News in Brief: Brighter Group, Burberry and Tetley

Royal Demeure, the Italian luxury hotel group, has appointed Brighter Group as its retained agency in the UK after a pitch.

Le dolce vita: Brighter Group to promote Royal Demeure hotels
Le dolce vita: Brighter Group to promote Royal Demeure hotels

The group has properties in Rome, Florence, Siena and Vicenza and recently moved its HQ to London to grow its international profile.

Burberry has hired Kaitlyn Wilkins, a director of Ogilvy's social media business, as its global director of social media following the departure of Musa Tariq in October.

The Starling Sessions, the music industry mentoring programme, has drafted in Marvellous Communications to look after its consumer PR.

Tetley Out of Home has called in The Hub as its food service comms partner across the UK and EMEA.

Lithuanian State Department of Tourism has selected Representation Plus to drive its marketing and PR campaigns in the UK.

Dynamo has been appointed as the retained agency for 3Doodler, a 3D printing pen device, after helping the start-up gain coverage of its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

Correction PRWeek incorrectly wrote last week that Prudential comms director John Murray had once worked as a comms adviser to Tony Blair. Murray served as comms director for the Financial Services Authority from 2006 to 2010.

PRWeek will not be publishing an issue on 29 March due to the Easter break. The next issue will be on 5 April.

The week in global PR

A new US-based tech PR agency co-founded by Sean Garrett, former comms VP at Twitter, Brandee Barker, former global comms director at Facebook and Brian O'Shaughnessy, former head of global comms at Skype, has been named The Pramana Collective.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is searching for multiple firms to position it as a 'global super hub' to consumers and businesses.

Underwriters Laboratories, a product safety testing and certification firm based in Illinois, is reviewing its global PR account. MSLGroup is the incumbent.

Walmart has a search under way to replace its comms leader Leslie Dach, who is leaving his post in June after seven years with the company. The retail giant has also expanded work with GolinHarris.

Car2go, the car-sharing service subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, has appointed GCK Partners as its PR agency for North America.

Alaska's Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development has hired MSI Communications to promote the state as a place to do business.

Burger King has hired Alison Brod Public Relations for its US marcoms, replacing Coyne PR.

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The week in healthcare

Sanofi, the global healthcare giant, has launched its 2013 Patient Group Bursary Scheme, which awards a share of £50,000 to three patient groups that are able to demonstrate ambitious but realistic campaigns capable of making a lasting difference to the lives of patients. The application process is open until 1 May.

The British Heart Foundation 'hijacked' all the cigarette packets in the UK last week in an augmented reality campaign using Blippar technology designed to help smokers quit on national No Smoking Day (13 March). Consumers who 'Blipped' the cigarette packs saw them erupt in a cloud of smoke before seeing 3D images of things they could have bought with the same money.

Red Door Communications has launched 'Inside Out', a new offering set up in collaboration with South Asian experts that aims to optimise the communication of healthcare organisations or companies with patients and consumers within South Asian communities in the UK. Dr Wasim Hanif, an expert in this field, spoke at the service's launch event last week.

The Public Sector Week

The Department for Transport's head of news Simon McGee is to move to the Department for International Development (DfID). PRWeek understands that he will take on the same role at the DfID. Before he joined the DfT in late 2011, McGee was a political reporter at The Sunday Times and news reporter at The Mail on Sunday.

The Science Museum Group has retained Neat PR to handle its retail work following a pitch process. Having handled shop-related and online PR for the Science Museum, the National Media Museum and the National Railway Museum, Neat will also work for the Science & Society Picture Library as part of its expanded brief.

The University of Westminster has launched a Centre for Social Media Research (CSMR) and a Masters degree in social media. The CSMR will conduct and co-ordinate research into social, cultural and political-economic aspects of social media.

John Shewell, founder and MD of Colab, a niche reputation-building consultancy, and former head of comms at Brighton & Hove City Council, has written this week's public sector column on the use of digital comms to design and improve policy at near real-time rate. 

The Week in The City

Morgan Rossiter has hired Brunswick's Emma La Terriere as an associate. She was previously an account director at Brunswick, specialising in digital comms and working with clients including Britivic, Daily Mail General Trust, Anglo American and Royal Mail.

Mizuho International, the Japanese investment bank, has hired Ben Harding as comms director. He joins from Apax Partners, where he headed comms for the global private equity firm. Previously he was a journalist at Thomson Reuters for financial titles including IFR Buyouts and Acquisitions Monthly.

Redleaf Polhill has been appointed by Proactis, the e-procurement software provider, as its financial PR adviser. The appointment is with immediate effect, and the account will be managed by Rebecca Sanders-Hewett and Jenny Bahr.

FTI Consulting is to handle financial comms for the AIM IPO of Electrical Geodesics, a US firm that makes technology to monitor brain activity.

Stratex International, an AIM-listed mining firm, has called in Yellow Jersey for financial PR and corporate media relations help. The firm focuses on exploration and development of gold and base metals in East Africa, West Africa and Turkey.

The Week in Lobbying

Heathcroft, the public affairs and comms agency, has been acquired by US firm Teneo Holdings. Heathcroft was founded by former Gala Coral corporate affairs director Craig Leviton in 2009 and has worked for clients including Ladbrokes, Thetrainline and GE. The agency will be part of Teneo's strategy division.

Grayling Public Affairs has hired Jack Loy from property PR consultancy Local Dialogue as head of planning. Loy will work on a number of existing Grayling clients within the property and construction sectors covering energy infrastructure, housebuilding, retail, leisure and mixed-use development.

Oliver Parry has left the Financial Reporting Council, where he headed comms and public affairs, for a senior account director role at Redleaf Polhill. He will work across a range of professional and financial services clients.

David Gauke, the Treasury minister, is to speak at a Fleishman-Hillard Budget breakfast on Tuesday 26 March at 10 Carlton House Terrace.

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