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U.S. Army Issues RFP for Iraq Communications


The U.S. Army is seeking to award a $2.5 million, four-month contract for “strategic communication, media monitoring, engagement, research, and Web development for the US Forces-Iraq (USF-I),” PRWeek reports.

Fulcra Worldwide has been handling the initiatives since 2003, says O’Dwyer’s.

Fulcra’s contract will expire on March 22nd of this year, and an Army document states that a lapse in service “would be severely detrimental to the Strategic Communications Division mission during the critical time period following Iraqi elections due to be held on March 7, 2010.”

Four Things Agencies Don’t Like About RFPs

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RFPs can be a major time suck. Every agency head or new business director knows that, so they try and choose carefully as to which RFPs they really put their “all” into, and which ones they decline to participate in.

Agency heads PRNewser has spoken to from the “hot shops” often like to boast that they don’t do open RFP “cattle calls,” as we called them in a recent post.

Nevertheless, they are often a necessary task in growing an agency.

Jennifer Modarelli, owner and principal of digital marketing agency White Horse, gives her top four disturbing RFP trends in an Advertising Age byline.

Basically they can be summed up in two points: getting invited to the pitch late is annoying, and not getting any feedback on why you didn’t win the business is more annoying. Read Modarelli’s full take here.

[Image via Flickr]

United Airlines PR RFP ‘In the Last Stages’


United Airlines issued a PR agency of record RFP this past October, and the company has yet to announce their final selection, although things seem to be getting close.

Robin Urbanski, Media Relations Manager at United Airlines told PRNewser this week, “We are in the last stages of review with some finalists.”

As we speculated earlier, given the company is headquartered in Chicago, it is feasible they would want an agency with a strong local presence, such as Ogilvy PR, Ketchum, Edelman or Golin Harris.

Several agencies we contacted declined to comment as to not affect their standing with the company.

Yahoo B2B PR Agency Selection Coming ‘Early Next Year’


As we previously reported, Yahoo has already awarded two out of the three PR contracts it put up for review earlier this year. Evolve24 won the metrics and measurement account and a combined team from Porter Novelli and Voce Communications won the seven-figure consumer PR account.

That leaves B2B still left to be awarded, which is down to four agencies.

The company had hoped to have all PR agencies in place by the holiday break, but now Yahoo SVP of global communications Eric Brown tells us the decision will come, “early next year.” Stay tuned…

Glacéau PR Up For Review


First on PRNewser: Glacéau, makers of the popular VitaminWater line of beverages, has put its PR business up for review, PRNewser has learned. Last December, Glacéau hired Euro RSCG Worldwide PR as AOR for the “brand and science portion of its business,” PRWeek reported.

Both Glacéau and Euro RSCG declined to comment. PRNewser heard pitches were taking place this week. The Coca-Cola Company bought the company for $4.1 billion in May 2007.

Porter Novelli and Voce Communications Win Yahoo Consumer Business


We knew a final decision was coming soon, and PRNewser has now confirmed with Yahoo that the company has selected Porter Novelli Voce, a “unique joint venture” between Porter Novelli and Voce Communications as the company’s consumer communications agency of record.

Echoing comments of Yahoo SVP of global communications Eric Brown, Yahoo director of consumer communications Jaime Le told PRNewser Porter Novelli Voce will work on delivering, “more actual user stories, trend stories that highlight personalization and [Yahoo] being the center of people’s online lives, and more lifestyle and consumer ink and broadcast around our properties as well as the editors, experts, and personalities who shape our news, sports, finance, and entertainment destinations.”

Le said all agencies in the review were “hand selected” by Yahoo, and while it was a “difficult decision,” the company is “confident” in their choice. Brown confirmed with PRNewser that the budget for this account is in the mid-six figure range.

Last week PRNewser reported exclusively that Evolve24 won the metrics and measurement account. That leaves only the B2B account to be awarded, which is down to four firms. Yahoo hopes to have all of their new PR partners in place before the holiday break.

UPDATE: Le tells us the consumer business is a seven figure account on an annual basis. The runner up was Hill & Knowlton, but Weber Shandwick and OutCast Communications were “very close.” Also, a “small unknown,” Tunheim Partners was “very impressive.”

Hilton Hotels PR Up for Review


Exclusive: Hilton Hotels has put its PR agency of record duties up for review, a company spokesperson confirmed with PRNewser today. Cohn & Wolfe is Hilton Hotel’s current agency of record, and will be participating in the pitch.

The pitch is in the second round, with five agencies left. A company spokesperson cited a non-disclosure policy when asked which agencies are involved at this juncture. Hilton Hotels hopes to have a decision finalized within the end of the year.

The PR function will focus mostly on “media relations and brand reputation,” the spokesperson said. However, the PR agency selected will also work to position the recently re-branded Hilton Worldwide, which includes Hilton Hotels.

Who Will Drive Chrysler’s Interactive & Social?


Facing do-or-die survival, big three automaker Chrysler continues to shuffle the deck to find creative agencies. RFPs for long-term interactive work and an unnamed social media project went out to Sapient, AKQA, and Publicis Group’s Razorfish according to an AdAge story.

There’s no mention in the story of any more PR-focused digital agencies invited to join the RFP. Though Organic is defending, and is a division of Omnicom which includes Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, and Porter Novelli.

Chrysler doesn’t have a named PR agency of record and handles day-to-day work in house, with a number of firms pitching in for special projects.

Evolve24 Wins Yahoo Metrics Account, Consumer Down To Seven, B2B Down To Four


Exclusive: PRNewser caught up with Yahoo SVP of global communications Eric Brown today. The company is in the midst of several PR reviews. For the metrics and measurement account, Brown told us Evolve24 has won the account, based on their ability to mix automation and human analysis on a global scale. Brown said the company is already doing his 2009 benchmark report. Another important factor was years of experience with brands that have comparable media coverage to Yahoo, in the nature of volume and complexity, such as Mastercard, GE and Electronic Arts.

For the consumer business, incumbent Golin Harris was asked to participate but declined. “I think so highly of Golin,” Brown said. He also said that Yahoo “didn’t define what we wanted from consumer PR over the last year” and that this was “a good opportunity to start fresh.” The consumer pitch is down to seven firms, all of which have pitched over the last two days. One of the firms is the relatively under the radar agency Tunheim Partners out of Minneapolis. Other firms were from New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Brown said they analyzed all agencies based on, “who can combine strategy and execution who would be a good cultural fit.”


For the B2B business, the company has narrowed things down to four firms and hopes to have a decision before the holidays. One agency has already pitched, and Brown called their presentation “dazzling.” A lot of the B2B program centers around taking Yahoo’s message to “main street USA” to push the company’s local advertising options, as well as expanding advertiser and industry association relationships in new ways.

When asked what he hopes the new PR agencies will achieve, along with his internal team, Brown said first and foremost he wants people to say, “Yahoo is back.” He also wants to find the personal stories from Yahoo users that make that come to life. “We’ve been defined by other people,” he said, and he does not want that to continue.

Brown declined to comment on other agencies involved in the pitches. He did confirm the budgets for the consumer and B2B accounts are in the mid-six figure range and that the metrics business is “about a quarter of that.” Yahoo has an internal PR team of more than 40 people

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association Issues PR RFP


The Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association has issued an RFP for PR support with “hospitality and/or wine related experience and affiliations.”

View the RFP via their website. [h/t O'Dwyer's]