Eight things PR pros need to know on Wednesday morning, 1.7.2015

Eleven dead after "terrorist" shooting at French satirical magazine; Nevada assigns lucrative integrated account to Fahlgren Mortine; Forest Service cancels eight-figure rebranding initiative; Cohn & Wolfe handles PR for Pandora as part of WPP alliance.

1. Leading Wednesday morning’s news cycle: 11 people have died after a shooting at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Eyewitnesses have described "black-hooded" men with automatic weapons. French President Francois Hollande quickly described the event as a "terrorist attack."

2. Nevada’s tourism division has assigned Fahlgren Mortine a major integrated marketing assignment worth more than $20 million over a two-year-plus period. The work includes PR and social, creative, and media planning and buying.

3. Phylicia Rashad, who portrayed Bill Cosby’s TV wife Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, defended the comedian’s reputation on Tuesday against allegations of sexual impropriety. She said the accusations are part of an orchestrated smear campaign.

4. The US Forest Service has pulled the plug on a planned five-year, $10 million rebranding campaign after objections by employees. No agency bids were accepted as part of the review process.

5. Pandora — the jewelry giant, not the online music-streaming service — has brought on a team of WPP agencies for its integrated marketing needs. Cohn & Wolfe is handling PR as part of the new assignment, working with creative shop Grey and media agency Maxus.

6. Technology giant Intel is planning to spend $300 million on a diversity initiative to boost the hiring of women and minorities at the company by 2020. "It’s time to step up and do more," said CEO Brian Krzanich.

7. Look for three Super Bowl ads next month from Anheuser-Busch focused on winning over 20-somethings who might be more interested in craft beer. The spots, totaling three and a half minutes, will include clydesdales and a continuation of its Whatever campaign.

8. Highlights from the International Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday: driverless cars, concerns about the Internet and wearable devices getting too connected, and Apple again dominating the CES news cycle despite not bothering to show up.

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