Cision taps Blanc & Otus as AOR

The firm will help the marketing services technology company expand its footprint internationally.

Cision CEO Kevin Akeroyd
Cision CEO Kevin Akeroyd

CHICAGO: Cision has chosen Blanc & Otus as its PR and communications AOR.

Blanc & Otus will work on media relations, content, and messaging development for Cision.

The agency search was led by Nick Bell, VP of marketing comms and content at Cision. Two other firms were finalists.

Cision CMO Chris Lynch said the company ultimately chose Blanc & Otus, a subsidiary of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, because of its capabilities in message development and ability to scale globally as part of holding company WPP.

Blanc & Otus will primarily be involved in Cision’s comms and content department, which is led by Bell, but will also work with other parts of the business, such as the product marketing team, Lynch said.

Blanc & Otus CEO Tony Hynes said his agency partners with H+K on international accounts. For example, Hill+Knowlton’s London office will serve as the anchor for Cision’s communications efforts in EMEA.

"This is absolutely going to be one of our key pieces of business," Hynes said. "We’re thrilled to take on this new piece of business. We know Chris and [Cision CEO] Kevin [Akeroyd] very well and we’re excited to work with them again. It’s great to represent a business in the sector we serve that’s so close to home."

Geben Communication, Cision’s incumbent of three years, was also invited to pitch for the business. It will continue to work with Cision while Blanc & Otus is introduced to the company. That process is expected to be completed this month, Lynch said.

Blanc & Otus worked with Lynch, Bell, and Akeroyd during their tenures at Oracle Marketing Cloud. During that time, the firm helped prepare thought leadership content for Akeroyd, who was GM of Oracle Marketing Cloud. Lynch added that Blanc & Otus’ work for Oracle shouldn’t be a conflict, as Cision’s services focus on earned media and not paid or owned media.

Oracle declined to comment.

Lynch declined to comment on specific campaigns the company plans to roll out, but said Blanc & Otus will conduct research on the state of comms and PR country-to-country.

"When you do those types of research and message development, that can be a compelling story in itself just to know what people think about comms and PR," he added. "But it has longevity because we’re able to turn some information we get back into different insights."

Cision achieved $157.1 million in revenue on organic growth of 1.8% in the second quarter, its first period as a public company, with the bulk of sales in the Americas region. It also said this week that it has completed its debt-refinancing program.

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