CHICAGO, September 4—Telecommunications leader Sprint has selected Golin/Harris International as its public relations agency of record for corporate-wide communications initiatives. Golin replaces Burson-Marsteller on the account, which is believed to have been worth slightly more than $1 million last year. Budgets for the current year are apparently under review.
Golin/Harris will assist the Spring corporate communications staff, led by vice president of corporate communications Bill White, corporate reputation management, including corporate and financial media relations, issues management, government and regulatory media relations, and internal communications.
The account will be based in the Chicago headquarters office of Golin/Harris and will be led by Scott Farrell, executive vice president and director of the office’s corporate practice. Golin started work for the company “six or seven weeks ago,” according to Farrell, and the firm’s Golin’s Washington, New York, and San Francisco offices have already handled elements of the program, with further help expected from international offices on an as needed basis.
According to White, “Golin/Harris emerged from a rigorous review process as the agency best suited to provide the creative strategic counsel, planning and support we need to build momentum for Sprint’s reputation as the company best prepared to lead the next phase of growth and development in the telecommunications industry.”
White told the Chicago Tribune that the loss of the Sprint business was not connected to high turnover at B-M at the time of the review. More than 30 firms responded to an RFP issued earlier this year, and Sprint ultimately narrowed the search to eight before going with Golin.
Sprint has more than 80,000 employees worldwide and $23 billion in annual revenues, and serves 23 million business and residential customers in more than 70 countries. There have been questions about the company’s future since last year’s failed merger talks with Worldcom, and Sprint is one of several long distance companies working to shape the future of high-speed Internet access in a high-stakes lobbying battle in the nation’s capital. The company is also engaged in several state-by-state public affairs battles, ranging from telecom competition issues to laws that bar the use of hand-held wireless telephones in cars.