Roll Call: Edelman, MWW, Blonde 2.0 and More

Edelman announced that Catherine Heath has joined the firm as executive vice president and head of strategic planning in the U.S. Western Region. In this role, Heath will oversee the strategy and planning function, with a focus on developing insights for a broad range of clients across various categories. Heath will be based in Los Angeles, and will work across Edelman’s five other U.S. West Coast offices – San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Portland and Sacramento.

Prior to joining Edelman, Heath was the head of strategy and planning for the U.S. West Coast at digital advertising agency HUGE, where she was responsible for overseeing the cross-functional strategy department and fostering thought leadership for clients. Prior to HUGE, Heath served as SVP global planning director on Microsoft at McCann Worldgroup; the chief strategy officer for creative shop Modernista! in Boston; worldwide group planning director for TBWA/CHIAT/DAY; and the executive strategy director for M&C Saatchi in her native country, Australia. (Release)

MWW hired Kristen Sharkey as senior vice president and East Coast technology practice lead. With more than 17 years of experience, Sharkey rounds out MWW’s technology practice executive team with strength in enterprise, consumer, financial, ad/media and health technology verticals.

In her new role, Sharkey will oversee MWW’s East Coast team and operations and will work to manage and develop the firm’s rapidly growing U.S. technology practice. Sharkey joins MWW from Makovsky, where she served as the executive vice president and technology practice lead overseeing a diverse group of clients in the areas of enterprise technology, mobility, ad-tech, business services and health technology. (Release)

Following eight years of operations in Israel, PR firm Blonde 2.0 is expanding to the US. The US office will officially open in Boston in January 2015 and will focus on providing services to startups and technology focused companies in the US.

Blonde 2.0 specializes in handling PR and marketing for startups, VCs and enterprises. Its clients include messaging platform Viber, Carlos Slim/Leonardo DiCaprio-backed photo sharing service Mobli, the singular messaging app Yo, and VCs such as Rhodium, Singulariteam and Shaked Ventures. (Website)

DDCworks has welcomed six new hires, including (but not limited to): Jeff Cronin, senior account manager of public relations. Cronin brings ten years of experience as a reporter and editor and a five-year background in the communication and public relations field to the new role, in which he will manage DDCworks’ financial and real estate accounts. (Release)

  • Kira Hadalski, a veteran of various San Francisco ad agencies, will be associate art director.
  • Ronnie Naples, previously a project manager for the Philadelphia Flyers creative team, will be creative projects manager.
  • Jackie Beramindi, who has worked for clients including the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia Business Journal, Siemens, Beyond.com, Zarett, and the Brownstein Group, will be copywriter.
  • Megan Young, who has seven years of experience navigating the creative marketing side of the healthcare industry, will be senior art director
  • Brittany Bayer will bring experience in media planning at FVM Strategic Communications and a background in print ad sales from Philadelphia Weekly to the media buyer and planner role.

Paws PR, a communications firm specializing in business development and strategic communications for pet product companies and animal protection groups, announced the appointment of Jenni Brand as Senior Director of Digital Strategy. Since 2009, Brand has been instrumental in leveraging current digital technologies to meet business objectives at Bastille Marketing; her projects included the direction of online strategy for the US Department of Health & Human Services governmental website Flu.gov during the H1N1 crisis. In the new role, Brand will lead online and digital strategy for the Paws PR. “It used to be an organization simply needed a well-placed story on TV or in a major newspaper to raise awareness of their brand or mission,” said Paws PR President and Founder Patricia E Jones. “That’s no longer the case as savvy organizations recognize that an integrated communications strategy with an emphasis on digital strategy is necessary to achieve success. Jenni’s background and passion for pets made her the perfect fit for our clients.”

WorldWise PR Affiliates announced that Paris-based Pascale Venot has become the thirteenth member of its global alliance of independent firms. The WorldWise network “cultivates brands across cultures” and serves a variety of industries, including luxury hospitality, real estate, retail, design, fashion, art, and professional services. Affiliates include Miami-based Kreps DeMaria, New York-based HWPR, Toronto-based Ascent Behave, Mexico City-based Avalos Asociados, London-based JV Public Relations, Delhi-based Inter-Corp, Hong Kong-based Petrie PR, Milan-based Guido Bernardi PR, Moscow-based IMC Agency, Munich-based Lueers/Partner Public Relations, São Paulo-based MD Assessoria E Comunicacão and Dubai-based Shamal Marketing Communications. The founding members of WorldWise — which  is an exclusive group that agencies must be invited to join — launched in the summer of 2014. The idea for the network was born from today’s need for global implementation of PR strategies. (Release)