Choice Hotels seeks agency to work across portfolio

ROCKVILLE, MD: Choice Hotels International, the parent company of chains such as Comfort Inn and Quality Inn, is seeking a PR agency partner for all of its brands.

ROCKVILLE, MD: Choice Hotels International, the parent company of chains such as Comfort Inn and Quality Inn, is seeking a PR agency partner for all of its brands.

“We have launched a closed review of a select group of PR agencies to support both Choice Hotels International and our entire portfolio of brands,” explained Scott Carman, director of PR at the company. He declined to give further details about the RFP.

Choice Hotels, which has a roster of 10 brands, operates more than 6,200 hotels in 30 countries. The brands include Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, and Rodeway Inn. Ascend Hotel Collection, which is a membership network of historic, boutique hotels, is also part of Choice.

It was unclear if the hotel parent company had employed a PR AOR across its brands in the past. In 2009, Choice Hotels International hired CRT/tanaka to handle PR and marketing for Cambria Suites, which was its newest all-suite brand at the time. 

In the first quarter of 2013, Choice Hotels International reported a 22% decrease in net income to $15.5 million year-over-year. Total revenue in the quarter increased 6% to $136.9 million, year-over-year.

The company also opened 88 newly franchised properties in Q1 of this year.

Last October, InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns and operates brands including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, selected Hill+Knowlton Strategies as its agency for corporate and brand PR in the Americas. The firm was chosen after a review of PR agencies within holding company WPP Group, which operates Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy Public Relations, and Cohn & Wolfe.

Two months later, Wyndham Hotel Group's Dream Hotels brand named John Doe US as its agency for global lifestyle PR, following a competitive pitch process. More recently, Aloft Hotels selected Atomic PR as its AOR after its unconventional “RFTweet” process, which invited firms to pitch for its business via Twitter. Aloft is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Also, in May, Hilton Worldwide brought on HL Group as global AOR for its luxury Waldorf Astoria and Conrad Hotels & Resorts brands.

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