The firms will work in tandem on the integrated campaign, a years-long initiative that is expected to be the trade group's largest communications effort, said Tita Freeman, VP of communications and strategy for the Washington-based Chamber.
The Chamber, which announced the campaign in June, plans to tap into the businesses that make up its membership, as well as reach out to the public and policymakers with its message. The goal of the campaign, said Freeman, is to promote the relevance of the current economic model in the US and the benefits of American free enterprise.
“We believe we brought on two of the savviest and most effective public relations firms in the country to help with what we've said is the most significant effort in the Chamber's history,” she said.Powell Tate, along with IPG agencies Jack Morton Worldwide and KRC, is providing communications strategy, PR, media relations, grassroots, and Web development, said Howard Opinsky, account lead and EVP for the firm.
Steve McMahon and Alex Castellanos, principals at Purple Strategies and both former presidential campaign strategists, are leading the account for the year-old firm, which is responsible for social media, messaging, media planning, and advertising, said McMahon.
Both McMahon and Castellanos have previous experience as presidential campaign strategists, including McMahon's role as a senior media consultant for DNC 2008 during President Barack Obama's presidential election and Castellanos' experience on six presidential campaigns.
It is the firm's largest win since it was founded in January.Freeman said she could not disclose budget for either account but noted that the Chamber plans to spend millions of dollars on the campaign by the end of 2009. Work began in August, when the firms were notified of the win.
The Chamber initially asked five firms to participate in the RFP process. Three firms, including Powell Tate and Purple Strategies, were asked to a second review before the accounts were awarded in mid-August, said Freeman, who declined to provide the name of the third firm.
“We were just looking for the best mix of expertise to meet our needs,” she said.
The Chamber was looking for a firm or firms to develop the campaign's brand, advertising, and communications programs, as well as provide support the launch and the ongoing communications.