Ketchum lends Library of Congress a hand with National Book Festival

The Omnicom Group firm is working on outreach, planning, media consultation, and event execution, among other duties.

WASHINGTON: Ketchum has won a contract with the Library of Congress to support the 2015 National Book Festival next month with the potential to eventually take over a broader scope of services for the institution.

The account has "four annual option years to renew the contract for event management as well as the option to activate national media relations support," according to the contract.  The National Book Festival is scheduled for September 5.

In February, the Library of Congress posted documents saying it was planning to sign several contractors to indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts. It also outlined the duties it was looking for the firm or firms to cover: strategic counsel, research, outreach, planning, media consultation, and event execution, according to documents.

A Ketchum representative said the performance period for the 2015 base year is from May 27 to September 30, however option years would have different timelines based on the festival dates for the next four years.

A contract specialist said earlier this year that while the minimum award is $5,000, the maximum ceiling through the life of the contract is $50 million.

Ketchum is one of four firms that won work from the Library. While the Omnicom Group agency is handling event planning and PR, Dufour & Company Productions is managing event planning, and Decibel Management is overseeing operations. Virginia-based Ardelle Associates is also working on communications, according to a contract specialist from the Library.

The IDIQ nature of the contract allows the Library of Congress to place individual orders for the next five years, the specialist noted. The ceiling for Ketchum’s budget is $30 million during that time, while Ardelle’s maximum budget is $12.5 million.

FleishmanHillard has worked with the Library of Congress to "coordinate the annual event and PR campaign, highlighting the festival’s national appeal and positioning the Library as a unique source of inspiration and imagination," according to its website.

This story was updated on August 19 with more information about other firms working for the Library of Congress and budget amounts.

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