Kinko’s Chooses Weber Shandwick for PR

BOSTON Kinko’s has selected Weber Shandwick as its new public relations agency, the client confirmed.

The Interpublic Group agency bested WPP’s Burson-Marsteller and Omnicom’s Fleishman-Hillard in the final round of a review, according to Maggie Thill, director of public relations at the Dallas-based copy shop chain.

Though the account will be primarily serviced out of Weber Shandwick’s Dallas office, “we expect to tap into resources throughout Weber Shandwick both in the U.S. and internationally,” Thill said. The budget was not disclosed.

Thill cited Weber Shandwick’s “great blend of strategic thinking, creative ideas, and down-to-earth execution” in the final presentation as a key factor in her choice.

In addition to corporate positioning and reputation management, Weber Shandwick will provide media relations and community marketing support for a number of new initiatives for the client, including the expansion of efforts to promote business-to-business copying, printing and other services.

Later in the year, Weber Shandwick will help Kinko’s promote its new partnership with T-Mobile. Kinko’s will begin offering wireless broadband Internet access through T-Mobile at its 1,100 stores nationwide in the fourth quarter.

Weber Shandwick will also support Kinko’s rollout, beginning early next year, of a service that will allow users to print Microsoft Office documents from a remote location, then pick it up or have it delivered from the nearest Kinko’s.

Both of these initiatives may be supported by advertising from Omnicom’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, which has worked with Kinko’s since 2001. Kinko’s spent $22 million on advertising in 2002, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Previously, Kinko’s had handled public relations through independent Edelman Public Relations in New York for three years. Thill declined to comment on whether Edelman had defended the business in the earlier stages of the review.