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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Oct. 29, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 43 (download PDF version)

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NEWS OF SERVICES _______________


Judy Neer has been named president and CEO of Boston-based agency search firm Pile and Company, taking the reins from co-founder Rick Hooker.

Hooker slides into a chairman role and will handle strategic director and financial management.

Neer, a 15-year veteran of the company, continues to oversee Pile and its divisions, Communications Collaborative and In-Houser Agency Forum, working directly with clients, the firm said.


The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas is launching a new bachelor of arts degree this fall in PR and strategic communications, part of its Division of Communication Studies.

The new degree is interdisciplinary with courses from the Meadows School’s divisions of advertising and journalism as well as communication studies.

Ben Voth, chair of the division, noted modern PR pros must be versed in media relations, advertising, journalism, strategic planning, fostering relationships and other disciplines. “Students have to be able to create and manage multi-media communication messages to support an organization’s mission, values and brand,” she said. “We designed the new degree to meet these needs.”

SMU has added two new faculty members for the program: associate professor Sandra Duhé, who oversees the new degree, and assist. Professor Rita Linjuan Men, both Ph.Ds.

Duhé was head of the PR program at the University of Louisiana and associate dean of its College of Liberal Arts. She was a financial analyst for Conoco and public affairs manager for Conoco, Mobil and ExxonMobil, handling media relations, community outreach, brand management and crisis response.


She has a Ph.D. in political economy from the Univ.of Texas at Dallas.

Men taught strategic communications at the Univ.of Miami in Florida for two years after working internationally with L’Oreal and Ketchum. She has a Ph.D. in strategic communication from the Univ. of Miami.

Participation in a student-run consulting firm,debate opportunities, venues for in political arenas in Washington, D.C., internships, both locally and internationally, and a chapter of PR Society’s student organization are among offerings around the PR program.


SUNY Plattsburgh has tapped New York digital marketing agency Conversation for a campaign to increase student applications for the 2012-2013 school year, following a successful push that increased applications last year.

“Similar to the campaign last year, we are focusing heavily on the personal interests and identity of students,” said Kristen Link, director of client services at Conversation.

Online search tactics, digital ads and rich media displays, as well as new emphasis on online streaming radio are included in the bid.

PEOPLE __________________



Lisa Fels, A/S, Environics Communications, to Brightline Strategies, Alexandria, Va., as VP forstrategic comms. and marketing. Shewas previously manager of media relations at Verizon and director at The Glover Park Group. Earlier stints included Porter Novelli in New York and Edelman in D.C. and New York.

Liana Lopez, who ran her own shop, Image HouseBrands, to Tampa Bay & Company, the tourism and economic development entity for the city, as directorof communications. She was formerly director ofpublic affairs for the city of Tampa.

Meredith Pruden, founder and CEO, MeritocracyCreative, to tech holding company East CoastDiversified Corp., Atlanta, as senior communication and media relations manager. ECDC is preparing tolaunch StudentConnect, a student safety technology,and Vir2o, a social engagement platform currently in beta testing.

Mark Sutherland, who led corporate social mediaefforts for Monsanto, to Elasticity, St. Louis, as chief communications officer. He was manager of publicaffairs for Allsup, PR director for JMM andmedia/gov’t relations director at RAD, all St. Louis-area companies.

Christina Baez to Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications, Miami, as an A/E handling Baptist Health International, Montpelier Plantation & Beachand Elite Island Resorts accounts, among other clients.

Dagny Akeyson, comms. and social media aide to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and CityController Wendy Greuel, to Fiona Hutton &Associates, Los Angeless, as an A/E.

Kaylynn Arnold, previously with JWT Action and BigRed Rooster, and Justin Brown, banker and research analyst at Jx4, to Innis Maggiore, Canton, Ohio, as art director and A/C, respectively.


Carol Cox to senior VP, external affairs and corporate comms., Life Technologies Corp., Carlsbad, Calif.She was VP of investor relations since December.

Andy Weitz, U.S. chief operating officer, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, to co-chair of the firm’sglobal corporate advisory practice, alongside vicechair Andrew Laurence. Weitz is initially focused on developing corporate services for clients in the U.S.region, while Laurence handles international markets.

Harry Hussain to head Weber Shandwick’s Edinburgh, Scotland, office as director. He joined the firm in 2010 from Lloyds Banking Group.


Suzanne Horsley, advertising and PR professor at theUniversity of Alabama, was recognized as a“Champion of Change” at the White House last month for her voluntary PR work for the AmericanRed Cross. In 2011 her PR class created “Dollar for the Next Disaster,” which resulted in a $2,000 donation to the local Red Cross chapter ahead of devastating tornadoes which hit Alabama the next day.

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