Contracts worth a total of £2m are up for grabs over a four-year period but the details of the forthcoming campaigns are being kept under wraps.
Agencies will be invited to join a roster and bid for campaigns on a job-by-job basis. The types of services that the GLA expects to use include storylines and product placement on TV, co-ordination of high-profile events and campaigns, celebrity sourcing and liasing, and production of PR toolkits.
Work is expected to be based around London but may be extended. GLA press officer Matthew Neylan said: ‘The GLA is seeking to establish a framework for the award of contracts for public relations services. This will comply with EU requirements and will facilitate the procurement of agencies to offer specialist PR support for a range of GLA and other sponsored and partnership initiatives.’
In the 2003-2004 financial year, a number of sponsored and partnership projects led by the GLA have used specialist PR agencies, such as the Recycle for London campaign to raise awareness of waste and recycling issues and encourage people in the capital to recycle more.
However, the GLA said the roster was not being set up with specific projects in mind but to ensure PR agencies can be engaged rapidly and efficiently to help with communications on a wide range of policy-driven projects.
The GLA’s PR budget has been increased. It said that last year it spent around £131,000.
Neylan added that it did not anticipate spending the full allocated PR budget, and that drawing up the roster would assist the department in preparing for future projects: ‘This process will help us prepare for projects that are in the pipeline.’
Applications must be received by 13 April.