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

Edelman dropping The Geo Group most read agency story; Ketchum named Agency of the Past 20 Years; Richard Edelman in Davos tops podcast list; Bloomberg campaign contractor employed prisoners; Lucasfilm makes slain student a Jedi.

The story of Edelman dropping private prison company The Geo Group as a client was the most read agency story of the past year. The second, was the piece on Andrew Garson being charged with fraud after working at MWWPR and WME-IMG. You can read the other eye-catching PRWeek agency stories here.

Ketchum was named Agency of the Past 20 Years at the PRWeek U.S. Awards earlier this year, underscoring an amazing record for the agency. In the two decades since the Oscars of the PR industry began, the Omnicom firm has won 55 honors.

The PR Week, our weekly podcast, has had an impressive series of guests over the years, but few are as central to the profession as Edelman CEO Richard Edelman, the guest on the most listened to podcast of 2019. You can read about and listen to the others, here.

Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg stopped working with a contractor that employs prisoners to make campaign calls. On Christmas Eve, The Intercept reported that his campaign had contracted with a call center company that uses inmates in Oklahoma. "We only learned about this when the reporter called us, but as soon as we discovered which vendor’s subcontractor had done this, we immediately ended our relationship with the company and the people who hired them," Bloomberg said in a statement. (Associated Press)

Lucasfilm has given a heroic North Carolina college student the title of Jedi in a recently released book tied to the film "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." Police say Riley Howell, a Star Wars fan, was killed protecting other students when a gunman opened fire on April 30 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus. In response, the fan relations team for Lucasfilm wrote a letter to Howell’s family; "Riley’s courage and selflessness brings out the Jedi in all of us. We hope that you may rejoice in his memory, and we join you in honoring his life and example. As a small tribute, our Story Group has incorporated a reimagining of Riley’s name as a character in the Star Wars galaxy... The Force will be with Riley, and all of you, always..." (Associated Press)

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