Cancer Institute streamlines comms function with Ogilvy

BETHESDA, MD: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently tapped Ogilvy PR Worldwide for a five-year contract to provide communications support, following an internal restructuring at NCI. The PR budget is nearly $3 million in the first year.

BETHESDA, MD: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently tapped Ogilvy PR Worldwide for a five-year contract to provide communications support, following an internal restructuring at NCI. The PR budget is nearly $3 million in the first year.

Over the past year and a half, NCI integrated its office of education and special initiatives and the office of communications into one department - the office of communications and education, said Lenora Johnson, director of the office. NCI is based in Bethesda, MD.

Previously, the two offices worked with three or more agencies at a time but consolidated the work into one contract to be more efficient, she said.

“[The contracts] have similar scopes of work,” she said.

The budget for the first year of the contract, which began September 29 and ends September 28, 2009, is $2.8 million, Johnson said by e-mail. The RFP was issued May 30 but no other information about the review process was available.

“We're starting to raise awareness of the various programs, tools, and resources [that NCI offers to the cancer community],” said Tom Beall, MD of Ogilvy's global social marketing practice. Other services will include strategic planning, materials development, campaign development, professional and technical communications, and events.

One of the initial assignments aims to raise the profile of the federal agency's colorectal cancer screening risk tools, he said.

The Washington-based practice group is collaborating with its subsidiary Feinstein Kean Healthcare (FKH), a Cambridge, MA-based life sciences consulting firm. FKH had worked with NCI on a project basis prior to the win, Beall added.

Beall noted that Ogilvy's work in the cancer community contributed to the win. The Centers for Disease Control recently renewed two contracts for cancer awareness programs with the Ogilvy team.

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