COPENHAGEN, DENMARK: The United Nations Population Fund has hired Portland Communications as its AOR.
The firm won a three-year contract with the international development agency, with the option for a fourth year. The firm beat out APCO Worldwide and Hoffman & Hoffman for the assignment, according to the awards notice. A contracting officer declined to release a budget for the contract.
The London-based firm scored the highest on evaluation metrics created by the UN Population Fund, according to the award notice. The UN agency decided to begin a search for a communications partner after donors pushed executive director Babatunde Osotimehin to find ways to make the organization more visible, according to the RFP.
Portland's goal is to get the messages of the agency and Osotimehin in major international publications like The New York Times, the Financial Times, Le Monde, The Times of London, and El Pais, among others, according to RFP documents.
UK-based Portland was founded in 2001 by Tim Allan, a one-time senior adviser to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The UN organization also expects the firm to get influential bloggers to write about the agency and organize meetings for Osotimehin with editorial boards of major print and broadcast media to gain coverage.
The scope of work also includes drafting and placing features, Op-Eds, and stories about the concrete work the agency does. Portland will also support the organization in dealing with traditional and digital communications needs during reputation-related crises. It will also help the release of “The State of the World” population report in London and maximize coverage of its content.
A representative from the UN Population Fund did not return a request for additional comment.
Earlier this year, the United Nations Foundation selected Weber Shandwick to develop a global communications strategy for the Sustainable Energy for All program.