WPP UNPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Lindsay Pattison, chief transformation officer, WPP

WPP has formed a collaboration with UN Women, which works to develop and uphold standards and create an environment in which women and girls can exercise their human rights and live up to their full potential. WPP’s commitment includes global, pro-bono media support brokered by GroupM and creative services from WPP agencies to help positively impact the lives of girls and women. WPP has already secured over $1 million in pro-bono media placements and more than $6 million in earned media secured for UN Women through multiple campaigns. “Our work with WPP comes at the perfect time, as unprecedented numbers of women are mobilizing worldwide on equality issues, ranging from ending violence and sexual harassment to calling for equal pay. This collaboration brings us both powerful imagination and industry muscle,” said UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Cecelia Prewett
Cecelia Prewett

SKDKnickerbocker has launched a litigation, regulation and investigation practice. The practice is intended to deliver communications strategies that present legal and policy positions in a digestible manner to key audiences, as well as shape the narrative around those issues. Cecelia Prewett, managing director in SKDK’s D.C. public affairs practice, spearheaded the formation of the practice area. Prewett has led SKDK’s work for such clients as L’Oréal USA, LifeLock and Herbalife. “Our unique perspective comes from having been on the inside of the regulatory agencies and federal departments, combined with our experience on the outside, crafting the narrative and strategy needed to educate and persuade the public,” Prewett said. SKDK is a member of The Stagwell Group.

Cathy Hackl
Cathy Hackl

Atlanta-based Media Frenzy Global is working with Cathy Hackl, an expert in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality on what is being termed the world’s first holographic press release.  The technology made its premiere at the Public Relations Society of America’s 2018 International Conference. It allows brands to showcase speakers and products as interactive, three-dimensional holograms, distributed through augmented reality on Facebook and Instagram (through Facebook’s Spark AR camera effects platform) and Snapchat. Consumers can travel around the 3-D hologram, connecting through linked access points, and hearing accompanying audio. Hackl says that “by using volumetric video on Facebook and Snapchat, users won’t need to download an app or visit a separate website to experience holographic video.” The technology will be piloted in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City, with further rollouts to be announced.

Stephen Mackey
Stephen Mackey

W2 Communications has acquired Mesh Omnimedia, a creative agency based in Northern Virginia. As part of the acquisition, Mesh Omnimedia founder and creative director Stephen Mackey joins W2 as chief creative officer. The acquisition allows W2 to add creative design and digital marketing services—including video production, search engine optimization and website development—to its offerings. While W2 will remain focused on technology clients, it will now expand into new industries including consumer, government, finance, retail, associations and other verticals.

Swyft

Manzer Communications is changing its name to Swyft. The name change reflects the firm’s expansion to include such services as media relations and lead management, as well as public relations. Three years ago the firm began building a global network of partner agencies that share its focus on the B2B technology sector. The network, now called First PR Alliance, has affiliates in North America, South America and Europe. Swyft is also a founding member of the Global Fintech PR Network, an international network of agencies that specialize in Fintech PR.