Business Software Alliance taps Edelman

WASHINGTON: The Business Software Alliance (BSA) selected Edelman as its AOR, following a competitive review that started earlier this year.

WASHINGTON: The Business Software Alliance (BSA) selected Edelman as its AOR, following a competitive review that started earlier this year.

BSA represents 97 leading software manufacturers worldwide.

Edelman, which started work on the account April 5, is supporting BSA's public affairs, media relations, and internal communications program, as well as its anti-piracy campaign.

BSA's decision ends a more than 15-year relationship with incumbent Financial Dynamics (FD), said Matthew Reid, VP of communications for BSA.

“We had a long and fruitful relationship with FD," he said. "They were invited and did participate in the review, but in the end we wanted to find the ideal fit for our communications going forward. Edelman really stood head and shoulders above in terms of their team, strategic thinking, and overall fit.”

Debra Cabral, public affairs practice leader and GM of FD's Washington office, declined to comment.

Reid said the RFP was issued to 13 agencies in early March and then narrowed to five agencies in mid-March. Reid wouldn't disclose the names of the other shortlisted agencies, but each of them made a full-scale communications proposal at BSA's offices.

A final decision was made in late March.

“We had a tight time frame by design,” said Reid. “We want to implement our plans with a real sense of urgency, and that will be consistent in all our communications. So we wanted to find an agency partner that operates with that same kind of urgency and desire to move the ball forward -- strategically and aggressively.”

The account is worth $500,000 a year in agency fees, plus additional compensation for specific standalone campaigns. The contract with Edelman is for one year, but Reid noted that BSA is striving to establish a long-term relationship. 

BSA is looking to PR to play a key role in helping the organization achieve its policy goals, said Reid.

“We want to help shape the dialogue on policy issues and foster a ripe environment for industry innovation on a global basis,” he added. “We also want the industry to have a solid and clear voice…to help grow technology use around the world.”

Reid issued the RFP shortly after joining BSA in January. Before that, he headed up the social innovation and public affairs practice at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide.

Rob Rehg, president of Edelman's Washington office, will manage the account. He said in an e-mail the agency is excited to work with a client that has expanded its communication efforts “in industry leadership and policy communications, as well as to augment their effort to eliminate software piracy.”

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