INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Qorvis to take on criticized VA techinstitute's PR job

HERNDON, VA: Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a state-government organization dedicated to technology-based economic development, awarded its PR account to Qorvis Communications after a four-agency runoff.

HERNDON, VA: Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a state-government organization dedicated to technology-based economic development, awarded its PR account to Qorvis Communications after a four-agency runoff.

The PR budget in past years, when technology was booming, was reportedly a modest $50,000 a year. Margo Dunn, CIT's director of program communications, said no budget has been established for future PR activities.

The governor and lawmakers are cutting budgets across the entire state to stem its $2 billion deficit. CIT recently laid off staff, and its annual budget was cut from $12.5 million to $9.25 million. According to a statement from CIT, it is "constructing an operating plan based on that figure, which was supposed to go the board late last week."

But some legislators - and citizens - question its existence. A recent article in The Washington Post wrote a critical article citing the lack of knowledge about CIT's activities. Dunn said the biggest challenge is "to get the message out to businesses that they can use our services." These include technical assistance, and funding and partnership opportunities.

O'Keeffe & Company held the account for four years, but did not repitch.

Other finalists in the review included Carter Ryley Thomas, The Merritt Group, and E. James White.

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