NEWARK, NJ: Panasonic System Communications Company of North America has brought on Racepoint Global as PR AOR of its mobility business.
Panasonic’s mobility business includes its Toughbook and Toughpad lines of products, and the company’s Rugged laptops, tablets, two-in-one, and handheld devices.
Racepoint officially began working with Panasonic on March 1. The RFP process began in late November, and Racepoint was selected at the end of February. Seven candidates were involved initially, and the top three pitched. Incumbent Cohn & Wolfe was part of the RFP process but did not pitch.
Panasonic has held market share in Rugged laptop and tablet computers for the past 14 years, said Brian Rowley, VP of marketing and product management, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. So a major focus for Panasonic’s mobility business is maintaining that market share.
"Racepoint’s task is to help us maintain that business, and assist us in the growth of handheld lines of products throughout the course of 2017 and beyond," said Rowley.
Racepoint’s remit is to elevate the voice of Panasonic in the marketplace. The firm has responsibility for the business’ social media platforms, assisting with product placement, and product launches. The firm is also tasked with coordinating Panasonic’s conversations with analysts and press in regard to analyzing markets and "making sure people are aware of this line of products that Panasonic offers," Rowley explained.
In May, Racepoint is aiding Panasonic with the launch of a flagship product.
Dan Carter, Racepoint’s EVP, MD, North America, is leading a team of roughly 15 staffers on the account.
"We are looking at this from core PR to content, from social to paid media, and creative - we have all those capabilities built into Racepoint, which is a rarity for a mid-size agency," said Carter. "That is what we brought into play. We will make sure we are pulling all that through earned media and looking at it all much more holistically."
Panasonic’s relationship with Cohn & Wolfe on its mobility business officially ends on April 1.
"Panasonic has been a client for more than 10 years, and our partnership with them continues," a Cohn & Wolfe rep told PRWeek in an emailed statement. "We believe they made the right decision for their b-to-b needs and wish them continued success."
Cohn & Wolfe continues to partner with Panasonic on its consumer business.
Rowley explained that the company decided to bring on a new PR AOR because the market is changing and is "really competitive."
"For me, it was an opportunity to have a different set of eyes looking at the business, have a fresh view of our brand, and get guidance to help us maintain that and to grow the business according to our strategy," said Rowley. "I felt comfortable with the excitement and the focus Racepoint has in the tech space."
Budget information was not disclosed.