BT engages in major PR agency overhaul

BT is to hold a competitive pitch to select a list of ten PR agencies with whom the utility will work on the majority of its public relations projects.

BT is to hold a competitive pitch to select a list of ten PR

agencies with whom the utility will work on the majority of its public

relations projects.



The move will mean scrapping BT’s existing list of ’qualified’

suppliers, which includes 600 PR agencies which have been vetted and

cleared to pitch for BT business.



All 30 agencies which are currently working for BT will have to compete

for a place on the list if they want to be selected for new work when

their current contracts expire.



Among those who have contracts with BT are the Quentin Bell

Organisation; Freud Communications; Scope Ketchum; Le Fevre; Band and

Brown Communications and JBA Public Relations.



To get onto the new list, agencies will have to meet a set of criteria

which includes having a minimum turnover of pounds 500,000 and at least

ten full-time employees.



’Once on the list agencies may not have to pitch for new work,’ said

senior press and broadcasting officer Robert Dunnett.



BT will go outside the list for smaller activities or niche markets, if

there is a proven need to do so.The move does not affect political

consultancies wishing to work for BT.



’We want to ensure we know our agencies and that they get to know us, by

having more focused and effective criteria at an earlier stage,’ said

Dunnett.



The telecommunications company is believed to spend more than pounds 10

million a year on PR agencies, and intends to increase its marketing and

communication spend as the telecomms market becomes even more

competitive.



The review of official suppliers was recommended by BT’s PR strategy

group, set up six months ago. The group had input from BT’s business and

personal communications marketing divisions, supply management,

corporate relations departments and the press and broadcasting.



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