LAST CALL: For self-promotion, this PR agency is a cut Abovo therest

Just as doctors make the worst patients, agencies are often the

worst at marketing themselves. But one PR firm, Abovo in Atlanta, has

decided to let the lab monkeys run the lab.

At stake were bragging rights for coming up with a PR campaign for the

firm, as well as concert tickets and a day off for each winning team


The staff was split into four groups, each pitching the firm's


They even issued an "RFP" and held a series of "bidders conferences."

Score sheets graded their efforts on strategic planning, creative

execution, presentation skills and even hourly utilization as the teams

were restricted to 60 group-hours and three weeks to develop their


After the presentations, internal "Oscars" were presented to the winning

teams. "Excelsior, Inc." (Latin for "hire") even won "Best Use of

Cocktails" for presenting shooters in chemistry tubes at the end of

their presentation which included an actual chemistry experiment to

demonstrate how agency-client relationships can result in something

outrageous. "Schmoozing the client is part of the pitch, isn't it?" said

VP Mike Neumeier.

In the end, "Voyant, Inc." emerged victorious. Their "It's Elemental"

campaign focused on using the concepts of fire, water and earth as

metaphors for the agency's capabilities. Abovo has indeed used the

campaign to revamp the firm website and collateral. The "It's Abovo"

effort launches this week and includes taglines like, "we have a fire in

our belly" and "we're cool under pressure" with fire and water images to

describe the firm's attributes.

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