"The goal is to have a much stronger connection to that community with the services that Livestrong can provide to families that are fighting cancer," said Katherine McLane, senior director of communications and external affairs for Livestrong. Within the Hispanic space so far, "our efforts have been on the pilot level and we are now seeking to take those efforts to a much broader community."
McLane said the organization, which was started by Lance Armstrong in 1997, hopes to have a list of finalists by early November, with a final decision coming before the end of the year. The organization has closed the RFP to those agencies already contacted. Livestrong is still deciding the final budget for the account, she said, but "we're looking to make a sizable investment next year."
Livestrong looked to Lorena Rojas, a breast cancer survivor and member of its Global Envoy, to help define the RFP and develop "strategies that help us connect with Latino audiences."
"Cancer this year has become the leading cause of death worldwide," McLane said. "And we know that cancer hits the Hispanic and Latino community harder than it does other communities." She highlighted the stigma within the community, financial impact of the disease, and language barriers as challenges for the Hispanic community.
The organization hopes to sign an agency for a one-year contract with an option to renew. Edelman, which has worked with Livestrong on general market PR for several years, was invited to pitch. McLane declined to name the other agencies invited.
"We're looking for a firm that matches our enthusiasm to help families who are fighting cancer," she added. "We're also going to rely on a firm to help us strategically connect with Hispanic and Latino audiences in a widely diverse geographic area, from Miami to Los Angeles. We're looking for a firm who has the experience, nuance, and know-how to connect intelligently with a broad audience."