Diana Marszalek 03 May 2023 // 7:14PM GMT
LOS ANGELES — Facing the threat of a US ban, TikTok is looking for a new US PR agency to handle responsibilities that include telling the company’s “safety story to consumers,” PRovoke Media has learned.
A TikTok rep confirmed that the app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has launched an agency review but would not elaborate.
In an RFP, however, TikTok said its overarching goal is consolidating the app’s US consumer PR business with one primary agency. Since 2019, the company has worked with a range of small specialist and larger multi-disciplinary agencies which, with growth, “has become increasingly more challenging.” The business is worth $1.5 million a year.
The RFP also shows that whoever wins the lucrative business will have an expansive remit, with efforts and initiatives focused on key areas including consumers and creators; B2B and SMBs; music; DE&I; and “telling our safety story to consumers.”
The latter is noteworthy given that safety concerns, primarily around whether TikTok shares sensitive data with the Chinese government, is fueling efforts to ban the platform in the US and elsewhere. The app is banned from federal devices in the US. The same is true in the UK, Canada, France and Australia among others.
TikTok said it was looking for a true partner in a new US agency, “a team that’s willing to be in the trenches with us — we want to build something together.”
“The US Comms team works closely with our cross-functional partners to launch products, announce campaigns and initiatives, and identify creators and artists to amplify their stories to the media. On the media side, we are focused on building stronger relationships with reporters and editors to help evolve the current narratives in US press — a critical goal for and focus of our team. We do this through targeted announcement and campaign media strategies as well as proactive pitching, 1:1 relationship-building, and hosting thoughtful media events. We would like our agency partner to help connect the dots across all of our core focus areas to both drive and support this work,” the company said.