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