ATLANTA: The Arthritis Foundation has announced the selection of Porter Novelli as agency of record after a hotly contested, five-month RFP process that included most of Atlanta's marquis players.
Ogilvy, Hayslett-Sorrel, and Signova of Philadelphia were also in the hunt. Incumbent MS&L declined to participate.
Kim Sammons, a former MS&L-Atlanta employee, who is VP of PR at the Arthritis Foundation, recognized a need to dramatically shift its messaging and approach to marketing. "Our department is being asked to do more consumer research and retail marketing, she said. "Although arthritis is the number-one cause of disability in the US, we need to communicate the seriousness of the disease."
Sammons said previous PR efforts have tried to empower patients to treat the disease and make use of foundation services. "We had to step back and say we need to help people understand the relevancy of arthritis, and what it means to your life."