SHREWSBURY, MA: The University of Massachusetts has decided to stick with O'Neill and Associates as its PR AOR after a competitive RFP process.
The company will play a key role in guiding the university's efforts in shaping public perceptions about its educational and research accomplishments.
As part of the contract it will develop a PR/communications strategy and plan for the UMass system, prepare press releases, conduct media outreach, and prepare speeches and talking points for university staff, according to the RFP for the contract.
The school is home to 20,550 undergraduates, 6,143 graduate students, and has 1,170 full-time faculty members.
“O'Neill faced very stiff competition but in the end, we felt the company's track record with us and on behalf of many other clients, and its communications vision and real enthusiasm for our mission, made the difference,” said Bob Connolly, VP of strategic communications at UMass.
The contract is for one year with the option to extend for two additional one-year terms. The firm will be paid just under $100,000 for the first year, Connolly added.
O'Neill has already begun work on new projects, said Krista Robinson, a senior account executive at the firm.
In Massachusetts, quality and affordability of public higher education is a critical issue, “and UMass has an important story to tell about its 150-year history delivering a premier education to generations of students,” she added.
In February, the state of Iowa hired ZRLIgnition of Des Moines to create a campaign highlighting the benefits of universities located there.