Ogilvy PR, Michael Baker team up for $130m FEMA account

The new joint venture is named Resilience Action Partners.

WASHINGTON: Ogilvy Public Relations and Michael Baker International have created a joint venture called Resilience Action Partners to support a recently won $130 million contract from FEMA.

The contract, which covers risk communication and mitigation planning services, was awarded more than a year after the agency released a performance of work statement in January 2014, according to documents. FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration runs a risk mapping, assessment, and planning program, which was seeking community engagement and risk communication services.

Resilience Action Partners pulls the two companies’ strengths – communications and engagement from Ogilvy PR and mitigation and technical planning from Michael Baker, according to a statement from the firms. The joint venture will work to "help Americans take action to invest in being more resilient – protecting the future and the health of communities across the country," the statement adds.

Some of the program objectives include boosting risk awareness, regional support, and integration across contractors and programs, as stated in the documents.

Ogilvy and Michael Baker knew each other’s capacities but hadn’t yet worked together, so when FEMA revised its contract to combine communications and mitigation, the two companies "were natural allies," said Meg Bartow, director of public risk and communications at Ogilvy PR.

Bartow said FEMA is taking a new approach in combining sectors.

Rob Mathias, Ogilvy PR regional CEO said FEMA is "pioneering and taking a holistic approach into how they conduct these activities as we all collectively break new ground."

Ogilvy PR’s work will include a national push of resilience and mitigation awareness, said Bartow, which includes communication and mitigation planning and working with FEMA and local communities in an effort to help people be safer amidst flood risk. She added that many people are not aware of potential risks or what to do before a natural disaster hits.  

"This is so natural to the Ogilvy portfolio," said Mathias, who noted the firm’s history in prevention education. "The way in which you reach the target consumer and empower them to make good decisions before an event is really what we do."

According to the pre-solicitation notice, the contract is anticipated to run for one year with four annual renewal options. The award document lists the headquarters of Resilience Action Partners in Beaver, Pennsylvania.

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