AARP gives multimillion job to FH

WASHINGTON, DC: The AARP has awarded its multimillion-dollar PR account, one of the biggest ever meted out, to Fleishman-Hillard.

WASHINGTON, DC: The AARP has awarded its multimillion-dollar PR account, one of the biggest ever meted out, to Fleishman-Hillard.

WASHINGTON, DC: The AARP has awarded its multimillion-dollar PR

account, one of the biggest ever meted out, to Fleishman-Hillard.



Though the exact size of the account has not been determined, including

advertising it will be in the range of dollars 10 to dollars 20 million

in its first year alone. The goal of the campaign is to attract

potential members and promote AARP to the public, current members,

employees and volunteers.



Updating the group’s somewhat stodgy image is also likely to be a top

priority.



A key challenge for Fleishman will be appealing to the 76 million

potential AARP members turning 50 during the next 15 years. ’This is an

audience that has new needs and new demands,’ said Lisa Davis, AARP’s

acting director of communications. ’People are living longer and want to

do more with their lives.’



The group will be developing new products through its taxable

subsidiary, AARP Services, as well as providing online services and

revitalizing its magazine, Modern Maturity.



Another element of the PR program focuses on AARP getting ’closer to its

members,’ according to Davis. Within the next two years, the

organization will open 31 offices around the country to join the offices

it currently has in 22 states.



Targeting potential volunteers and employees will be the first thrust of

the campaign, which will then grow to encompass external audiences.



Internal communications should prove a sizeable component of the effort

as well.



PR legend Bill Novelli, who recently joined the AARP as associate

executive director for public affairs (PRWeek, Dec. 6, 1999), will play

a big part in the image push. ’The AARP is a strong brand getting even

stronger,’ he said.



Approximately 18 firms were initially sent the RFP for the account.

Fleishman was selected over fellow finalists Ogilvy and Shandwick.



Fleishman’s account team will consist of approximately 30 people from

its offices in Washington, New York and St. Louis. Leading the effort

will be Eileen Marcus, a DC-based SVP.



Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns & Associates will handle the campaign’s

advertising portion.



- See Bill Novelli profile, p16.



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