NEWS BRIEFS

PALO ALTO, CA: Business integration software firm Tibco has reorganized its communications team, leading to the departure of director of worldwide corporate communications Bob Berger. Berger has joined Versata, as senior director of corporate communications. Senior manager of worldwide communications Robin Stoecker now oversees communications at Tibco.

WASHINGTON DC: Robert L. Downen has joined APCO Worldwide?s government-relations team as VP. Formerly a senior legislative aide for foreign affairs to Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) and special assistant to assistant secretary of state Paul Wolfowitz during the Reagan Administration, Downen?s responsibilities will include providing strategic counsel and communication advice to international and government clients.

SANTA CRUZ, CA: After a four-month PR agency review, Plantronics has decided to retain Porter Novelli as its lead US corporate agency. Plantronics, a leading maker of headsets and other phone technology, has worked with Porter Novelli for two years.

CHICAGO: William Crawford and Michael O?Connell, who previously ran their own financial-services firm, have become principals with The Dilenschneider Group. Crawford was a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Chicago Tribune before switching to financial communications. O?Connell had overseen communications for the Chicago Board of Trade earlier in his career. Also joining the firm as a principal in Washington, DC, is another Pulitzer winner, William Beecher.

NEW YORK: Suzie Pileggi, a VP in the business-marketing group of Weber Shandwick, left the agency last week after nearly five years to donate more time to various volunteer projects with children, possibly in India. Pileggi specialized in media relations for consumer technology and financial accounts. She is also on the board of the Publicity Club of New York. Weber Shandwick said Pileggi will be replaced.

CHICAGO: Serta has selected Wheatley & Timmons as its PR agency. The agency will handle PR for a new line of flame-resistant mattresses. PR for the new FireBlocker line will target safety-conscious consumers and fire-service community influencers.

NEW YORK: Flavie Lemarchand-Wood has been hired as Vivendi Universal?s director of PR, where he will direct internal and external communications and serve as corporate spokesperson for the US. Before joining VU, he worked with PainePR and Magnet Communications.

WENHAM, MA: Telecommunications company Sprint has tapped Mullen PR to develop and execute its strategic communications programs in New England.

RANDOLPH, MA: Dunkin? Donuts has hired The Kotchen Group, a Connecticut firm, to handle media relations and special events for a new line of espresso-based and iced beverages in the Connecticut market.

PARSIPPANY, NJ: Coyne Public Relations has added Stamford, CT-based office supplies manufacturer Esselte to its client roster. Coyne PR will create brand building PR initiatives for Esselte, as well as consumer PR activities for two of Esselte?s brands, Pendaflex and Dymo.

NEW YORK: Financial Dynamics has been retained by Management Recruiters International, a search and recruitment organization, to provide corporate-communications services.

MINNEAPOLIS: MoCo, a marketing firm, is launching MoCo Media, a new subsidiary that will handle media and public relations. Christopher Mattson will become a MoCo partner and GM of MoCo Media, merging his firm, Chris Matteson & Associates, into the new operation.

PALO ALTO, CA: CXO Communication has won several positioning assignments from companies, including educational toy maker LeapFrog. Other new clients include Pequot Ventures, bicycle company Specialized, UCSF Medical Center and Children?s Hospital, and the Young Entrepreneurs? Organization/World Entrepreneurs? Organization.

WOBURN, MA: Tech agency Lois Paul & Partners has added eight new clients to its roster? Centra Software, Metatomix, RulesPower, SoundBite Communications, Trilog Group, Valence Technology, Vericept, and Xpitax.

ATLANTA: Sumner Rider & Associates, the PR arm of the Kellen Company, has been renamed Kellen Communications.

CHESTNUT RIDGE, NY: Madden Communications & Marketing has been chosen to handle PR for FOX Sports Grill, a restaurant and sports bar concept conceived by FOX Sports and B&B Restaurant Ventures.

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL: Jox Sox, a performance sock manufacturer, has awarded TransMedia Group its PR account.

CHERRY HILL, NJ: Star/Rosen, The Star Group?s PR division, is managing the United States launch of Summer Citrus for the South African USA Citrus Alliance. The agency will also provide ongoing media relations help.

NEW YORK: Stanton Crenshaw Communications has been chosen to handle a PR and marketing campaign for Ultramar, a national travel management company. The agency will implement PR and marketing communications programs aimed at raising awareness of Ultramar among potential clients and recommenders, such as law firms, investment banks, and fashion companies.

WIXOM, MI: Lighthouse Public Relations has signed two new clients, Incident Command Technologies and Morgan Associations. Lighthouse will handle Incident?s media relations. Incident designs software for use by firefighters. Lighthouse will handle media relations for Morgan, a law firm.

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