The move marks one of the most significant PR contracts offered by the military since the beginning of the war in Iraq.
The request for proposals covers a range of comms work on behalf of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq. Work is scheduled to begin in October.
The US Defense Department issued a similar contract to Washington DC-based The Rendon Group in September 2005.
That one-year account, worth $6.4m, also covered strategic comms in Iraq. Its upcoming expiry coincides with the start of the new contract.The publicly available list of comms agencies interested in the contract does not include Rendon, but this is not a sure indication that the firm has declined to pitch for the brief.
Interestingly, the listed agencies include several with experience in various areas of government contracting, including construction, telecoms, and security. As PRWeek went to press, no PR agencies were included.
According to the official statement of work for the project, the scope of the task includes: providing a ‘core team of creative thinkers, talented/educated communicators, and skilled professionals' to support ‘Coalition media comms throughout Iraq' and the Middle East.
It went on to outline tasks, such as continuous media monitoring of ‘Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international and US media' sources.
Other tasks listed in the statement were: assessments of the tone of coverage and effectiveness of Centcomm's messaging; research presentations to commanders; long-term strategic communications; and the development of media materials such as print columns and press releases.
Media training for Multi-National Forces staff, and website development, have also been included in the project brief.