INTERNATIONAL: Pitch looms for space station PR

NOORDWIJK, HOLLAND: The European Space Agency and its Canadian counterpart are on the hunt for PR and branding support to raise the profile of the International Space Station.

ESA and the Canadian Space Agency want communications firms that specialise in PR, advertising and brand work to pitch for the business, worth almost £600,000.

The agencies are for the first time seeking a consultancy to boost the profile of the ISS initiative in a bid to meet the project's commercial objectives.

Firms pitching for the work will need to have a capability in Canada and a major office in at least one of the European target regions: Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Norway or Sweden.

The campaign will involve image and branding work; ad hoc PR, events and advertising advice; and media relations.

'We found there was a need for better information to increase awareness of the commercial possibilities that ISS will offer,' said Giovanna Bertoli, ESA commercialisation and procurement management division directorate (manned space flight and microgravity).

A pitch shortlist has not yet been drawn up, but the deadline for responses to the initial call for interest is 15 April.

Bertoli said the pitching process should start by June, with a view to getting a consultancy on board by the end of the summer.

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