ATLANTA: Georgia's State Road and Tollway Authority has awarded Porter Novelli a multi-million-dollar contract to support various state agency programs.
Marketing firm The Creative Outhouse will assist the Omnicom Group agency on the effort.
The state agency oversees two toll facilities on State Road 400 and Interstate 85's express lanes, as well as the Peach Pass transponders, which are devices that automatically deduct the toll amount from a customer's account.
There are now 225,000 Peach Pass customers. However, that number is expected to dramatically increase in the next five years when the state opens three toll facilities, including two in the Metropolitan Atlanta region.
The firm's scope of work includes creating a strategic communications plan, PR and branding counsel, media buying, public outreach, and market research.
“Communicating the benefits of having a Peach Pass and using our express lanes is a monumental task that we know [Porter] and Creative Outhouse will help us achieve,” said Bert Brantley, deputy executive director of the state transportation agency.
The Road and Tollway Authority chose the firms because they demonstrated a keen understanding of its business and had relevant experience, a collaborate partnership, and knowledge of key players in the region, Brantley said.
They agency team has worked with the Clean Air Campaign, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, and the region's transportation management associations and community improvement districts for more than a decade.
The contract is for five years, comprised of an initial term of two years and three one-year renewal options. Assuming the relationship runs for the full term, its budget “will certainly be seven figures in aggregate,” Brantley said.
The account's budget will be determined each year though the state agency's budget process. Porter's first task will be planning for fiscal year 2014, which will start in 24 days.
“We literally do not even have next year's budget set,” Brantley said.
Brad MacAfee, senior partner and MD of Porter's Atlanta office, noted the agency's “long history of trying to make travel and transportation in the region better.”
A representative from Creative Outhouse did not immediately return a request for comment.