PR manager Jacquiline Willers said the company had seen pitches from four agencies and settled on a shortlist of two for the Manchester brief, with local agency Mason Williams and London-based Pineapple PR in contention.
Willers refused to discuss fees for the two briefs, but said: ‘We have budgets for the Manchester project and for a two-year contract to help the Radisson Edwardian brand. It may be that one gets the Manchester job and the other the wider brief.'
'At the moment, we’re not looking at other agencies for the two-year contract, but that may change,’ she added.
Radisson Edwardian has previously used Brighter PR for its PR work. The agency is not involved in the current pitch process. Willers said the brief for the Radisson Edwardian Hotel Manchester will involve activity to drive bookings and awareness ahead of its opening in June 2004. The company claims the Manchester hotel will be the first five-star hotel ‘in the centre of the city’.
However, Manchester’s Lowry Hotel – which falls just outside the city centre in neighbouring Salford and accommodated the England football team last weekend for its friendly against Denmark – currently dubs itself the city’s only five-star hotel, sparking speculation of a feud between the two hotels.
But, Rocco Forte Hotels UK marketing director, Murray Thompson, played down talk of a spat, saying the opening of the Radisson in the city would ‘make life easier’ for the Lowry: ‘Manchester is saturated with three- and four-star hotels and it will no longer be just us saying it’s worthwhile to pay for luxury,’ he said.