SPRINGFIELD, IL: The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
has picked Hill & Knowlton for a four-year, $2.2 million
assignment handling PR for the planned reconstruction of Interstate
Highway 74 through downtown Peoria.
H&K, Golin/Harris, and KemperLesnick Communications were the finalists,
culled from an initial group of 13 firms that answered a late-summer
RFP, said Mike Monseur, deputy director of public affairs for the
The $350 million rebuilding of 11 miles of I-74, scheduled to
start next year and extend through 2005, is the largest highway project
the department has done outside the Chicago area. "This is going to be a
disruption in downtown Peoria. We want to make sure we reach and educate
the public," said Monseur. "We don't want people to be caught
H&K will handle media relations, town hall meetings, brochures, public
hearings, and a special project website, Monseur said.
Four staffers in H&K's Chicago office will work on the project, with one
being assigned to work in Peoria, said Maura Farrell, a managing
director in the Chicago office. H&K sent six people to make its final
presentation to IDOT, bringing along an artist's rendering of a
groundbreaking and reopening of the road, along with life-size replicas
of an IDOT construction mascot.
Monseur said the department's selection committee rated the three
finalists on a point system based on overall presentation, detail of
presentation, creativity, and message points.
Some of the $2.2 million, four-year budget will be used for
advertising, but how much has yet to be determined, Monseur said. H&K
made its presentations with Ross Advertising of Peoria.