Nine things PR pros need to know Monday morning, 11.3.2014

Publicis buys Sapient for $3.7 billion; Cision's Peter Granat profiled; Experts predict big day for Republicans on Tuesday.

1. Publicis Groupe has agreed to acquire digital-focused commerce, marketing, and consulting firm Sapient for $3.7 billion, the holding company said Monday morning. Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of the French holding company, called Boston-based Sapient "a crown jewel."

Rival WPP chief Martin Sorrell told Business Insider the move looks like "the behavior of a jilted lover," rubbing salt in the wound of Publicis’ failed merger with Omnicom Group.

2. As daredevil Nik Wallenda successfully tightrope-walked from one Chicago skyscraper to another on Sunday night, brands mostly avoided the spectacle. One that felt adventurous was Jim Beam.

3. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board pointed to the "feathering" mechanism on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo as the likely reason for Friday’s crash that killed one pilot and left another badly injured. Edelman has helped Virgin Galactic with media outreach after the crash.

4. Since joining the company in 2003, Peter Granat has rapidly ascended Cision’s ranks to become CEO of the quickly expanding company, which has combined with Vocus and bought Visible Technologies and Gorkana this year. Read our profile of the Chicago-based Cision chief executive here.

5. Democrats and Republicans are making their final arguments to voters ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, with pollsters giving the edge to the GOP in key gubernatorial and Senate races.

A Republican sweep could also result in President Barack Obama shaking up his team.

6. Analysts are expecting huge third-quarter results from Alibaba Group when it reports them for the first time as a public company on Tuesday morning. Observers predicted a revenue increase of 45% to $2.6 billion, with net profit of $1.2 billion.

7. Tuesday is also a big day for Dell founder Michael Dell, who will detail his plans for the eponymous technology company in an event with stakeholders, one year after taking Austin, Texas-based Dell private, according to The New York Times.

8. When local authorities established a "no-fly zone" over Ferguson, Missouri, during days of unrest there in August, their goal was to keep the media out, not public safety, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.

9. The New York Times has profiled the Independent Journal Review, a hot new conservative news outlet that consultant Alex Castellanos says is "like if you crossed RedState with BuzzFeed." 

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