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

Golin picks Paul Parton as group chief strategy officer; Walmart's CEO communicates about El Paso shooting on Instagram.

New from PRWeek this morning: Golin has named Paul Parton to the newly created role of group chief strategy officer. Reporting to Golin co-CEO Matt Neale, Parton oversees strategic operations for Interpublic Group firms Golin, Virgo Health and The Brooklyn Brothers. Parton has been leading Brooklyn Brothers, the creative shop he co-founded in 2005, as president since Golin acquired it in 2016. 

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is using Instagram to talk about the El Paso shooting. On Tuesday night, McMillon penned a 377-word post explaining that the retailer will be  "thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and will act in a way that reflects our best values and ideals, focused on the needs of our customers, associates and communities." His Instagram post comes after Walmart said it is not banning gun sales, following a mass shooting left 22 people dead at one of its stores in Texas. Walmart is facing pressure to end the sale of firearms altogether and one staffer urged an employee walkout over gun sales, but Walmart retaliated.

Trump is tweeting about Mark Penn. On Tuesday, Penn, managing partner of the Stagwell Group and CEO of MDC Partners, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that The New York Times should have never changed its headline on a story about President Donald Trump’s gun violence speech this week after backlash. "This is an astounding development in journalism. I’ve never seen it happen before, I’ve just never seen anything like this. Is that journalism today? I don’t think so," said Penn. In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Trump quoted Penn, a former Burson-Marsteller CEO, Microsoft executive, top pollster, counselor to President Bill Clinton and jettisoned former aide to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

RetailMeNot has a new corporate communications AOR. Since early July, Shift Communications has been working with RetailMeNot, a mobile app and coupon website that provides users with online and in-store codes, cash-back offers and gift cards for retailers, brands, restaurants and pharmacies. 

Direct-to-consumer brands are finding creative ways to connect. Cutting out the middleman by going straight to consumers in increasingly customized and purposeful ways is raising awareness for many DTC brands. Check out the full feature by PRWeek intern Sabrina Sanchez here.

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