Six things for PR pros to know Thursday morning, 10.2.2014

Twitter invests $10 million in MIT to study the future of social; President Obama seeks to gain trust from Latino voters; PepsiCo plans launch of all-natural soda

1. Twitter has invested $10 million in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study how people use social media and how messages are shared online. The Twitter-backed Laboratory of Social Machines will try to figure out what people do and say on social media and how it has an impact on individual behaviors.

2. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a number of cities across the country, such as Dallas and San Francisco, are gearing up to honor the month by kicking off awareness campaigns, some of which focus on educating athletes. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also keeping the public updated on Twitter.

3. President Barack Obama will address Hispanic-American lawmakers on Thursday in an effort to reassure them that he is on their side and that Latino voters can trust him going forward. The president is expected to address how he plans on fixing the US immigration system in today’s speech.

4. PepsiCo will soon launch a new soda made with no artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup. The Pepsi True product, made with real sugar and natural sweetener stevia, will directly compete with Coca-Cola Life, an all-natural soft drink that debuted in the US in August. Pepsi True will be exclusively available on Amazon in October.

5. Facebook apologized to members of the LGBT community on Wednesday for suspending the accounts of many drag queens because they were not using their legal names. Christopher Cox, the social network’s chief product officer, wrote in a post that the company apologizes for "the hardship that we’ve put [such users] through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks."

6. IBM has teamed up with New York City's economic development officials to launch Digital.NYC, an online platform for technology startups, entrepreneurs, and firms. The site will list information about tech businesses, as well as job openings, events, and information on funding.

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