The 7 stories PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 9.24.2015

More on Volkswagen crisis; Pope speaks to Congress; Alibaba's Jim Wilkinson on its lengthy letter to Barron's; Xi meets with tech heavyweights; India's prime minister to begin US tour; Changes to P&G's comms leadership; Trump and Fox News keep going at it.

The latest on Volkswagen’s crisis
Bloomberg: Outgoing Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn may take home a $32 million pension, plus millions more in severance pay. Telegraph: German ministers turned a blind eye to software in diesel cars that allowed them to skirt emissions regulations. Reuters: Volkswagen sent California customers letter in April warning of emissions glitch. Forbes: More executives on the hot seat. Fortune: Timeline of VW’s tanking stock price.


Alibaba’s Wilkinson explains 1,900-word letter
Why respond to an article you think is unfair with a 1,900-word letter to the editor? Alibaba communications chief Jim Wilkinson explains the company’s strategy in a Q&A with PRWeek. Why not social media? "Although attention spans are short in media cycles today, the facts still do matter," he said.

Pope-mania in DC
Pope Francis is preparing to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday before traveling to New York. He’ll be the first pontiff to speak to both legislative houses, and may make statements that upset both parties. However, some sexual-abuse survivors criticized his Wednesday statements on predator priests.

Xi meets with tech heavyweights
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with a who’s who list of top American technology executives on Wednesday evening, including Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg. He said he’s committed to fighting piracy and vowed to keep market access to China open.


Not the only Asian leader making a splash in the US
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also taking a high-profile tour of the US, planning to meet with US business executives and Silicon Valley leaders such as Zuckerberg. His six-day visit will begin on Thursday.

Big changes on P&G’s comms team
As Procter & Gamble continues to change its business model to focus on core brands, it has reorganized its global comms team, upping its leadership team to five directors. Damon Jones and Paul Fox are among the comms execs taking on new positions.

Trump-Fox News fight continues
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump continued jabbing at Fox News on Wednesday evening, saying he won’t appear on the network because it’s not treating him fairly. He specifically called out commentator Rich Lowry, who had harsh comments about his debate performance. 

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