BASKING RIDGE, NJ: Business communications company Avaya has retained Fleishman-Hillard as US AOR following a competitive review.
The agency works with Avaya in more than 50 markets around the world, but only the US account was reviewed. Fleishman has handled the tech company's communications for the past five years.
“We are a technology company, and we really need to raise up what the business value is,” said Deb Kline, global technology PR team lead at Avaya. “So it's more about extracting themes and business value from that technology that we can then go to media and tell that story.”
Six or seven agencies participated in the multi-round review that started in January, Kline said, but she declined to name specific firms. The new contract began in April.
Avaya decided it wanted to both drive sales and develop a strong media profile, so Fleishman put together a new team to handle the work. Bob Winslow, EVP and senior partner at Fleishman, is the leader of the account, which teams from the agency's New York and San Francisco office will work on.
"It was just a different skill set that they needed, and we were happy to have a team available in the areas they are focused on now," Winslow said.
With a heavy focus on media relations, Fleishman will work to tell a larger business story for Avaya, rather than a product-focused narrative. The team will also raise awareness of the channel of partners that the company uses to sell and manage its products.
“The story about Avaya is more about the connection between consumers and enterprises, social media's effect on things like contact center, and Avaya's technology enabling clients to create jobs in their own countries,” Winslow said.
Additionally, Avaya will pay attention to consumer products and how they are infiltrating and influencing the technology business.
“When [consumers] get something easier on an iPhone then on a desk phone, that has an impact on not only how you are going to create and sell products but how you position them as well,” Kline said.