WASHINGTON, DC: The AARP has awarded its multimillion-dollar PR account, one of the biggest ever meted out, to Fleishman-Hillard.
WASHINGTON, DC: The AARP has awarded its multimillion-dollar PR
account, one of the biggest ever meted out, to Fleishman-Hillard.
Though the exact size of the account has not been determined, including
advertising it will be in the range of dollars 10 to dollars 20 million
in its first year alone. The goal of the campaign is to attract
potential members and promote AARP to the public, current members,
employees and volunteers.
Updating the group’s somewhat stodgy image is also likely to be a top
A key challenge for Fleishman will be appealing to the 76 million
potential AARP members turning 50 during the next 15 years. ’This is an
audience that has new needs and new demands,’ said Lisa Davis, AARP’s
acting director of communications. ’People are living longer and want to
do more with their lives.’
The group will be developing new products through its taxable
subsidiary, AARP Services, as well as providing online services and
revitalizing its magazine, Modern Maturity.
Another element of the PR program focuses on AARP getting ’closer to its
members,’ according to Davis. Within the next two years, the
organization will open 31 offices around the country to join the offices
it currently has in 22 states.
Targeting potential volunteers and employees will be the first thrust of
the campaign, which will then grow to encompass external audiences.
Internal communications should prove a sizeable component of the effort
PR legend Bill Novelli, who recently joined the AARP as associate
executive director for public affairs (PRWeek, Dec. 6, 1999), will play
a big part in the image push. ’The AARP is a strong brand getting even
stronger,’ he said.
Approximately 18 firms were initially sent the RFP for the account.
Fleishman was selected over fellow finalists Ogilvy and Shandwick.
Fleishman’s account team will consist of approximately 30 people from
its offices in Washington, New York and St. Louis. Leading the effort
will be Eileen Marcus, a DC-based SVP.
Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns & Associates will handle the campaign’s
- See Bill Novelli profile, p16.