Bite, MWW Share $10 Mil. Sun PR

BOSTON Sun Microsystems has chosen independent Bite Communications as its lead public relations agency and Interpublic Group’s MWW Group to handle corporate PR after a review of its $10 million PR business, the client confirmed.

The two winners were selected from a list of four finalists. Bite and MWW, both in San Francisco, bested independent Ruder Finn and Incepta’s Citigate Cunningham.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company began the review process in order to consolidate its PR business, which encompasses corporate, product and analyst relations. In recent years, Sun had been working with five agencies: Bite, Citigate Cunningham, Omnicom Group’s Fleishman-Hillard, Chen PR and WPP Group’s Ogilvy PR. All were invited to pitch the business [Adweek Online, March 24].

“We weren’t unhappy with our agencies,” said Karen Kahn, senior director of worldwide PR at Sun, at the start of the process. “[But] it was a really inefficient way for us to work.”

During the review, Sun employed a dynamic bidding or “reverse auction” process in which each agency had to submit specific plans concerning hours and budget it would need to handle the business.

Separately, Sun is also in the process of reviewing its $20 million media business [Adweek Online, Feb. 28]. That review will likely conclude at the end of May.