Seven things PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 1.8.2015

Publicis and Havas pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo; J&J realigns global in-house comms; CES Wednesday wrap-up.

1. Paris-based holding companies Publicis Groupe and Havas took part in memorials for the 12 people slain in Wednesday’s terrorist attack at French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. Vigils took place across Paris on Wednesday night and at US locations such as the Newseum in Washington, DC, as cartoonists around the world paid tribute. The manhunt for two suspects in the attack continued Thursday morning.

2. Johnson & Johnson has realigned its global in-house communications team to report to CCO Maggie FitzPatrick. Previously, comms leaders in each region were assigned to an executive in their local business unit. J&J has about 400 communications pros worldwide.

3. Here’s what you missed at CES on Wednesday: drones and robots finally got some attention, while optimism about technology spending in 2015 returned. In terms of creating chatter, Text100 said Samsung, LG, and Sony built the loudest buzz this week.

4. Phylicia Rashad told ABC News on Wednesday night that she was misquoted when she bluntly dismissed allegations of rape and sexual impropriety against her former TV husband, Bill Cosby. Rashad, who portrayed Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, had been quoted as saying, "Forget these women," referring to Cosby’s accusers.

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5. The University of Alabama at Birmingham brought on Direct Communications after students and alumni were less than happy about the college’s early December announcement that it was dropping several athletic programs, most notably football. The school’s president has also begun several on-campus initiatives.

6. New Jersey-based law firm Bevan, Mosca, Giuditta, & Zarillo said Wednesday that it is launching a communications firm with offices in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and New York. The shop will provide strategic comms and public affairs counsel.

7. Finally, staffers at San Diego’s Vertical PR + Marketing got an unwanted surprise on Tuesday when they found a 5-foot-6-inch boa constrictor emerging from an office toilet. Animal control removed the reptile after about an hour and a half. 

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