NEWS BRIEFS:

LOS ANGELES: Fleishman-Hillard's Los Angeles office has made two senior level hires in its corporate communications division, highlighting a shift of focus away from its former core area of public affairs. David Krawitz, formerly a partner in boutique California Communications, has been named SVP and director of the corporate communications practice. Debra Hotaling, most recently senior director of PR at KB Home, has been also been named SVP.

NEW YORK: The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has hired Janet Troy as director of PR. Troy will be responsible for developing and directing overall strategic communication plans to advance both the PRSA and the PR professional.

SAN FRANCISCO: Alison Wertheim has joined Charles Schwab as VP of corporate PR, overseeing reputation and visibility initiatives for the company's b-to-b services. Prior to Schwab, she was a consultant for Bank of America.

BOW, NH: MVP Health Care has selected High Point Communications Group to develop an integrated marketing and PR campaign as the independent health insurer enters the New Hampshire marketplace.

CUPERTINO, CA: Security software company Symantec has named Burson-Marsteller as its Latin America AOR. Burson's Miami office will lead the account, and will focus on raising the awareness of the company's brand and products in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Costa Rica.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: The Jeffrey Group has named Diego Kaufman as MD of its office in Buenos Aires. Kaufman, who had been an SAE at Ketchum Argentina, replaces Roberta Querol, who held the position before relocating to the U.S. earlier in the year.

ST. LOUIS: Geotechnology, an environmental services firm, has hired Kupper Parker Communications to handle PR and marketing. The 20-year-old company wants to increase awareness of its services outside its home market of St. Louis, said Steve Richardson, VP in PR at Kupper.

NEW YORK: Nautica Enterprises, maker of clothes, furniture and a range of other products, has hired the Susan Magrino Agency to handle its PR. The company spoke with five agencies before selecting Magrino because of its fashion and lifestyle brands experience, its special events expertise, and its track record of putting together strategic partnerships for brands, said Mary Ellen Barone, director of public relations with Nautica.

NEW YORK: Cohn & Wolfe has added brand planning to its areas of expertise. Its MindWorX offering combines training for account managers as well as research tools to help clients connect with their target audiences.

NEWTON, MA: News-database company LexisNexis U.S. and Cymfony, Inc. said that LexisNexis will stream XML content into Cymfony Dashboard, the measurement company's application that monitors media coverage.

CALIFON, NJ: The Stephenson Group has launched PayPerClip, a new pay-for-placements PR agency.

SAN FRANCISCO: Singer Associates has added several new clients and projects: ChevronTexaco, to develop a communications program for one of its refineries; Genentech, for communications consulting; the San Francisco Examiner, as AOR; Airis, to assist an effort to build a new cargo facility at San Francisco International Airport; and Bay Meadows Land Development and Simeon Properties, to develop PR programs for each companies' development projects.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA: PivX Solutions has appointed Lewis PR to run the company's media and analyst relations programs. PivX develops security technology for PCs and computer networks.

JACKSONVILLE, FL: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida has promoted Cyrus "Russ" Jollivette to SVP of public affairs. He will provide executive leadership for community relations, corporate communications, executive communications, governmental and legislative relations, public policy, and signature programs.

MIAMI, FL: Intec, which makes video game accessories, has hired Santa Monica-based Pacific Media Partners to manage PR efforts for its new wireless products in 2004 and to handle all corporate PR for the company.

MONROVIA, CA and SAN FRANCISCO: SeeBeyond and Cloudmark have both selected Blanc & Otus as their AOR. SeeBeyond develops integration software that allows companies to transfer data and information between different applications. Cloudmark produces spam-filtering software.

SAN FRANCISCO: OutCast Communications has added new clients and staff to the agency. The new clients are security company Fortify Software and venture capital firm Garnett Helfrich Capital. Joining OutCast as a VP is Dave Reddy, who came from Bite Communications, and Tim Smith joins as senior strategist of creative services. Smith was previously director of marketing at TeaLeaf Technology.

SACRAMENTO, CA: Perry Communications Group has promoted Elaine Linn to VP. She will oversee strategic planning and project implementation, as well as new business development.

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