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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Dec. 10, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 49 (download PDF version)

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NEWS OF PR FIRMS ________________


Otis and Joanna Wragg are retiring from their Miami PR firm, turning management over to Ray Casas.

A private reception is penciled in for Dec. 12 to mark the event.

Ray Casas, top, with Otis and Joanna Wragg

Otis, 72, was managing editor of the Miami News before launching the PR firm in 1991. Joanna, 70, was associate editor of the Miami Herald.

Prior to W&R, Casas worked for 13 years at Hank Meyer Associates and as a reporter for United Press International, San Diego Evening Tribune and The Chicago Reporter. He plans to maintain the W&C name because “there’s value in the brand,” according to a report in the Miami Herald.

The Wraggs plan to travel and spend time with their grandchildren.

W&C has represented Florida Power & Light, United States Sugar Corp., Archdiocese of Miami, American Red Cross, and American Express Bank.


Emanate, the mid-size spinoff of Ketchum, has opened a Boston outpost as it absorbs April acquisition Topaz Partners.

The firm, which has New England clients like Fairchild Semiconductor and Enservio, tapped Topaz founder Tony Sapienza to head the Boston outpost as managing director. Topaz, founded in 2002, was based in Woburn, Mass.

The operation is based at 290 Congress Street in Boston’s Innovation District.

Sapienza said the rapid growth of new tech products and services in the Boston area will be a good fit with Emanate’s goal to help clients “quickly and efficiently” get results. Emanate’s roster includes Bank of America, Philips, Hilton Garden Inn and KFC.

Ketchum and Emanate are part of Omnicom. Kim Sample heads Emanate


Loretta Ahmed, a non-executive director on Grayling's board of directors, is slated to take over as CEO for the firm's Middle East region in April 2013, as the Huntsworth unit looks to the region for growth.

Guy Taylor, currently CEO for the region, is returning home to the U.K. after 22 years in the Mideast. He co-founded Dubai-based Momentum in 2002, later acquired by Grayling. He will move to an international advisory role at Grayling.

Ahmed will be based in Dubai. She is a former CEO of Grayling’s U.K. operations and has been with the company since 1994.

NEW ACCOUNTS __________________

New York Area

Coyne PR, Parsippany, N.J./Skinnygirl Cocktails, low-calorie line of ready-to-serve cocktails from Beam Inc., to head development, implementation and ongoing evaluation of a fully integrated, brand-centric PR campaign. Work includes campaign planning and management, national and grassroots program execution, media relations, new product launches, event support, sponsorship/partnership evaluation, among other tasks.

Weber Shandwick, New York/McCormick & Company, for PR following a consolidation of its corporate and consumer PR work, including the McCormick masterbrand, Zatarain’s, Lawry’s, Grill Mates and others. The firm has worked with McCormick since 2007.

Laundry Service, New York/Big M, specialty retailer for women’s fashions, as digital AOR for its two brands, Mandee and Annie sez. LS is the social media agency of Middleberg Communications. Scope includes paid, owned and earned media, community management, video production, content marketing, mobile marketing including email and SMS, website redesign, social media and display advertising, blogger outreach and the development of influencer marketing programs.

Simone Smalls PR, New York/ R&B singer Avant, hip-hop duo dead prez, and singer/songwriter Melody Federer, for PR. Avant releases "Face the Music" in February 2013 on Capitol/EMI-distributed label Mo-B.

5W PR, New York/Absorption Pharmaceuticals, maker of Promescent, FDA-approved topical use treatment for premature ejaculation, for a multi-tiered media relations campaign.

Bullfrog & Baum, New York/Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE, slated for Feb. 21-24, 2013, and Lucy Restaurant & Bar, located at boutique hotel Bardessono in Napa Valley, Calif., for PR.


French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Nine-year NBA veteran Dahntay Jones of the Dallas Mavericks, as marketing, PR and endorsement agency of record. FWV handles partnership offers, as well as promotion of the Dahntay Jones Foundation, which provides academic support, mentorship and empowerment to underserved youth.

Warschawski, Baltimore/Reis Team, including former New Orleans Saints player Chris Reis and his father, Mike Reis, to develop and execute a marketing communications plan for their co-authored book, “Recovery of a Lifetime.” The book describes the effects of alcoholism and recovery, inspired by Chris’ success as a Super Bowl champion and Christian athlete.


JoTo PR, Tampa Bay, Fla./Michael Allan, fiction author, for PR. “Dark Side of Sunset Pointe” and “Flight of the Tarantula Hawk” are due to be released in 2012 and early 2013, respectively.

The Buzz Agency, Delray Beach, Fla./Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, for its holiday-weekend “Sweet Dreams” event; Digital Media Arts College (Boca Raton); The Mexican, new eatery in Boca Raton's Royal Palm Place; 11th Annual Boca Bacchanal, food and wine festival, and Snow Lizard Products, cases and chargers for Apple and other phones and tablets targeting active consumers.

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