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Blattner Brunner Appoints PR Director

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ATLANTA Rob Merritt has joined Blattner Brunner as director of public relations, the shop said.

Merritt, 43, will manage the PR practice at the shop's headquarters in Pittsburgh and its offices in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. He will lead a team of 10 staffers, which the agency expects to double in the next 18 months.

He left Marc USA in Pittsburgh, where he was senior vice president and director of PR, to join the independent Blattner Brunner. He also has worked for eight years as chief operating officer of the PR department at Barkley, Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City, Mo., and was a public relations manager for The Coleman Co. for two years. He is a former media relations manager for Wichita State University and an anchor and reporter for a radio station in Wichita, Kan.

Merritt has worked with clients like Payless Shoesource, Lee Jeans, Sprint, Sonic Drive-Ins, Rite Aid, Citgo and Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals.

"Rob knows the value of a multi-disciplined approach and he is very comfortable in a multi-office environment," said Michael Brunner, the shop's CEO. "He has a diverse public relations background and a great command of his craft."