Massachusetts adds five agencies to preferred roster

BOSTON: Massachusetts has added several PR firms to its pre-approved roster in a move that could mean millions of dollars in new business for those shops.

BOSTON: The state of Massachusetts has added several PR firms to its pre-approved roster in a move that could mean millions of dollars in new business for those shops.

The state chose 11 firms, with five picked to specifically provide PR services in-state, after an RFP. The state chose Weber Shandwick, Schneider Associates, Conventures, LaVoie Group, and Regina Villa Associates. Massachusetts valued the potential work for those firms in the next three years at $28 million.

Every three years, the state creates a roster of firms that are authorized to provide PR, marketing, new media, and event-planning services. Massachusetts state offices are required to choose from this list of pre-authorized vendors unless they can demonstrate that the scope of new projects exceeds those firms' expertise, according to a representative for the state Division of Capital Asset Management.

“This is a great thing for our business because it opens up many markets that we wouldn't have been able to tap into otherwise,” said Adam Bickelman, director of professional services at Schneider Associates.

However, making the list does not guarantee work, he added. The firms must proactively reach out to state organizations to build relationships so those groups will hire them for PR efforts, Bickelman explained.

Under the larger scope of the RFP, state organizations may call on firms for help with marketing, promotions, and events.

Representatives from the other selected agencies did not return requests for comment.

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