Cone EVP Mike Lawrence said the firm will focus on developing strategy and communications for the company's corporate reputation and CSR programs, particularly environment-related efforts.
"The central part will be figuring out how to have that conversation appropriately with consumers and other stakeholders," he added. "This is something [Timberland is] already doing well, but wants to continue to make it a priority."
Lawrence said details of the work, which may include some product, online, and off-line communications efforts, haven't been finalized, but he's expecting a quick turnaround. "I would be surprised if work wasn't rolling out the door in the first quarter," he said.
The account will be led out of the Boston office by Henk Campher, VP of Cone's corporate responsibility discipline. There are five people working on the task, but Lawrence said that can change depending upon the evolution of the work. The contract is for one year.
Cone was Timberland's corporate communications AOR from 1999 to 2003.
"Back then, we worked with Timberland on brand marketing, crisis prevention, and corporate communications," Lawrence said.
Cone bested a handful of other firms, including Porter Novelli, Timberland's corporate communications AOR since 2003.
Kate King, associate manager of corporate communications at Timberland, said it will continue to work with PN on the product side of the business. "They work on product PR for several of our lines and will continue to," she noted.
Julie Winskie, partner, chief client officer at PN, said the firm will manage Timberland's casual, outdoor performance, and professional product lines in 2008.