NEW YORK: Rubenstein Public Relations has reclaimed the Miss Universe account after the organization took PR in-house for nearly a year.
The agency will focus on media relations, as well as on publicizing the contestants on a year-round basis.
In addition to promoting the pageant, Rubenstein also plans to pitch long-lead publications on related topics, such as promoting charity and other work done by the delegates.
Mary Hilliard McMillan, director of marketing and PR for Miss Universe, said that the organization has had a long-standing relationship with Rubenstein.
The two had been working together until March 2004, when Miss Universe, which is a partnership between Donald Trump and NBC, decided to promote its May pageant with its three-person in-house and NBC communications teams.
McMillan said the decision coincided with the popularity of another Trump-NBC partnership, the hit reality show The Apprentice.
"They decided with the network to bring all of the media relations in-house, but then they realized the enormity of the activity," explained Richard Rubenstein, the agency's president and cofounder.
Rubenstein said that the agency would work closely with the organization, but would work out of its New York office rather than going on location, as it did in previous years. This year's pageant will be held in Thailand.
When the organization chose to hire an agency for this year's pageant, it contacted five firms, but chose Rubenstein based on their previous relationship.
"It's great that we have such a history [with Rubenstein] that potential sponsors and the media know it as our go-to agency," McMillan said. "We've been successful for the past two years, and some of that can be credited to great PR and marketing."
Rubenstein also has added New York Model Management, creative photography shop Art & Fashion Group, and biotechnology security company Applied DNA Sciences to its client roster.