* Volkswagen has brought four PR agencies on board to help deal with its self-made emissions cheating scandal. Does VW need PR or do they just need to start behaving ethically? And are PR practitioners out of line for writing posts and commentaries about the crisis?
* Peeple is an app due for release in November that will let people rate other people the way you can rate a restaurant on Yelp. The public response can be charitably described as outraged while the developers insist it’s nothing but positive.
* Business Wire released a report on the convergence if PR and investor relations. Is this consolidation or just a preferable business practice?
* It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and marketers everywhere are turning to pink to promote their brands’ solidarity. Most of it is just “pinkwashing,” though. How can brands be serious about their commitment to this (and, for that matter, any) cause?
* Google is about to take the wraps off an open-source project to compete with Facebook’s Instant Articles (not to mention similar offerings from Snapchat and Apple). What does this mean for the news ecosystem in which PR plays such an important part?
* Shot is a Kickstarter project that aims to make it easy for people with iPhones to create Virtual Reality (VR) photos and videos. In the meantime, newsrooms everywhere are gearing up to embrace VR.
* Millennials are willing to pay for content — just not news.
* ScottTrade is the latest institution to have to react to a data security breach. Shouldn’t any company that keeps customer data on servers be prepared to address an unwelcome intrusion?
* PR StackBook version 2 is out, with 30 PR professionals contributing 48 practical guides to more than 250 digital tools we can use in content marketing, PR, and SEO.
* Tumblr now lets you hide your Tumblr blog from the web. Some say this is creating yet another walled garden that is antithetical to the underlying philosophy of the Internet.
* Facebook has revamped Notes to make it more of a blogging tool to compete with Medium and LinkedIn.
* Beloved comic strip Bloom County is back after nearly 25 years. It’s on the Web only, and creator Berkeley Breathed is using it to attack the one-or-two-spaces-at-the-end-of-a-sentence controversy.