MHP wins Total UK account

The UK arm of French oil behemoth Total has called in external PR support as comms in the oil industry comes under increased scrutiny in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Total UK, the UK refining and marketing subsidiary of the global oil producer, has awarded MHP Communications a six-figure retained brief to support corporate and brand PR.

MHP, formed last month by the merger of Mandate, Hogarth and Penrose Financial, won the account after a competitive pitch.

It is believed about ten agencies drew up submissions for the retained brief, with four being invited to pitch. The agency will report to Iain Cracknell, head of corporate comms at Total UK.

The account encompasses corporate reputation and PR support for Total's retail and lubricants division.

MHP has been asked to raise the profile of various customer-facing initiatives, as well as CSR work and promoting the company's 'core values.'

The account will be led by Lis Field, a director at MHP, who commented: 'After the challenges BP has had recently, the whole oil industry is under an increasingly bright spotlight. Firms such as Total are scrutinised not just on how they operates, but how they communicate too.'

Field explained that Total already has strong representation in trade media and the B2B space.

She said the agency will look to widen the firm's audience and help tailor the firm's narrative to those new audiences.

'Engaging with local communities in an honest and direct way is crucial for all businesses, not just the oil industry,' said Field. 'Total has been doing that for a long time and we are looking at new ways to carry that on.'

The agency's work will include supporting a number of community-based initiatives that are currently in the planning stages.

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