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

Vaccine could ship in days; COVID-19 can’t stop Santa; Georgia affirms Biden; Current Global CEO talks IPG Dxtra; DOJ investigates Penske Media deal.

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

Pharma giant Pfizer and partner BioNTech will ask for emergency approval of a COVID-19 vaccine today. The New York Post reports that on Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said if approved, the first doses would be distributed immediately. "We will ship millions of doses of vaccine within 24 hours of FDA approval. So my message is hope and help are on the way," Azar said in a White House coronavirus task force briefing.

Even COVID-19 can't stop Santa and the U.S. mail. The U.S. Postal Service's Operation Santa campaign is celebrating its 108th year by encouraging nationwide participation amid the pandemic. Operation Santa was launched in 1912 to help less fortunate children enjoy opening presents and creating holiday memories.

Georgia's hand count of presidential ballots has affirmed Joe Biden's win over President Donald Trump in the state by roughly 12,000 votes, according to the secretary of state's office. As a result, the Associated Press declared Biden the winner Thursday of Georgia's 16 Electoral College votes. (Associated Press) On Friday, Biden turned 78 and when sworn in will become the oldest US president ever, eclipsing Ronald Reagan who finished his last term when he was 77 years and 349 days old. (Associated Press)

The CEO of Current Global, Virginia Devlin talked about how her agency changed during the COVID-19 pandemic on our podcast this week with editors Steve Barrett and Frank Washkuch. She also discussed being a part of IPG Dxtra, who might become the public face of the Biden administration, Catherine Hernandez-Blades' exit from Aflac, the Department of Health and Human Services' $250 million "defeat despair" campaign, how brands should use Fleets, and more.

The Department of Justice is investigating Penske Media's proposed purchase of The Hollywood Reporter. According to the New York Post, the DOJ has begun a formal antitrust investigation of the deal that, if successful, would give Penske control of three of the four major Hollywood trade publications and also music trades Billboard and Vibe. Sources told the Post that DOJ officials have been talking to ad agencies and talent agencies that represent actors and musicians as part of its query.

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