Following a tricky few years, BAA wants to review its comms strategy and get back on the front foot.
The airport operator will consider awarding the two-year account to one or two agencies.
The account is currently held by City agency Finsbury, which has worked with BAA since September 2007.
The airport operator’s director of communications Malcolm Robertson will lead the search alongside director of policy and public affairs Nigel Milton.
He told PRWeek: ‘We’ve had a whole suite of difficulties in the last few years from operational crises to regulatory issues, but we’re beginning to make good progress and we want to take a more proactive approach to comms. We are holding the pitch because want to test we have the right advice in place.’
Robertson is hoping to complete the pitch process by the end of the year, when Finsbury’s current contract ends. He added that agencies with experience of the aviation industry, a good understanding of the operator’s issues and the international media landscape would be preferred.
‘It’s a challenging brief and we need a robust organisation to cope with the ups and downs we go through. While we do want to be more proactive, we’re often forced on to the backfoot, so we need an agency who is able to respond in difficult periods,’ he said.
He added that the total pot for the work is £400,000, although BAA would be happy if it could get the work for less.
Mischief PR, who handles consumer work for BAA, will be unaffected by the pitch.
Last month, BAA also called a statutory review of its media planning and buying account.
At the end of 2009, BAA sold Gatwick, Britain’s second biggest airport to Global Infrastructure Partners for £1.5bn, following an order by the Competition Commission.