Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Thursday morning

Ackerman McQueen cuts ties with NRA; U.S. Department of Energy rebrands natural gas to "freedom gas."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Huntsworth has upped Annabelle Sandeman to global head of commercial strategy. Her promotion to the newly created role aligns with Huntsworth’s growth strategy, which is focused on global healthcare. Sandeman, who previously led Huntsworth Health’s medical and PR teams and worked within its creative agencies, will be working directly with Huntsworth Health and Huntsworth Communications’ leadership teams to introduce product offerings and access new markets and geographies, according to a release.

From one mountain to another. W2O aims to bolster its capabilities and scale with an investment from New Mountain Capital. The New York-based private equity firm is replacing W2O’s previous investor Mountaingate Capital. In 2018, W2O reported $177 million in revenue. Read the full story from PRWeek sister title MM&M.

"The NRA’s chaos led us to lose faith." That’s the reason the National Rifle Association’s communications firm Ackerman McQueen gave for ending its 38-year relationship with the group. "We have an opportunity to elevate our brand, communicate with a broader community of gun owners and press the advantage in the upcoming 2020 elections," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement. The NRA and Ackerman McQueen have been fighting a legal battle in the wake of accusations of financial impropriety brought by former NRA president Oliver North against organization leaders. The breakup could mean that NRATV’s future is in jeopardy

The U.S. Department of Energy is rebranding natural gas to "freedom gas." In a statement explaining why the Energy Department was approving expansion of exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, Energy Undersecretary Mark Menezes said, "Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America's allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy." Later in the statement, Steven Winberg, the Energy Department's assistant secretary for fossil energy, used the phrase "molecules of U.S. freedom."

Memes have made it to print. The New York Times published its own version of the "Distracted Boyfriend" meme on the front page of its Business section Wednesday, using the characters to explain Fiat Chrysler's possible merger with French automaker Renault. (Nissan is the jilted girlfriend, Fiat Chrysler is the new girl passing on the street and Renault as the distracted boyfriend.) Here is how Twitter users reacted.

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