Nine things for PR pros to know Friday morning

Vigils planned for day of Michael Brown funeral; Concerns about iPhone 6 supply chain, Obama feels heat for golfing right after Foley statement; #IceBucketChallenge ALS donations hit $41 million.

1. Vigils and protests are planned around the country on Monday, the day of the funeral for Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old African-American shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, more than a week ago. As protests against local authorities have dwindled in the St. Louis suburb, the Missouri National Guard has begun pulling out of the city. Meanwhile, a Pew Research poll found that of the major cable news networks, MSNBC devoted the most prime-time coverage to the unrest in Ferguson, followed by CNN and Fox News, respectively.


2. Apple suppliers are rushing to get enough screens ready for the debut of the iPhone 6, after a snag with one of its components held up production, according to Reuters. The latest version of the iPhone, widely expected to have a larger screen than its predecessors, could launch as soon as next month.

3. More than $41 million: That’s how much the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, commonly known as Lou Gherig’s Disease, has raised to this point. But is the initiative just another example of narcissism or slacktivism? It doesn’t matter, one healthcare communications expert told PRWeek on Thursday.


4. The vacationing President Barack Obama is facing criticism for golfing moments after delivering his statement on the death of James Foley on Wednesday. Republican strategist Karl Rove said on Fox News that staffers should have been more careful to schedule a round for the president at a different time.


5. Home Depot has promoted its US retail president, Craig Menear, to CEO. He will replace Frank Blake in the role in about two months. Blake had served as the home-improvement chain’s chief executive since 2007.


6. Russia is rebuilding its state news network across Europe. The staff of state news agency Rossiya Segodnya in Germany will grow from two to 30 by next year, while the Russian government has approved a $39 million budget for another network’s operations in France.

7. Federal prosecutors are looking into whether lawyers for General Motors hid evidence from regulators about faulty ignition switches on Chevrolet Cobalts and other models, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday night.

8. The Pentagon is sending a clear message that it considers ISIS a threat. On Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the group is "as sophisticated and well-funded as any organization we’ve seen."

9. LinkedIn products and user experience SVP Deep Nishar said Thursday that he is stepping down from the role. Naturally, he did so via an update on his LinkedIn profile. 

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