Cision brings on McGrath/Power as PR AOR

The incumbent on the account was Blanc & Otus.

Cision CEO Kevin Akeroyd
Cision CEO Kevin Akeroyd

SAN JOSE, CA: Cision has hired McGrath/Power as PR AOR, replacing incumbent Blanc & Otus.

McGrath/Power will support Cision in North America, the U.K., and parts of EMEA yet to be determined, McGrath/Power CEO Jon Bloom told PRWeek. The account lead is Kate Walker, a partner and SVP of client service.

In the U.K., the account will be serviced by McGrath/Power’s partner Kaizo. Support will also come from trade association Worldcomm PR Group, of which McGrath/Power is a member.

Instead of having a formal pitch, Cision CEO Kevin Akeroyd, CMO Chris Lynch, and VP of comms Nick Bell reached out directly to McGrath/Power. They hired McGrath/Power in April, Bloom said.

Cision contacted McGrath/Power because the agency was part of the AOR pitch in August 2017. That process included Blanc & Otus. Then-incumbent Geben Communication was invited to participate. Also, Bloom’s relationship with senior management at Cision goes back a few years, he said.

"They were looking to do some things differently," Bloom said of the account. "We’re going to be looking to have a broader, more strategic program that takes advantage of all the assets that Cision has to offer. We’re all familiar with Cision’s products, but few of us realize it’s a $1 billion SaaS company with some innovative technology."

Bloom said McGrath/Power will work to broaden Cision’s "storyline," customizing stories for its different audiences, from journalists to PR pros to in-house comms staffers, because each uses its products differently. The agency will also integrate traditional media outreach with social, as well as providing senior counsel.

Over the next few weeks, McGrath/Power will prioritize working on GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation-related issues. The European Union legislation, which took effect in May, introduced new laws around data privacy, giving people more control over their data while moderating how businesses collect and store it.

Bloom said the agency is still in the planning stages of that program.

Blanc & Otus CEO Tony Hynes declined to comment. A representative from Cision was not immediately available for comment.

Editor's note: This story was updated on June 22 to correct the RFP process. Geben Communication was invited to participate but ultimately passed on the opportunity.

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