Fleishman touting new Saudi graduate university

WASHINGTON: Fleishman-Hillard is providing worldwide PR for a new post-graduate, research-focused university in Saudi Arabia now under development and scheduled to open in 2009.

WASHINGTON: Fleishman-Hillard is providing worldwide PR for a new post-graduate, research-focused university in Saudi Arabia now under development and scheduled to open in 2009.

Endowed by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), as the school is called, will be run independently by a board of trustees and a still-to-be-named president, according to a Department of Justice (DoJ) filing.

The contract provided to the DoJ provides no dollar amount for the work, which began February 1, 2007, and runs through January 31, 2010, though it specifies rates for various types of PR and communications specialists that generally range between $300 and $400 an hour in the US.

Efforts by Fleishman will focus globally on attracting both students and faculty and will include market research to determine overseas perceptions of Saudi Arabia as a place to live and conduct research; media relations counsel and training of KAUST officials; development and management of branding, advertising, and promotional events; arranging speaking engagements and writing Op-Eds and other press materials; and Web site development.

The Saudi-owned Aramco Overseas Co., based in The Netherlands, is managing the worldwide promotional effort. Fleishman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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