PLANTATION, FL: Marriott International has selected JeffreyGroup as its PR AOR in Latin America.
It picked JeffreyGroup after a competitive pitch, the firm said in a statement.
JeffreyGroup started working with Marriott this month after completing an RFP process that began in mid-October in which five firms participated. Budget information was not disclosed.
The agency will manage corporate and brand communications for Marriott International and its 20 hotel brands in the region. It will also support Marriott on press trips, events, influencer management, and property-focused initiatives.
"We are working on a Carnival activation in Brazil that involves a rewards program, and we will be supporting hotel openings," said JeffreyGroup CEO Brian Burlingame. "We are trying to raise awareness of Marriott’s different brands in Brazil and other countries."
Burlingame added that his firm could get involved with Marriott’s CSR program, specifically focusing on sustainability, gender equality, and executive opportunities.
The agency’s pan-regional team in Miami is leading account work, and its offices in Mexico and Brazil are providing full-time support.
"It is a challenge to work with a broad brand portfolio and try to connect each one of those brands to the different audiences," said Burlingame. "We are looking forward to that challenge."
Marriott operates more than 200 properties in 33 countries and territories in Latin America, with plans to grow that to close to 300 by 2020.
In September, Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and its 11 brands including St. Regis, W Hotels, Westin, and Sheraton for $13.6 billion. Marriott International’s Latin American presence includes lodging brands such as the Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Renaissance Hotels, Four Points by Sheraton, and Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Late last year, K.C. Kavanagh left Starwood after 18 years to join Bacardi Limited as SVP and global chief communications officer. Kavanagh had most recently served as SVP of global communications since 2010 at Starwood.
Visit Florida named JeffreyGroup as its AOR focused on PR efforts in Latin America in November. Other JeffreyGroup clients include Airbus, American Airlines, Johnson & Johnson, and Sony. The firm has 120 staffers across seven wholly owned offices in New York, Miami, Mexico City, Brasília, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires.
Representatives from Marriott could not be immediately reached for additional comment.
This story was updated on January 18 with comment from Burlingame.