Regional agencies Willoughby PR, Hopwood, Lava PR and Eden PR have been selected alongside Trimedia's Birmingham office.
The agencies will work with the government body's in-house PR team to develop campaigns, such as promoting the 'Lab in a Lorry' initiative, which will encourage students to take science, technology, engineering and maths subjects. Another will aim to encourage people to start their own businesses.
Emda head of comms Caroline Shutter said: 'We wanted people who can demonstrate that they have a good knowledge of working with regional media. We've deliberately gone for agencies that can offer a number of different skills.'
Emda received applications from 50 agencies. The brief is for two years, with the option to extend for a further two years, subject to 'satisfactory performance'.
Emda was set up by the Government in 1999 to increase economic development to the region.
The aim is to help the East Midlands become a top-20 performing European economic region by 2010. Emda must create jobs and attract businesses to reach its target.
When last measured in 2005, the region held 28th place out of 71 European regions by 'gross added value' (GDP minus tax).