Watt steers state-safety seatbelt drive

CLEVELAND: Watt/Fleishman-Hillard is about to snare a major seatbelt PR campaign contract from the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Rainbow Babies & Children Hospital.

CLEVELAND: Watt/Fleishman-Hillard is about to snare a major seatbelt PR campaign contract from the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Rainbow Babies & Children Hospital.

CLEVELAND: Watt/Fleishman-Hillard is about to snare a major

seatbelt PR campaign contract from the Ohio Department of Public Safety

and the Rainbow Babies & Children Hospital.



Pamela Barr, an SVP at Watt, said she could not comment on the

assignment until the parties involved had approved a final contract, but

PRWeek has learned the deal involves a state grant to the hospital,

which would then use Watt to promote seatbelt usage. The assignment

could bring Watt in the high six-figures of income over the next two

years.



The PR program will probably start in October and continue into early

2001. It might also serve as a blueprint for other states hoping to

reach areas or populations that have low seatbelt usage. Watt beat out

several other Ohio agencies for the job.



FH announced its purchase of Watt this April (PRWeek, April 26), shaking

up what had been a sedate Cleveland PR market, made up of homegrown

firms that rarely competed with each other. Some onlookers speculated

that Fleishman’s entry into the market could change that scenario.



While this contract could be the first sign of such a shake-up, there’s

no indication that Watt’s new FH connection helped it secure the

business.



But if the seatbelt program is picked up by other states, FH might have

an inside track to landing similar projects.



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