DoT agency selects Edelman for nearly $14-million contract

WASHINGTON: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded Edelman a $13.8 million PR contract that aims to build on the federal agency's vehicle safety programs.

WASHINGTON: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded Edelman a $13.8 million PR contract that aims to build on the federal agency's vehicle safety programs.

The firm, which reports to the office of communications and consumer information, is tasked with revising NHTSA's multimedia communications plan, as well as creating collateral materials, updating www.safercar.gov, and developing communications for new campaigns, according to the Federal Business Opportunities posting.

"We chose them because they really provided the best value to us," said Susan McMeen, director of consumer information for NHTSA, "and what we mean by that is that they provided the best technical approach, plus the most cost-effective way to provide the services to us."

The Washington-based NHTSA, which is part of the US Department of Transportation, received 14 proposals for the bid, which was originally posted March 26. The contract has one base year and four option years. Seventy-eight firms are listed as interested vendors, including Porter Novelli, GMMB, Mullen, and Young & Rubicam.

McMeen declined to provide the names of the firms that pitched the account. Stratacomm was awarded a contract in 2007 although the NHTSA said in a FBO Q&A statement that the scope of work had changed and the firm could not be considered an incumbent.

Edelman will also provide support for the 5-Star Safety Ratings system that is slated for improvements in 2010. Part of the contract's is to lower the number of monthly complaints, according to the RFP.

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