Breakfast Briefing: The stories PR pros need to know on Wednesday, 6.22.2016

Comms firms left out in the cold at PR Lions; More Olympic worries after Rory McIlroy drops out; Volkswagen to face testy investors at shareholder meeting; Facebook opens its wallet to celebs, media outlets to boost Facebook Live; Trump campaign unleashes rapid-response capabilities.

The PR Lions were a disappointment for most communications agencies at Cannes, with PR firms scoring only five Lions of the 84 awarded. The Grand Prix went to Swedish shop Forsman & Bodenfors for its campaign on behalf of organic food retailer Coop. Some jurors said PR entries took a step back from the 2015 Lions, giving in to "cause fatigue" and failing to show how campaign results created business success.

In another blow to the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, star golfer Rory McIlroy has said he won’t travel to Brazil due to Zika virus fears. The Olympics, which are two months away, are also facing concerns about infrastructure readiness, political instability, and athlete and attendee safety.

Wednesday is Volkswagen’s annual shareholder meeting, and it could be an uncomfortable one for the company’s executives, who are expected to face questions about the automaker’s defeat device scandal from angry investors. Volkswagen’s chairman started the meeting by reiterating that the company’s management did not know about the installation of technology to dupe emissions tests.

Facebook is turning to celebrities to get live-streaming service Facebook Live off to a roaring start, paying 140 bold-face names and media companies more than $50 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. The social network is partnering with media companies from The New York Times to Vox Media and celebs including Kevin Hart and Deepak Chopra.

Donald Trump’s campaign showed signs of professionalizing on Tuesday as it rolled out rapid-response capabilities during Hillary Clinton’s speech on the Republican candidate’s economic proposals. Trump’s team fired off several data-point-filled emails countering Clinton’s assertions during the address. Ousted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reportedly told donors the presumptive Republican nominee will quickly add more than 100 staffers to his campaign team. Team Trump also issued a murky statement about a speech its candidate is set to make on Wednesday morning about Clinton’s record. The presumptive Democratic candidate is up nine points on Trump nationally, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday morning.

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