The 7 stories PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 10.1.2015

New leadership at Spong; United CEO apologizes for merger troubles; NASA's marketing revival; Trump social media adviser profiled; 'Call of Duty' stunt criticized; Reports: Dorsey picked for Twitter CEO job.

The 7 stories PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 10.1.2015

Leadership change at Spong
Spong has promoted Julie Batliner to president as founder Doug Spong moves to the president emeritus role, in which he will continue to work with clients. Batliner is a 10-year Spong veteran who previously served as the agency’s MD.

United CEO: Continental merger ‘rocky’
New United Continental Holdings CEO Oscar Munoz said in his first interview that the airline’s integration with former rival Continental has not gone as smoothly as planned. "We just have to do that public mea culpa… The experience of our customers has not been what we want it to be," he told The Wall Street Journal. His predecessor, the company’s EVP of comms and government affairs, and its SVP of corporate and government affairs stepped down last month.

Water on Mars is the boost NASA needs
NASA’s marketing and publicity machine has gone into high gear after scientists found flowing water on the Red Planet. It’s also getting a hand from the studio behind upcoming Matt Damon film The Martian, which has toasted the announcement.

Donald Trump’s social media guru
Politico puts the spotlight on Justin McConney, Donald Trump’s 29-year-old social media adviser, who is getting praise from both sides of the aisle. Former Obama comms adviser Dan Pfieffer recently tweeted that Trump is "way better at the Internet than anyone else in the GOP."

Call of Duty stunt called insensitive
The official Twitter account of Call of Duty is under fire for a too-lifelike series of broadcasts depicting a terrorist attack, quarantine zone, and martial law in Singapore. The account has nearly 3 million followers.

Re/code: Twitter close to naming Dorsey CEO
Twitter could drop the "interim" from Jack Dorsey’s title as soon as today, according to Re/code, but his job satisfying investors and growing revenue won’t be easy. BuzzFeed takes a look at Twitter’s new Big Apple office.

Major NYPD reforms
The New York Police Department is planning major reforms that would require officers to document all instances of the use of force. The department will also build out a tracking system to record all such incidents.

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