7 things that prove summer is well and truly over

Labor Day holiday is generally considered the end of summer and time to get back to business, and this week's flurry of activity in the PR and communications sector does nothing to disprove this theory.

The first week back at work after Labor Day is always a busy one and this has been no exception.

From people moves, to acquisitions, to content deals, the PR community is definitely back in the swing of things and has hit the ground running.

Here are a few items that particularly caught my eye:

  1. Another new US leader at MSL - MSLGroup has appointed Edelman New York corporate and public affairs leader Ron Guirguis as CEO of its US operations, effective next Monday. This is MSL’s fourth US leader in the space of just four years, and follows the recent appointment of Guillaume Herbette as the agency’s global CEO in place of Olivier Fleurot, and Publicis Worldwide president and possible Maurice Levy successor Arthur Sadoun taking over supervision of MSLGroup in the summer. Guirguis replaces Paul Newman, who succeeded Renee Wilson, who took over from Jim Tsokanos.

  2. Greenpeace becomes a content producer - Greenpeace has recruited a team of investigative journalists to ramp up its environmental campaigning, including alumni of The New York Times and BBC. The hacks will support the campaigning group’s efforts in areas such as climate change, the tuna industry, nuclear power, deforestation, and illegal fishing. A documentary about the forming of the sometimes-controversial campaigning group in the 1970s premiered yesterday.

  3. H+K and Ogilvy expand LatAm footprints - Hill+Knowlton and Ogilvy have expanded their footprints in Latin America significantly with the acquisition of Brazilian firm Ideal and its sister agency ConceptPR. The deal triples H+K’s footprint in Latin America and doubles Ogilvy’s in Brazil. Both firms are looking to beef up their presence in the region ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016 and beyond.

  4. Finn’s acquisition binge continues - Finn Partners has continued on the acquisition trail it started following its long-awaited split from mother ship Ruder Finn in 2011, this time purchasing well-known tech firm Horn Group. It will apparently bring the firm’s annual revenues up to $70 million and follows the acquisition of other agencies including Rogers Group, Widmeyer Communications, Healy & Schulte, M. Silver Associates, gabbegroup, and UK agency Johnson King. CEO Peter Finn says that’s it for 2015, but he has more deals on the horizon next year.

  5. Ketchum folds Emanate into Access - Omnicom PR shops Access Communications, part of Ketchum, and Emanate (which is billed as a unit of Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services group, which houses all its PR firms, but which I must admit I thought was already part of Ketchum) will merge in January to form Access Emanate Communications. It will operate as a standalone agency within the Ketchum network across four locations in the US and Europe (London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco). Access founder and CEO Susan Butenhoff will become CEO of the new entity from January 1; Emanate founder and CEO Kim Sample is leaving the agency. Emanate lost a sizeable account with Bank of America a couple of years ago, which hit the agency hard.

  6. Sean Spicer explains RNC strategy to PRWeek – The ebullient and veteran DC operator Sean Spicer took time out of his busy cable network media tour to give PRWeek’s Frank Washkuch an insight into the Republican Party’s strategy during the high-profile candidature season and a glimpse of what lies beyond. The RNC’s chief strategist and communications director explained how rapidly things have changed since the last election, principally driven by social media. He explained the "Trump effect" as part of a frustration with politics, a lack of authenticity, and a reliance on talking points. You can find out more by watching the video interview with Spicer here and check out more of his thoughts in our podcast here.

  7. …and then there’s the rest – I don’t even have time to dwell on the communications strategies and implications of Apple’s glossy launch of its new iPad pro, iPhones, Apple TV, and Apple Watch; Stephen Colbert’s Late Show debut; the return of football season and the shenanigans around Tom Brady and Deflategate; the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe; Golin leader Fred Cook’s new extracurricular gig in California as a PR studies professor at USC (will he need another tattoo?); and the early return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (the surest sign of all that summer is over!)

PRWeek is convening our high-profile annual conference in New York City next week to discuss these and many other issues. It’s the best lineup of speakers and content we’ve ever put together and I hope you can join us to welcome in the fall and get ready to take care of business as our thoughts turn toward 2016. Snag your last-minute tickets here.

Oh, and we just launched our important annual Best Places to Work competition for 2015: Make sure your agency or workplace is signed up to the program here. Ping any questions about the program to thomas.renaud@haymarketmedia.com.

Other fall reminders:

PRWeek Hall of Fame dinner on December 7 - join us in honoring 6 legends of PR.

PRWeek Awards 2016 - deadline for entries is October 2.

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