ROTTERDAM—Reputation Institute (RI), the world’s foremost reputation research and advisory firm, has announced a significant commitment to the future of reputation research through seed funding to establish a dedicated Reputation Research Centre at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). Reputation Institute’s founder Charles Fombrun confirmed a $400,000 seed grant from RI to establish the Reputation Research Centre (RCC) at RSM. The grant will be supplemented by additional contributions that will enable RCC to open as the world’s premiere university-based research centre devoted to academic research on reputation-related topics. The grant was presented by Fombrun on behalf of RI to the President of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Pauline van der Meer Mohr.

LONDON—MoneySuperMarket, the UK's number one price comparison website, has appointed MHP Communications as its retained public affairs agency following a competitive pitch process. MHP's corporate affairs practice will provide UK political analysis, issues management and strategic support for the company across a range of stakeholder engagement programmes.

BRUSSELS—Cicero Group has been appointed to provide EU and UK legislative engagement and support to the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association. With the EU being the main source of legislation impacting the healthcare food industry, Cicero will provide the HFMA with support from both its UK and Brussels offices.

LONDON—Blue Diamond Almonds has appointed Zeno UK following a three-way pitch to handle ongoing public relations for Almond Breeze and its Snack Almonds range.

LONDON—Wendy Mitchell, former deputy CEO of the Charity Retail Association, has joined Weber Shandwick's public affairs team. Mitchell worked on public affairs strategy at the London Borough of Newham in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and as a councillor in Hackney until May 2014. The appointment comes as deputy head of public affairs, Tamora Langley assumes the role of acting head of public affairs.

MUNICH—German technology PR firm Schwartz Public Relations has added new clients: MVTec Software has chosen to work with Schwartz for media relations in Germany and communication with international trade media; Homejoy, founded in Silicon Valley, has selected Schwartz to support all communication in Germany; and Honeywell has chosen the firm to promote its wireless heating control system and help to establish heating as a topic of high relevance within the idea of a smart home.

LONDON—Threepipe has hired Sam Van Tilburgh as social media director, supported by account manager Justin Schwartz. Van Tilburgh started his own internet publishing company as a teenager in the 1990s, before spending nearly 10 years at Microsoft subsidiary Lionhead Studios, where he was responsible for global community, social media and video content campaigns.  He has also worked at advertising agency Wunderman and more recently as chief discovery officer at mobile tech start-up 22cans. Schwartz began his career in New York working for 360i as a social publicist.

LONDON—The Hunt, a community-powered mobile app designed to change the way that people shop online and backed by fashion icon Tyra Banks and actor Ashton Kutcher, has appointed Honcho PR to handle its launch PR campaign in the UK. Honcho co-founders Charlotte Priest and Amanda Slayton-Joslin will lead a team of social media and fashion specialists to help drive awareness and adoption of the app in the UK.  The key audience will be fashion-conscious consumers, especially female Millenials on mobile.

LONDON—Swing Patrol, the swing dance school that Deborah Meaden invested in on the first episode of the latest series of BBC's Dragons' Den has recruited Parker, Wayne & Kent Public Relations.