HEALTH EXCHANGE WANTS PR PRESCRIPTION
The entity charged with creating Hawaii's healthcare exchange required under the Affordable Care Act is on the hunt for a PR firm.
The Hawaii Health Connector released an RFP on Sept. 5 to handle research, communication strategy and PR, inviting firms to pitch one or all three of the segments. One-year contracts are planned.
The Connector seeks a strategic communications plan and public awareness campaign to keep it in the news and tout its value and benefits.
“In many respects the Connector is similar to a start-up company,” reads the RFP. The Connector ... needs a public relations services provider that is fast moving; that can rapidly respond to new issues; and that can provide last minute services when necessary.” It also needs a PR firm that can interact with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight and state entities, as well.
The Affordable Care Act tabs states to set up exchanges, online marketplaces to purchase private insurance plans which are subsidized by the federal government. States which do not act by the end of the year will have exchanges created and run by Uncle Sam.
Proposals are due Oct. 1 with a letter of intent to pitch required by Sept. 17.
View the RFP: http://bit.ly/S3Dxuy.
ARMY ENLISTS PA CONTRACTOR
The Army’s public affairs operation has tapped D.C. firm Barbaricum for a $900K strategic communications pact.
Barbaricum is led by Sanitas International partner Christopher Harvin, a former Levick Strategic Communications VP and Pentagon and Bush White House advance and PA staffer. Scott Feldmayer, a former director for the Pentagon’s former Iraq War PR firm, Lincoln Group, is a VP.
The PR contract, which could stretch to July 2015 if two option years are picked up, includes communications planning, media and community relations counsel and outreach support for the Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs. Both internal and external communications are covered.
Barbaricum has worked several communications assignments for the Army, including its Command and General Staff College, Leader Development and Education unit, and School of Advanced Military Studies.
Brig. Gen. Gary Volesky was tapped in May as Chief of Public Affairs for the Army.
EDELMAN MAKES BIG PLAY FOR RESEARCH
Edelman has brought in polling guru Michael Berland from WPP as the top independent firm revamps its StrategyOne unit as Edelman Berland and plans to inject research into its PR work the way digital has been infused in recent years.
Berland, who handled polling and advised New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Parade magazine among scores of clients, has been president and partner of Burson-Marsteller unit Penn, Schoen and Berland, bought by WPP in 2001.
Mark Penn, another PS&B partner who led B-M, left last month for Microsoft.
Richard Edelman said he wants research and analysis “at the core” of client work, adding he hopes the EB unit will follow the success of the PR firm’s integration of its digital business. “We know the model works, and the fact that our digital business has grown to revenues in excess of $80M globally as a result speaks for itself,” he said, noting that EB will also establish its own clients, as well.
StrategyOne founder Steve Lombardo, a Republican pollster and key figure in developing Edelman’s prized Trust Barometer, returned to StrategyOne as CEO last year after running his own shop. Edelman in July recruited Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Peter Ventimigilia as executive VP for StrategyOne in Washington.
Edelman Berland has more than 100 staffers with offices in seven U.S. cities and four overseas.
WPP, reporting its second half earnings last week, said its PS&B unit has been underperforming amid a slowdown in Washington.
HAVAS GROWTH TICKS UP 2%
Havas said second quarter revenue rose 16% to 224M euro as organic growth ticked up 1.9%.
CEO David Jones said Asia, Latin America, digital media and healthcare led the charge in the first half on one of the holding company’s best half-year new business periods in recent years.
Global PR and communications wins through its Euro RSCG network for the second quarter included AXA, IBIS Hotels, Sephora and Thomas Cook.
Revenue for the first half was up 8.4% to 829M euro as net income climbed 5.7% to 56M euro. North American revenue rose 9% in Q2 to 146M euro, mostly on media, healthcare and advertising and wins including Phoenix University, American Eagle Outfitters and Atlantic City.