LONDON--Cisco has called in Good Relations Group to run its UK PR programme, after parting ways with incumbent firm Octopus Communications.

Good Relations Technology clinches the six-figure assignment following a competitive review that featured five other firms at the initial stage: Bite, Brands2Life, Kaizo, Text 100 and Zeno.

The Holmes Report revealed earlier this year that Octopus had declined to repitch for the business, although the agency will continue to work on Cisco's European PR activities.

The UK review follows the arrival of former CA Technologies global comms director Rachel Matthews at Cisco in late 2012. Matthews now oversees Cisco's communications across EMEA.

Good Relations Group chairman Kevin Murray told the Holmes Report that the firm will aim to broaden Cisco's appeal beyond tech audiences.

"Our job will be to ensure that Cisco is as relevant to the head of marketing, sales or HR as it is to the IT manager or CEO," said Murray. "Selling Cisco to the CIO is easy because they know technology and they know what Cisco is or does. But when you start talking to the HR director or the marketing director, they each have a very different perspective on the business they run."

Murray noted that Cisco needed to reach other corporate functions beyond IT because "these are the specifiers," who then ask the CIO to buy Cisco's products. 

Accordingly, Good Relations Technology will attempt to build on Cisco’s work and profile as the official Olympic Network Infrastructure provider for London 2012.   

“Key to our decision was the overall communications approach outlined by Good Relations Technology, which gave us great insight and a very clear strategy for aligning PR activity to wider business goals," said Cisco UK and Ireland PR manager Abigail Watts.

Good Relations Technology, which is distinct from group tech firm Harvard, is led by group COO Chris Warham.