Six things PR pros need to know on Monday morning, 2.9.2015

Beck, Sam Smith, Pharrell's new hat win big at Grammys; BuzzFeed scores Obama interview; Another Brian Williams helicopter story under the microscope.

Stevie Wonder, Miley Cyrus, and Dave Grohl. Image via the Grammy Awards' Facebook page
Stevie Wonder, Miley Cyrus, and Dave Grohl. Image via the Grammy Awards' Facebook page

1. Beck and Sam Smith were among the big winners at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. Kanye West (somewhat jokingly) stormed the stage again, while Pharrell’s new hat set off Twitter. Pizza Hut and Papa John’s were two of the brands tweeting throughout the awards show.

2. To the dismay of business travelers, the Northeastern US is dealing with a winter storm for the third straight Monday, with Boston again expected to get the worst of it. More than 1,600 flights have been canceled.

3. Brian Williams canceled a Thursday appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, a venue where he told the now-infamous embellished helicopter story in 2013. The NBC Nightly News anchor is also facing scrutiny for another story he told in 2007 about riding in a helicopter in a different war zone. Reports have emerged that the NBC News brass was warned about Williams’ penchant for inflating his resume, as well.

4. BuzzFeed has scored an interview with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, fresh off his lengthy sit-down with Vox. While it’s the latest in a string of unconventional media appearances by the nation’s chief executive, daring media relations could become more normal during the 2016 race, experts told PRWeek last week.

5. Documents leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists showed that HSBC helped a range of global clients avoid paying $100 billion in taxes through its Swiss banking unit. "We acknowledge and are accountable for past compliance and control failures," the bank told Reuters on Sunday.

6. Chipotle’s Twitter account was hacked early Sunday morning to spew racist language, with a Nazi emblem replacing the company’s logo. The chain apologized for the incident. 

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