UNIVERSITY ENGAGES F-H FOR CRISIS
St. Louis University's board of trustees has engaged Fleishman-Hillard for crisis counsel as the board clashes with faculty members and students critical of university president Lawrence Biondi.
Tensions flared last weekend after a letter from board president Thomas Brouster was posted on a pro-faculty Facebook page Dec. 1, noting a task force set up by the trustees hired F-H in early November and is limiting communications on the firm's advice.
F-H president Dave Senay is an alumnus.
Brouster said administrators are acting on a commitment to keep discussions private and, with the advice of F-H, to be "cautious in how we have chosen to respond to the recent news reports." He designated assistant VP for comms. Clayton Berry as the university's sole media spokesman has said F-H recommends that trustees and the board not respond to any letters, emails and phone calls from media, faculty and students.
Brouster said a full discussion will take place at the board's Dec. 15 meeting.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Dec. 3 that the letter caused "immediate outrage among faculty and students" that have been critical of the administration's communications during the tussle.
The letter was published a day after the board and faculty senate released a joint statement pledging "more frequent and effective communication."
REGAN SCOOPS UP FRIENDLY’S
Boston's Regan Communications Group has scooped up PR duties for the Friendly's ice cream parlor chain, which emerged from Chapter 11 earlier this year.
The New England institution, which was founded in 1935, closed more than 60 of its 424 units in an effort to mount its financial comeback.
MWW Group had handled bankruptcy-related duties for Friendly's, a property of Sun Capital.
George Regan's firm will provide overall brand building, communications strategy and PR support for Friendly's, a company that has annual revenues in the $550M range.
Joanna Roffo, head of Regan's hospitality unit, is in charge of that effort.
WAGGED EXEC TO LEAD FINN U.K. PUSH
Waggener Edstrom' s London tech practice head, Chantal Bowman-Boyles, is moving to Finn Partners to head the firm's new U.K. office, slated to open in the first quarter of 2013.
Bowman-Boyles exits WaggEd after a year, chalking up Panasonic Mobile as a key win during her tenure. She was previously in-house at BT and worked on the agency side at Burson-Marsteller, GolinHarris and Weber Group.
FP founding partner Peter Finn said the firm planned from its outset in 2011 to grow internationally. "I'm excited that we've hired Chantal and will have our London presence firmly established early next year," he said.
Finn said the outpost will handle global clients, as well as regional and local assignments.