Airport Gives Nod to RedRover - Commercial Appeal - 9/18/14

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Airport officials have chosen public relations and marketing firm RedRover to help win the hearts and minds of Memphians and other constituents.

RedRover, led by founder and chief executive officer Lori Turner-Wilson, was top-ranked among eight local firms that sought the contract for public relations and marketing services.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board on Thursday authorized staff to negotiate a one-year contract with options for four one-year renewals. If a satisfactory agreement isn’t reached with RedRover, negotiations would shift to the No. 2-ranked firm, The Carter Malone Group.

Board chairman Jack Sammons and chief executive Scott Brockman said the airport needs outside expertise to tell its story and craft a new brand. The public, especially in Memphis, has been barraged with negative news about Delta Air Lines’ downsizing and ultimate de-hubbing of a once-thriving passenger hub.

“We’re not hiring this firm to put lipstick on a pig,” Sammons said. “They value the importance of this airport to our community, and that’s a story that has to be told.”

Fees are part of the negotiations. The contract was worth $332,774.55 over four years ending June 30 for the previous provider, Thompson and Co. and its successor, Sullivan Branding, airport spokesman Glen Thomas said. Fees peaked at $141,357.39 in fiscal 2013, Thomas said.

Sullivan Branding has been working on a month-to-month basis since June 2013.Sullivan Branding was one of the firms vying for the new contract, along with Caissa Public Strategy, Hemline, Howell Marketing Strategies, Kingdom Quality Communications and Walker + Associates. Kingdom Quality’s proposal was deemed nonresponsive to a request for qualifications.