recent months, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. He has also decided not to renew his contract to host The Apprentice. 

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