Udowitz, Drake
PR vets Steve Drake and Robert Udowitz have formed RFP Associates in the D.C. area to counsel clients through searches for PR agencies.

The company is pitched as an “honest broker” between client and agency because, the principals say, “the process of searching for, selecting and hiring an agency is in need of repair.”

RFPA’s services include consulting, development of an RFP, agency search, including pre-screening, management of the RFP and presentations, and consultation on the selection.

Udowitz, an independent PR consultant and former director of communications at the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association, said clients often find the RFP process confusing, tedious and time consuming, while agencies are tired of jumping through hoops and waiting for answers to inquiries about RFPs.

A typical search process can take between 100 and 200 hours, according to Drake, who likened the ordeal to hiring several PR executives at once. Drake has also been an independent PR consultant and is a former senior VP and partner at Fleishman-Hillard, in addition to VP/comms. at Laureate Education.

Helen Sullivan, who runs InHouse Communications and was a VP at Arnold Worldwide, is an associate at RFPA, which is online at rfpassociates.net.