Public Sector: DWP names PR agencies on first marcoms roster

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced details of its first marcoms roster, with eight PR firms selected to bid for work.

Out of the 23 PR agencies to apply, the DWP has announced that Citigate Communications, Consolidated Communications, Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster, Geronimo, Harrison Cowley, Munro and Forster, Porter Novelli and QBO Bell Pottinger have clinched a place on the list.

According to a spokeswoman all have been selected because of their 'strong track record of public sector work'. Geronimo, for example, is already running the DWP's Age Positive campaign.

The roster has been created in an attempt to better organise arrangements with communications consultancies. The spokeswoman added that research by the DWP last year found that the creation of a roster would achieve 'greater value for money', as well as 'reduce inefficient spot buying'.

The roster's creation has been timed to coincide with the end of a number of contracts arranged within the raft of departments and quangos the DWP took over when it was created in 2001.

These included the Department of Social Security, Child Support Agency and parts of the Department for Education and Employment.

The DWP was unable to give details of the first campaigns likely to be awarded under the new roster arrangement. It said that with a general election four weeks away, fresh promotional efforts are on hold.

As well as campaign work, the PR agencies on the roster will be selected to handle staff cover, including PR management roles. Speech writing and news and feature writing will also be part of their brief.

The roster, which includes a total of 88 marketing and communications firms - which covers around £7m worth of work - is to run for three years, with an option to extend for another year depending on its success.

The DWP has also revealed that inclusion on the roster could lead to work from other government departments, which are to gain access to the roster.

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