Atlassian picks Weber Shandwick as PR AOR

The account budget is worth more than $500,000.

SAN FRANCISCO: Australian enterprise software company Atlassian has named Weber Shandwick its PR AOR in the U.S., for an assignment worth more than $500,000.

Work on the account started on June 1, following a review that took place over a couple of months, said Scott Rubin, Atlassian’s VP of brand and communications. The account is handled by Weber’s SVP of technology, James Walker, in San Francisco.

"[Weber Shandwick] will be key partners in helping us scale and reach new audiences through earned, and to some extent, owned media," Rubin said.

Weber Shandwick’s assignment is to drive awareness around the Atlassian brand instead of just individual products, he added.

"While we have high awareness of products, customers don’t know those products are Atlassian products," Rubin said.

Weber Shandwick recently won an account for Sony Electronics with a similar goal – to strengthen the Sony Electronics brand, rather than emphasizing products.

"While we integrate with a lot of other products outside Atlassian, we also know that our customers are finding the smoothest integration [often occurs] using several Atlassian products at once," Rubin said. "We want them to understand how modern teams service the future modern workday and we believe it comes from the collaboration you can achieve by using multiple Atlassian products."

Through this strategy, Atlassian can boost awareness of its entire suite of products, allowing its teams to sell more products to existing customers.

The incumbent, Highwire PR, is "very proud" of its work for Atlassian over the past two years, said the firm’s principal Carol Carrubba via email. That work included Atlassian’s IPO in December 2015, Rubin said.

"When new leadership initiated a pitch, we declined to participate," Carrubba said. "We wish them continued success."

The decision to look for a new agency was mutual, Rubin added.

The pitching process was initiated a few months after Rubin joined Atlassian in January 2018. His remit includes brand, comms, editorial, and its internal creative agency. After he was hired, he "looked at what [Atlassian] needed for the next stage of growth," Rubin said.

From there, the Atlassian team identified the agencies they wanted to pitch and issued the RFP. Several declined because of conflicts, ultimately leaving eight that responded.

Atlassian narrowed the field down to four, all of whom were brought in for a live pitch. Two finalists were chosen, including Weber Shandwick.

Rubin said Weber Shandwick "just got it" when it came to understanding the Atlassian business. The Interpublic Group firm’s international reach and integrated approach also contributed to its business win.

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