McCann Worldgroup last week won the contract for the Army's $1.35 billion recruitment campaign. Fellow Interpublic Group agency Weber Shandwick, which pitched for the account, will lead the PR piece.
The agencies replace Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett and MS&L.
Army PAO Paul Boyce noted that McCann Erickson, which won the umbrella contract, would determine which agencies it will work with.
WS chairman Jack Leslie declined to discuss strategies or tactics before work begins in March.
But, he noted, "It's fair to say this is one of the most important assignments we've ever had."
He described the campaign as "highly integrated" across marketing disciplines.
Staffing and budget for the PR portion are still being determined, but Leslie noted that WS would deploy offices across the country to work on it.
The Army had struggled to meet its recruitment goals at the beginning of the year and has only recently begun to reverse those persistent shortfalls.
It has fingered dwindling support from parents and other influencers as one area where it needs to focus its outreach efforts. Messages will appeal to their patriotism and sense of duty.
The five-year account will encompass advertising, direct marketing, promotions, events, and internet efforts.