US Navy, National Guard seek marcomms support

WASHINGTON: Two armed services units, the National Guard Bureau and the US Navy, are shopping multimillion-dollar marcomms contracts.

WASHINGTON: Two armed services units, the National Guard Bureau and the US Navy, are shopping multimillion-dollar marcomms contracts.

The scope of work for the National Guard contract includes earned and paid media activities meant to generate interest in its programs and opportunities. Key messages will emphasize the military body's manpower recruitment and retention needs, according to the RFP.

A procurement officer said this RFP is not a replacement for a solicitation it issued in October 2011. That account's scope included PR, marketing, and advertising and was worth $477 million over a five-year-period. That contract, which has not yet been awarded, is still in play, according to a representative who did not return requests for comment on its anticipated award.

For the new solicitation, the National Guard Bureau plans to award a one-year contract that has two option years. The incumbent contractor, Laughlin Marinaccio & Owens, received 75 assignments over a five-year period, with the value ranging from $3,200 to $30 million, according to the RFP. Agency proposals are due August 2.

A representative from Laughlin Marinaccio & Owens did not return a request for comment.

Meanwhile, the US Navy is in a much earlier phase in its hunt for communications support, only issuing a pre-solicitation notice. The Armed Forces branch needs communications assistance “in fulfilling critical manpower needs to fill vacancies in enlisted and officer programs for both the active and reserve components.”

The scope of work for the anticipated RFP includes PR, marketing, advertising, market research, and IT and event support, according to a government notice. The contract is not expected to begin until next May and will last one year with four option years. The notice does not indicate when the Navy will formally release an RFP.

The incumbent on the contract is ad agency Campbell-Ewald. In 2009, the US Navy awarded the firm an $800 million, five-year contract. GolinHarris is the longtime PR subcontractor on the account.

The Interpublic Group ad agency considers the US Navy a “very large and important account,” and plans to re-bid, said Kathleen Donald, COO at Campbell-Ewald. The firm has worked with the military branch for 13 years.

A Navy representative did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about the pre-solicitation notice.

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