The firm, a new business division of O2's parent company Telefónica, has called in Bite Communications as its lead global agency and Access Communications to provide PR support in North America.
Originally the company was looking for an agency to handle PR and public affairs activities, as revealed by PRWeek. However, it was decided through the pitch process that an agency with strong relations within the digital industry was needed.
The main focus of Bite’s remit is building awareness of Telefónica’s digital strategy and helping the business establish credibility in the digital world. This forms part of Telefónica’s main comms objective to challenge perceptions that it is just a telecoms company.
Bite will provide support in developing and executing the central comms team’s integrated PR and stakeholder relations programme. The agency will also work on generating content and campaigns for Telefónica’s local market teams to use.
Jess Rowntree, director at Bite Communications, who will lead the account for the agency, said: ‘The opportunity to work on truly integrated campaigns with some of the most innovative technology brands and services around the world, drove our thinking and passion for the business. We will work to position them as a company at the cutting edge of the connected world.’
Nick Wilkins, director of media relations at Telefónica Digital, added: ‘Communications is key to us being able to play in this space and be taken seriously. We’re not going to spend a lot on advertising so PR and stakeholder engagement is going to be absolutely vital.’
Telefónica Digital announced a partnership this week with gaming giant Electronic Arts to give customers access to its games on their mobiles.
Access Communications has been briefed to raise the profile of Telefónica in the US, particularly on the West Coast where Telefónica Digital’s Silicon Valley office is home to its venture capital and global partnerships teams.
Access will report to Pam Smith, the recently appointed head of comms for Telefónica Digital in North America.
Telefónica formed its digital business in September 2011 to cash in on opportunities in entertainment, financial services and eHealth.
The company will also launch products and services directly to consumers through Telefónica’s commercial brands, which include O2, Movistar and Vivo. It is headquartered in London with regional hubs in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Spain and Israel.