Teletouch Communications has named Stone & Ward agency of record for its $2.5 million advertising account.
"It's going to be fast and furious for the next few months," agency president Millie Ward said, as the client combines a regional branding campaign with the opening of 30 new storefronts by year's end.
Teletouch Communications, headquartered in Tyler, Texas, provides paging services in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The company focuses on smaller metropolitan markets where there is less competition.
The branding initiative will be the first for Teletouch.
"We've been on an acquisition binge the last few years," said Teletouch director of marketing Jim Liszewski. "This is the first year we've calmed down enough to have expectations of establishing a strong brand."
The former PrimeCo marketing executive said he interviewed agencies in New York and Dallas, considering Stone & Ward only because the shop is located in Little Rock, Ark., the company's biggest market.
"Their initial presentation blew us away," Liszewski said. "They had a full-scope plan . . . On our site visit, they had the agency set up like a retail store with department heads acting as sales clerks . . . Their past experience with clients like TCBY and Terminix showed they had the ability to execute at field level."
Ward also cited the agency's previous public relations experience with telecom clients including Southwestern Bell, SunCom and Adelphia Business Solutions.
"This gives us the opportunity to leverage our telecom experience into a more full-service environment," Ward said. "We are excited to create their brand identity and image at this crucial point in their growth."
A promotional campaign will launch at the end of this month. The branding campaign is scheduled for early fall.
Ward said a tiered media buying strategy will include radio and television in target "markets of opportunity." Direct mail and newspaper will be employed in the client's remaining markets.
Teletouch Communications last year lost $7 million on sales of $51 million. K