International: Cisco to search for a corp agency of record in the US

SAN JOSE, CA: Tech giant Cisco Systems is on the verge of launching a search for its first corporate agency of record (AOR) in the US.

Cisco senior director of corporate PR Claudia Ceniceros confirmed the IT networking company was due to embark on a US-wide review.

‘We work with a variety of PR firms on a project basis, and now we think this is an ideal time to engage an AOR on the corporate side, to support our corporate team in the US,’ said Ceniceros.

Cisco currently works with Applied Communications on corporate projects, but it is understood that the firm has not employed a corporate AOR in the 20 years since it was founded.

Los Angeles-based PR management consultant Jerry Swerling will advise Cisco on its search.

Ceniceros said details of the brief were yet to be decided, but confirmed she hopes to have the agency on board by this autumn.

Cisco follows in the footsteps of other top tech companies recently seeking agencies of record, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Siebel Systems.

The move to find a corporate communications AOR comes at a time when Cisco has sought to strengthen its brand and reputation.

The company recently hired Ogilvy & Mather as its advertising agency of record.

Earlier this year the group also launched a £120m global branding campaign, which included PR.

The campaign sought to position Cisco as the leader in networking technologies, and achieved coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the San Jose Mercury News and other print, broadcast and online media.

With the tagline, ‘This is the Power of the Network. Now’, the campaign focused on Cisco’s networking technologies and their ability to cover the internet, intranets, internet provider telephony, storage networking, mobility and security that aims to increase productivity.

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