Dallas taps Burson for $6.3m in awareness campaigns

The city of Dallas has tentatively awarded Burson-Marsteller a five-year, $6.3 million contract to oversee two separate public awareness campaigns for its water utilities office.

DALLAS: The city of Dallas has tentatively awarded Burson-Marsteller a five-year, $6.3 million contract to oversee two separate public awareness campaigns for its water utilities office.

Both campaigns will be bilingual. One effort will result in water conservation messaging, and the other will promote the awareness of grease abatement, which is necessary for reducing sanitary sewer overflows, according to city documents.

A subcommittee is reviewing the contract before it is formally approved. Representatives from both the city and Burson confirmed the selection but deferred comment until the contract is formalized.

The WPP Group firm won the account following a competitive RFP process that included three Texas-based agencies: EnviroMedia, the LeMaster Group, and Buckalew Media. The incumbent on the contract was the strategic communications unit of engineering shop CDM Smith, according to documents.

The scope of work for the campaigns includes PR, community relations, consumer research, and advertising.

Dallas' Save Water. Nothing Can Replace It! campaign has existed in various incarnations since 2002 and has helped to save 165 billion gallons of water, according to RFP documents. Outreach on grease abatement began in 2005 to stop sewer overflows happening as a result of residents pouring grease and cooking oil down the drain, presenting “a concern to both human health and the environment,” according to documents.

Last month, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport hired Concussion to manage its b-to-c marketing, advertising, and PR activities.

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