Global PR review for Global Airline

Steve’s breakdown: You’re going to have to move fast for this British Airways PR review. The budget is $1.3 million. Try John Lampl at (646) 321-7809. He’s the Vice President of Corporate Communications in New York.

LONDON, England & NEW YORK, NY: British Airways is contacting a number of large agencies, including incumbents Grayling, Action and Meropa, about its global PR support and crisis management, PRWeek has learned.

The airline is understood to have budget of a little more than £1 million (US$1.33 million) a year to spend on international agency support. Last year, BA retained the three incumbents of its international roster: Grayling for Europe and APAC, Meropa in Africa and Action in the Middle East. BA is now sending an initial RFI asking agencies to specify which region or regions they might cover.

The airline could appoint one agency globally or multiple to cover different geographies. An RFP will follow, with a view to new contracts being in place by January. In addition to the geographies covered by the agencies named above, BA is seeking support in the Americas. UK PR is handled in-house. The review is being handled by head of global PR Kathryn Williamson.

Agencies taking part in the process may also have the chance to become involved in other companies within International Airlines Group; these include Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling. In May, the airline’s marketing team awarded a creative, media, social media and paid search brief to WPP. Michael Frohlich, EMEA CEO of Ogilvy PR, is understood to by leading on elements of the brief.

BA has been subject to criticism for its comms and customer service reactions to an IT meltdown in May, and has suffered other disruption in recent months.

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