Imad Lahad
Imad Lahad

APCO Worldwide has launched the “APCO AI Comms Lab,” an innovation center which utilizes artificial intelligence-driven solutions to build and protect the reputations of major global brands, governments and organizations. The lab originates from APCO’s Dubai office, with the innovation center integrated into other offices throughout the firm’s global network, and is led by Imad Lahad, senior director and co-lead of APCO’s global digital practice. It is intended to help clients fast-track AI solutions and technologies that use a data-driven scientific approach. “The lab is powered by communications and technology experts who are tapping into a demand for disruptive AI technologies,” said Lahad. “Currently, it is focusing on using AI to revolutionize the way we think about content optimization, storytelling, digital and social media optimization, multimedia and creative, crisis management, media monitoring and digital listening.”

Rick French
Rick French

French/West/Vaughan chairman and CEO Rick French has teamed up with Patrick Shanahan, founder and president of Denim Buffalo Films, to form Prix Productions. The company, which will be headquartered in downtown Raleigh with an office in Los Angeles, will focus on the acquisition, development and production of feature films and documentaries. French will serve as managing partner, focusing on IP acquisition, financing and production. Shanahan, based in L.A., will oversee writing and directing. The new imprint currently has two independent projects that are on fast-track production schedules: Clear Lake, a dramatic feature centered around Buddy Holly; and a documentary on the world hunger crisis and the United Nations’ goal of feeding the world by 2030. 

Spry

Mobile PR network Spry has launched a new version of its Spry Client app that will work on Android devices as well as on the iOS devices than ran the earlier version. Spry’s on-demand platform matches client projects with talent in the Spry workforce, a network of vetted writers, marketers and communicators. The algorithm considers experience, expertise and even personal passions to match up clients with suppliers. Spry CEO and founder Angie Schneider says that goal of the app is “to make high-quality content and public relations services accessible to as many businesses as possible."