Five things PR pros need to know on Monday, 3.23.2015

Sen. Ted Cruz announces candidacy via Twitter; Starbucks ends part of Race Together campaign; Uber signs marketing deal in India.

1. GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced his candidacy for the White House on Twitter early Monday morning. The tweet includes a short promotional video. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul will officially enter the race on April 7, and Hilary Clinton is also expected to formally begin campaigning next month.

2. Starbucks is putting an end to a portion of its highly criticized Race Together campaign – baristas will no longer write "Race Together" on customers’ coffee cups. In a memo to employees, CEO Howard Schultz said the company planned on ending the cups element from the beginning, and it was only meant to serve as a catalyst for conversation.  

3. Lee Kuan Yew, the founding prime minister of Singapore, passed away on Monday at the age of 91, sparking a deluge of tributes from government leaders around the world. President Barack Obama called Lee a "true giant of history who will be remembered for generations to come as the father of modern Singapore and as one the great strategists of Asian affairs."

4. Uber has inked a marketing deal with India media corporation Bennett Coleman & Co., which publishes the Times of India newspaper. The strategic partnership will allow Uber to further expand in India – the company’s second largest market worldwide behind the US. Details of the alliance were not disclosed, but TechCrunch expects promotion across Times Of India’s offline, mobile, and digital media properties.

5. Facebook is expected to announce a number of changes to its Messenger app at the upcoming F8 Developer Conference on March 25. The updates to Messenger – 20 of which are anticipated – will help the social network compete with other messaging apps, such as WeChat and Line.

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