PHOENIX: Best Western International has selected Allison & Partners as the hotel chain?s North American AOR.
David Trumble, director of external communications, did not disclose billings, but said it was a "high-six-figure account." Trumble added that he hopes to increase the budget over the next year.
The company, with 2,400 hotels in North America, did not have a previous AOR, instead working with agencies on a project basis.
After researching agencies, Trumble said, he invited Allison & Partners and M Silver & Associates to pitch. Ultimately, he felt Allison had the strong national media experience and strategic approach the company needed.
Allison will oversee media relations, issues management, crisis communications, brand support, cause marketing, and sports marketing. Agency president Scott Allison said Best Western is now the firm's largest account.
"We have a lot of assets we must leverage better," admitted Trumble. "We are the leading hotel brand in the mid-market. We want to get our fair share of media in the market."
As the hotel industry recovers, Trumble said, Allison will help the company "cast a wider net," particularly in consumer media. Media outreach will focus on differentiators, including free high-speed internet access at all hotels, the company's philanthropic "Best Western for a Better World" program, and the company's NASCAR sponsorship. Best Western previously worked with Alan Taylor Communications for NASCAR PR.
Allison's San Francisco headquarters will lead the account, with help from offices in Los Angeles and San Diego.
"We're going to help them build their brand by getting the word out about what makes Best Western different, how the company doesn't take a cookie-cutter approach to each of its hotels," said Allison. "We're making a major consumer and media push."