US Navy fishes for its first PR firm with RFP

WASHINGTON, DC: The US Navy is building PR into a new marketing program for the first time.

WASHINGTON, DC: The US Navy is building PR into a new marketing program for the first time.

WASHINGTON, DC: The US Navy is building PR into a new marketing

program for the first time.



Steve Lowry, a public affairs officer at Navy Recruiting Command,

confirmed last week that the organization will issue a dollars 50

million advertising and marketing RFP within the next few days, a

significant percentage of which will be dedicated to PR. Though the Navy

currently employs 188 public affairs staffers, its top marketing execs

apparently see a need for more proactive promotion via the Internet and

grass-roots programs.



News of the RFP comes on the heels of a report due to be released to

Congress this week, in which the military’s recruiting efforts are

roundly criticized - despite the annual spending of dollars 265 million

on advertising.



The report, penned by DC-based ad firms Sawyer, Miller & Co. and Murphy,

Pintak, Gautier & Hudome, also suggests that the four arms of the

military should be developing distinct brand identities.



’It is very difficult to recruit nowadays, especially with the

unemployment figures so low,’ Lowry said. ’We really need to say

something about the opportunities for young people.’



Omnicom-owned BBDO Worldwide has held the Navy’s ad account for the past

13 years, at one point bringing in film director Spike Lee to create TV

campaigns. But according to Lowry, the US Navy wants to move to a

results-based compensation model for its marketing agencies, and is keen

to see what other firms have to offer.



Details about the RFP will likely be available this week at

www.neco.navy.mil.



The Navy expects to award the contract by October 1.



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