Rick French
Rick French

French|West|Vaughan chairman & CEO Rick French is elected chair of PBS North Carolina’s board of trustees, effective July 1. The board serves in an advisory role to the statewide public media organization and is its most vital link to the public. French, a national trustee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, is also a film and television producer, with four films slated for release later this year. Serving alongside French as vice chair will be Seth Bennett of Hornets Sports & Entertainment. Both were elected to two-year terms. “We will continue to produce and distribute programming that enlightens and entertains the citizens of NC and beyond,” said French. PBS North Carolina includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery and four over-the-air channels: PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS channel and the Explorer Channel.


Hawke Media acquires PRP Group, which specializes in education sector public relations, marketing intelligence and strategic communications. Initially focusing on Pre-K-12 education, PRP has expanded internationally over the last five years to include the higher education, workforce development, and home education sectors. The deal is intended to strengthen both parties' capabilities, ensuring elevated services and innovative solutions for clients from pre-K through workforce development. PRP’s staff of 12 will be retained, and its core values and commitment to clients will remain unchanged. “It’s truly a significant moment for Hawke Media as we venture into providing PR services for the first time ever,” said Hawke Media CEO and founder Erik Huberman, CEO and Founder, Hawke Media. “We are excited to support PRP Group’s continued growth and success within the Hawke Media framework.”


The Florida Public Relations Association has announced the keynote and speaker lineup for its Aug. 4-7 PR & Comms Summit. Walt Disney World Resort VP of communications Jacquee Wahler, will serve as the event’s Dillin Keynote Speaker, sharing insights on the integrated communications strategy behind the Oxford Economics study that found Disney generated $40 billion in economic impact across the state and more than a quarter of a million jobs in fiscal year 2022. Speakers will include Paramount/MTV Entertainment Studios director of communications Lauren Woulard and Microsoft chief storyteller Miri Rodriguez. The FPRA is the oldest public relations association in the United States, representing over 1,000 members statewide.