Kayak.com issues RFP

NORWALK, CT: Kayak.com, a media company and travel search site, has put out an RFP seeking a PR firm to help take it to the next level. It will include corporate communications for parent company Kayak.com, which also operates Sidestep.com, TravelPost.com, and TravelSearch.com, as well as brand work for the travel Web site, Kayak.com.

NORWALK, CT: Kayak.com, a media company and travel search site, has put out an RFP seeking an AOR to help take it to the next level. It will include corporate communications for parent company Kayak.com, which also operates Sidestep.com, TravelPost.com, and TravelSearch.com, as well as brand work for the travel Web site, Kayak.com.

The RFP cites several challenges for the company, including limited resources for the internal PR team, but the overall theme is an emphasis on driving more traffic to the company's Web site and raising brand awareness. The budget includes a monthly retainer of $10,000. The document notes that Kayak.com "does not advertise offline... [and] less than 20 percent of online travelers... have ever heard of or used Kayak.com (or any metasearch site)."

The company is looking for a firm with a New York office, and one with experience in strategic consumer travel or tech PR, M&A work, and good knowledge of the travel industry. The selected agency would help design and implement an overall PR strategy and tactics, provide ongoing media outreach, New York City media tours for company executives, and a strategy to branch into social media.

The incumbent on the account, Edelman, was not invited to pitch and declined to comment.The search for a new agency was spurred by Kayak.com's decision to go in a new direction, said Kellie Pelletier, Kayak.com's VP of communications, who is leading the search.

“In the past we've only dabbled in social media,” Pelletier said. “We're ready for an agency with more consumer technology experience to come in and shake up what we're doing.” It also expects the new agency to help it expand its media relations focus from consumer travel to "consumer tech and tech writers/bloggers.

It is an open RFP, but a number of agencies were already invited to pitch. Those responding include Weber Shandwick, Text 100, and Lewis PR, the agencies confirmed. WS helped the Kayak.com launch in 2004, and more recently, it was tasked to help the company kick off a TravelPost.com launch later this month.

Proposals are due Friday, March 6, with work expected to begin April 1.

Updated March 5, 2009, 10:20am

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