AUSTIN, TX: Recession-battered Austin wants to stop its economic slide, so the chamber of commerce has hired TateAustin to lead a four-year, $3.5 million economic development marketing effort.
"Opportunity Austin" is a five-county effort to create 72,000 jobs by 2008. Businesses in the area have contributed more than half of the $11 million needed for the campaign.
"We had a great run in the '90s, and then, like most other tech centers, we got hit pretty hard in the first few years of the new century," explained Saralee Tiede, the chamber's communications VP. Tiede wouldn't name the five finalist agencies but acknowledged that the chamber had sent its RFP to 48 PR companies, and that 10 teams representing 30 firms had responded. Ketchum will serve as a TateAustin subcontractor, providing media relations support on both the East and West coasts.
Other members of the team include: Dandy Idea and I.D. University, the proprietors of which served as TateAustin creative directors before the firm divested its advertising department; Austin's Milkshake Media; and Wilson Research Strategies, a Washington, DC-based research firm.