Agencies pitch for e-Envoy and UK online PR accounts

COI Communications has shortlisted agencies to handle PR for the Government's UK online campaign and the Office of the e-Envoy.

The UK online consumer PR brief and corporate PR for the e-Envoy's office have come under review ahead of the campaign's second anniversary in September.

Incumbent Good Relations, which currently handles both accounts, is expected to repitch.

The agency is up against The Red Consultancy, Ketchum, Biss Lancaster, Consolidated Communications and Beer Davies for the consumer brief, and Fishburn Hedges, Citigate Communications, August.One Communications and Bite for the trade and corporate contract.

PR work for the UK online brand will see a campaign to encourage citizens to use the internet and maximise publicity surrounding its second anniversary.

The corporate and trade brief will target IT and public policy decision-makers.

John Fraser, Office of the e-Envoy head of external relations and partnerships, said: 'This is a good time to review agency support. Within two years the campaign has delivered significant results to thousands of people seeking to get online for the first time.'

He said that 'whatever the outcome' of next month's pitches, Good Relations would be retained for strategic communications.

'Both briefs will target three key audiences. Those with internet access, those who don't but have expressed great interest it, and those that have no access and no interest. The main target audience identified for this stage of the campaign are those interested but not connected,' added Fraser.

The successful agency will also be expected to reach socially-disadvantaged and hard-to-reach audiences.

The aims of the Office of the e-Envoy are to ensure universal net access by 2005 and to get all government services online by that date.

The latest stage of the campaign will see partnerships formed to allow branding and access of the UK online service via TV portals and voluntary and private sector partnerships.

The Office of the e-Envoy, run by career civil servant Andrew Pinder, was set up in 1999 as part of the Cabinet Office. It is on the hunt for a secondee to head its UK online partnership team (PRWeek , 15 March).

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