CLEARWATER, FL: Recreational boat maker MarineMax has taken on Weber Shandwick Worldwide as its first PR agency of record.
WSW beat out Edelman and Carmichael Lynch Spong for the account.
The agency plans to have three to four people working on the account on a regular basis, and will handle it from its Minneapolis office, said Steve Peckham, a WSW VP overseeing the account.
Fifteen agencies submitted proposals late last year. MarineMax whittled that down to three finalists who delivered oral presentations, said Dawna Stone, chief marketing officer.
The company was impressed with WSW's experience. The agency has worked with client Polaris, which makes personal watercraft, since the mid-1980s, Peckham said.
Another factor was WSW's software system, Weber Works, which allows clients to view activity on their accounts. MarineMax has 10 district presidents and 61 store managers across the country. They'll be given passwords so they can log on to Weber Works and see what PR undertakings the company has going on at any given time.
"Keeping them informed almost daily was important to them," said Peckham.
And with boat-show season underway, "our mission is to distinguish MarineMax from other boat vendors," Peckham explained.
Stone added that the company wants prospective buyers to hear more about the educational programs and other events the company holds for owners of MarineMax boats.