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
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
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
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.