SUNNYVALE, CA: NetApp, a data management, delivery, and storage company, has hired Washington-based integrated communications shop Bluetext to handle PR for its US public sector business.
NetApp in December decided to consolidate its global agency roster of 17 firms down to one agency for each of thee geographical regions: the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. The company also decided to hire a DC-based firm to handle the US public sector, as well as an agency to manage broader communication and coordination.
NetApp picked Porter Novelli to manage the Americas region and coordinate strategy and messaging with the other regional firms. Voce Communications served as NetApp's North American agency for the past 11 years until it was acquired by Porter in February.
NetApp did not previously have a firm handling the US public sector business, though Voce assisted on various projects.
Bluetext will implement a full-service PR program for NetApp's public sector business, which includes federal government work, as well as state and local government and education business.
“We were looking for a very specialized type of firm because it's just a different animal out there in terms of the types of publications they are going after and the clientele that quite frankly just can't talk,” said Jodi Baumann, senior director of corporate communications at NetApp.
NetApp sent an RFI to 10 firms, including a mix of global agencies with public-sector arms and boutique shops. The company declined to disclose the firms involved. Five shops were called back to participate in the final pitch process.
Baumann explained that it chose Bluetext for its Beltway expertise, senior-level experience and support, and digital and social media savvy.
“They really get the entire Beltway area,” she explained. “They also had some really interesting ideas about social media and digital PR, which is something we've really tried to get our [public sector] business doing more of.”
“We really felt like with them, we were going to get so much more attention than with some of the other firms,” Baumann added.
Don Goldberg, partner at Bluetext, said that the agency is looking forward to helping NetApp showcase that it is a leader in its field.
“NetApp really is at the forefront of how government agencies are going to handle and process the information that they need to use to better serve their constituencies and their citizens,” he said.
NetApp is still conducting search processes for agencies in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions. It sent RFIs to 22 agencies in the two regions combined. NetApp selected six agencies in EMEA and five in the Asia-Pacific region to participate in the next round.