Cisco Begins Review for PR Account

BOSTON Cisco Systems has issued requests for qualifications to an undisclosed number of public relations agencies. After several months of analysis to determine its PR needs, the San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant is seeking an agency to handle technology and Latin American PR duties as well as corporate PR.

The new agency will also oversee Cisco’s online news bureau, News@Cisco, according to consultant Jerry Swerling of Swerling & Associates in Malibu, Calif., which is overseeing the process. The budget is undisclosed.

Responses to the RFQ are due back in mid-September, after which Cisco will visit semifinalists for chemistry and capabilities checks. Two to four finalists will be selected for a strategic assignment, with a decision expected in December, Swerling said.

Cisco had previously worked with a number of public relations firms on a project basis, according to client corporate PR head Claudia Ceniceros. Cisco’s ad account, handled by Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in San Francisco, is not in play.