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

Trump picks spokesman as DNI; Bloomberg attacked in debates; Bloomberg spends millions on social media; The Saints fight PR email release; Stretchline's global PR review.

President Trump picked former spokesperson and current U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as his new director of national intelligence. Trump announced the pick via Twitter Wednesday night. Grenell was director of communications and public diplomacy for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration. According to LinkedIn, he was SVP of comms at healthcare company Davita and director of comms for the city of San Diego. A Trump loyalist, Grenell has promoted gay rights and is likely the first openly gay cabinet member. (The Hill)

It's February, but last night's debates felt like an August afternoon in Las Vegas for presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg as he and the other candidates prepared for Saturday's Nevada Democratic caucuses. Bloomberg was hit for his criminal justice record, comments on women, confidentiality agreements with women who have sued his company and his likeness — as a New York billionaire — to President Trump. (Wall Street Journal)

Separately, Bloomberg is spending millions on a social-media campaign before California's March 3 primary. His campaign has hired hundreds of people to post their support of him on personal social accounts and in texts to their friends. The campaign is, the Wall Street Journal reports, "a multimillion-dollar-a-month effort."

The New Orleans Saints go to court today to fight the release of emails about PR help the team gave a Roman Catholic archdiocese during a sexual abuse crisis. According to the Associated Press, the Saints claim their involvement was "limited to a team executive preparing church leaders for the publicity surrounding the credibly accused list." But lawyers for two dozen men suing the church say the emails reveal that team officials helped the archdiocese decide what priests were added to a list of "credibly accused" clergy members. The AP says the list may have seriously undercounted the number of abusers.

Elastics giant Stretchline has launched a global PR agency review. The business is the world's biggest manufacturer of elastic fabric products, also known as 'narrow fabrics.' A spokesperson told PRWeek that Stretchline is looking for a global strategic PR agency.

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