Travelocity moves account to Citizen Relations

Travelocity has hired Citizen Relations as its North American agency partner after a review, replacing Edelman.

SOUTHLAKE, TX: Travelocity has selected Citizen Relations as its agency partner in North America following a competitive review. Edelman was the incumbent.

After spending “three or four months looking at an exhaustive list of agencies,” Travelocity chose Citizen Relations because of the firm's strengths in media relations and digital and social media, explained company CMO Bradley Wilson.

The agency will begin working on the account sometime in the first quarter, he added. Its Canadian arm, Citizen Optimum, has served as the PR agency partner for Travelocity.ca since 2010.

Wilson, who oversees marketing and communications at Travelocity, said the brand has “really strong media relations with Edelman and [it is] a world class agency.” Yet he added that the company was looking for a firm to enhance its storytelling capabilities in an evolving technological and digital world.

Travelocity began working with Edelman in 2010 when the firm acquired its prior agency, Vollmer PR. Edelman representatives declined to comment.

In addition to handling media relations and amplifying Travelocity's “storydoing” efforts, Wilson said Citizen will collaborate with the brand's in-house social media team. Both mobile and social media will be primary focus areas for the company through this year, he added.

The brand's Go & Smell the Roses campaign, which launched last March with the goal of encouraging consumers to want to travel, will also continue to be a focal point for Travelocity through 2014.

“This is a good time to re-energize PR, as well as all of the other outlets and channels in which we go to market,” said Wilson.

Budget information for the account was not disclosed. The length of the contract is still being determined.

Citizen Relations' Orange County, CA, office will lead the account. The agency location also manages work for its travel and tourism clients in the US, including Princess Cruises, said Erin Georgieff, MD at Citizen Relations.

She added that Travelocity is a “wonderful addition to our current roster of travel and tourism clients” and the firm is “extremely proud” to work with the brand.

Georgieff said Citizen Optimum has represented Tourism British Columbia for about 15 years.

Citizen Relations was formed after the rebranding of Paine PR in the US, Canadian firm Optimum, and UK-based shops Band & Brown and Brando under the Citizen banner in 2011.

On the advertising side, Travelocity works with McKinney on creative and Zenith on media. 

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