CLEVELAND: Park Place Technologies has selected Hill+Knowlton Strategies as its global PR AOR.
The company, which provides third-party hardware, storage and network maintenance services for IT data centers, is growing rapidly and has made 14 acquisitions in the last 26 months, said CMO Jennifer Deutsch.
While incumbent shop KWT Global had done “a fantastic job,” Deutsch said, last spring her company began searching for an agency with a stronger international presence.
“We needed a PR firm that understood the Singaporean market, where we have a hub, and we also needed a PR firm that understood and had deep roots in India and Australia,” she said.
Deutsch reached out to 10 PR firms looking for a shop to handle analyst relations and traditional PR. Three pitched before H+K was brought on in late fall of 2019 and the agency began working on initiatives in India in January and will start working in Australia soon, she added.
KWT Global was invited to pitch and the company evaluated the firm’s capabilities and proposed plan, Deutsch said.
“It was not at the level that we needed and it was not an efficient plan,” she explained.
KWT Global did not immediately comment on the decision.
Deutsch did not reveal the exact size of the contract with the agency, but said H+K was retained for “three different budget streams: One is digital, and it’s significant; one is for analyst relations, and that’s also significant; and another one is PR.”
“We’re a pretty small marketing team for the size of the company globally and from a revenue perspective,” Deutsch said, explaining the choice. “We have 10 people and we needed the ability to leverage the knowledge, breadth, scope and experience of H+K. We literally needed people on the ground. We did also use CubanEight in Ireland and the U.K. and they were fantastic. But again, we’re a small team and they just did not have the bandwidth.”
Initially, H+K had been chosen only for PR and analyst relations. However, Deutsch said she also asked them to pitch against a separate digital RFP and the firm won that work as well.
Deutsch said she was nonplussed by the response from some major agencies during her search.
“For the PR and analyst relations search, I did reach out to 10 PR firms and left voicemail messages for business development people and also for the head of their tech practices,” she said.
Many firms didn’t call her back.
“When someone takes two days to call me back it clearly demonstrates to me they are not customer oriented,” Deutsch added. “As an organization as focused on customers as we are, that’s what I want from all my [vendors].”
In February, H+K won another tech client, when data analytics company Alteryx awarded the agency a seven-figure PR account. The WPP agency will handle media relations primarily in an effort to secure coverage for their client in business and technology publications read by business leaders.
In January, H+K appointed Geraint Evans as strategy director of public affairs in London. According to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2019, revenue at H+K grew 3% in 2018 to $400 million. In February, WPP reported that its PR firms saw a 0.1% revenue decrease in Q4 2019.