Tito's Handmade Vodka shakes up comms by naming Praytell AOR

The firm's work for the brand is going to the dogs--literally. Praytell is focused on boosting public awareness of its Vodka for Dog People philanthropic program.

(Image via Tito's Facebook page).
(Image via Tito's Facebook page).

AUSTIN, TX: Tito’s Handmade Vodka brought on Praytell last month as its PR AOR in the U.S. and Canada after a competitive review.

The agency is primarily raising awareness of Tito’s Vodka for Dog People program. The initiative supports nonprofits such as Emancipet, which works to make high-quality spray and neutering and veterinary care more accessible to pet owners.

Kaitlin Novell, account strategy supervisor at Praytell, said the firm is focused on boosting Tito’s storytelling.

"We found that a lot of people know the Tito’s founder story, but not a lot of people know what Tito’s is doing beyond vodka, so we are focusing on that," she said. 

Praytell is supporting the brand’s traditional PR, content strategy conversation, influencer relations, and event outreach, said Nicole Portwood, VP of brand marketing at Tito's. The company handles social media in-house, she added.

Staffers from the agency’s offices in New York; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Austin, Texas, are working on the account, which is being led by LA-based Novell and Nate Jaffee, VP of strategy, who is located in Austin.

"Everything we are doing is about creating opportunities to advance the Tito’s brand message," said Jaffee. "The biggest opportunities will be authentic stories from the people who love the brand versus just focusing on Tito’s voice."

Tito’s makes its Handmade Vodka at Texas’ oldest legal distillery in Austin. Commercial production began in 1997 when brand founder Tito Beveridge formed Fifth Generation Inc. and established the Mockingbird Distillery.

Five agencies pitched in the RFP process, which kicked off in January. Tito’s picked Praytell in March and started working with the firm during the first week of April. Budget information was not disclosed.

Sarah Hall Productions was the incumbent on the account. Its relationship with Tito’s ended in late April. A representative from the firm was not immediately available for comment.

"Sarah Hall did incredible work for us for a long time," said Portwood.

She added that Tito’s brought on Praytell because the company’s needs have "grown tremendously" as the brand has expanded.

"The scope of services and personnel and the overall vibe of the Praytell team fits where we are as a brand now," said Portwood. "They really get us and their scrappy approach to making sure the work gets done and gets done to the highest standard resonated with us."

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