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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Sept. 12, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 35 (download PDF version)

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has awarded multiyear, open-ended PR contracts to five agencies, following an eight-month RFP process.


Nine firms pitched for the lucrative pacts.

Fleishman-Hillard was chosen to join incumbents Ketchum, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Porter Novelli and Weber Shandwick as the large division of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services’ go-to firms for PR work for up to seven years.

The CMS, as the agency is known, issued an RFP in December to review the roster, which previously included the four firms.

The process to select a group of firms from which to bid out or assign projects is known as IDIQ, or indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity.

The work is expected to include a range of national, local and regional campaigns incorporating PR, social media, advertising/PSAs and other outreach.

F-H, Ketchum and PN are part of Omnicom, while Ogilvy is a unit of WPP and WS is owned by Interpublic.

The federal agency last reviewed the accounts in 2006.


Edelman has named Claudia Patton, who joined the No. 1 independent PR firm after it acquired her shop The Headline Group in 2002, chief talent officer, a new post. She had been running Edelman's southeast region.


Patton is to work with Edelman's human resources people on training/development, mobility, performance management, senior recruitment and career pathing, according to its release.

Richard Edelman says Patton is a “proven, results-driven executive, making her ideally suited for the role of chief talent officer.”

The firm says it added 500 new positions during the past 12 months as global revenue advanced 18 percent for fiscal 2011 ended June 30.

Patton's goal is to make Edelman "known as the firm where people can do their best work and make important contributions to society."


Connecticut, which infamously cut its tourism marketing budget to $1 for the past two years, has issued an RFP and allocated $20M for two years to develop a "unique brand" for the New England state.


The state's Department of Economic and Community Development, along with the Connecticut Office of Tourism, said they are looking for a vendor or team of vendors to serve as the branding, marketing, advertising, PR and online marketing agency or agencies.

Gov. Dan Malloy, who was elected in November, said marketing the Nutmeg State is a key component to the state's economic development strategy moving forward. Amid fiscal woes, the state set aside one dollar for its marketing fund in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 after spending $4.2M in 2009.

New York-based Lou Hammond & Associates and Stanton Crenshaw Communications handled tourism PR efforts for the state over the past decade.

The RFP is open through September 27 with final agency selection eyed for December.

“We will use these funds in a disciplined manner, understanding the target markets as well as building upon the strengths the State of Connecticut has to offer,” Malloy said. Download the RFP:


Weber Shandwick announced that it picked up the Netgear account in a competitive pitch that wrapped up in July at the networking company.


The Interpublic unit was selected due to its consumer and business focused expertise bolstered by a “strong pedigree in lifestyle marketing and product review management,” according to Judy Hoffmann, senior director of worldwide marketing communications.

Tony Hynes, executive VP at Weber Shandwick, says the firm will build awareness of Netgear’s brand among consumers and small business owners and its “extremely competitive proposition for security, storage and networking in the medium enterprise market.”

Netgear earned $48.8M on six-month revenues of $570M.

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