MassMutual enlists Weber Shandwick as AOR

SPRINGFIELD, MA: MassMutual selected Weber Shandwick as AOR for its corporate and US insurance businesses, following a competitive pitch.

SPRINGFIELD, MA: MassMutual selected Weber Shandwick as AOR for its corporate and US insurance businesses, following a competitive pitch. This is the first time in almost a decade the company hired a PR AOR, said Paula Tremblay, assistant VP of media relations for MassMutual.

“We want to expand our national media footprint,” she said. There is no campaign imminent, but the group is considering more targeted outreach to a variety of groups such as business owners, women, and multicultural audiences.

Additional communications goals for the year include more exploration of social media tactics and raising the profile of its executives, including Roger Crandall, who was named CEO in January after more than 20 years with the company. MassMutual currently has a presence on YouTube and LinkedIn, but not Twitter or Facebook.

“We're recognizing that's where a lot of our policy holders are,” Tremblay said. “We're…going into it very methodically and thoughtfully.”

MassMutual will also seek to further emphasize the benefits of “mutuality.” Mutual companies often trumpet the advantage of their organization structure over publicly traded companies that are beholden to Wall Street. MassMutual's insurance offering includes life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance, among other products.

Tremblay said MassMutual signed the contract with WS in February after the company reviewed a handful of agencies specializing in financial services over three months beginning in November last year. The annual budget for the account is in the six-figures, she added.

MassMutual chose WS for its “track record in national media, their financial services expertise,” Tremblay said, but also because “they really demonstrated an intellectual curiosity and problem solving and came to the table with good strategic council." WS declined to comment.

PR was the only marketing discipline up for review, and the account does not include work with MassMutual subsidiary businesses or crisis communications. The company continues to work with Kekst & Co. on crisis.

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