Applebee's selects Crossroads as AOR

KANSAS CITY, MO: Restaurant chain Applebee's has selected Crossroads as its PR AOR following an RFP process that involved 12 agencies.

KANSAS CITY, MO: Restaurant chain Applebee's has selected Crossroads as its PR AOR following an RFP process that involved 12 agencies. 

Initially, the company, a DineEquity brand, invited nine PR firms to participate in the review, but it is understood that three more agencies were added to the process at the beginning of August. 

The [Applebee's brand] chose Crossroads because of its creativity and innovative thinking, said Dan Smith, communications manager for the chain. 

Charlotte, NC-based DFPR, the brand's incumbent since September 2010 did not participate in the RFP. Its contract with the restaurant chain expired July 31.

Crossroads, which spun off into a standalone PR unit from advertising agency Barkley in May, will support all of the chain's PR and marketing efforts, as well as develop ideas and initiatives for the brand, said Mike Swenson, president of the firm. 

He added that Crossroads will work to build loyalty for the “great American brand” through a wide range of print, TV, and online media outreach. 

“We don't distinguish between bloggers and reporters at all anymore,” Swenson explained. “To us, it's more about influencer relations, or identifying those people who can be highly influential for our clients regardless of who signs their paychecks.”

With a team of five staffers working on the account, Crossroads will also help Applebee's with its Veteran's Day cause efforts, he added.

Swenson said the agency is also looking forward to integrating and collaborating with the brand's in-house social media team and its other agency partners on initiatives. 

In March, Applebee's selected Crispin Porter + Bogusky as its advertising agency of record. McCann Erickson was the brand's advertising AOR since 2007.

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