The Reeves Agency, a local advertising and public relations firm, has been chosen for a $2.2 million, three-year state contract the Maryland Mass Transit Authority.
The agency also recently added the national restaurant chain Red, Hot & Blue to its client list.
The MTA chose The Reeves Agency from among four local shops to do its advertising, marketing and public relations.
That contract -- expected to be formalized by the Maryland Board of Public Works in May -- covers an array of services, including media planning and buying, creative services, public relations planning, marketing research and analysis, and on-line interactive services.
"We are looking forward to working with The Reeves Agency," said Anthony Brown, director of communications at the MTA. "We have been impressed with them since the process of awarding a new contract began. We believe it's going to be a relationship that will benefit the MTA, its employees and its customers."
In past years, the MTA contract has not included public relations services, Brown said. Media and public relations work was done internally, he said.
"This inclusion of public relations gives us the opportunity to offer a cohesive approach to marketing, public relations and advertising," Brown said.
Rebecca Reeves, president and CEO of The Reeves Agency, considers the account a victory on several levels.
"All the big advertising accounts for the state have gone primarily to one of the big agencies, and then they have subcontracted out to meet the state's minority business enterprise requirements," she said. "This is the first time in history that the entire contract has been awarded to a minority- or women-owned business."
Winning the Red, Hot & Blue account -- the national Memphis-style pit barbecue and blues restaurant chain is based in Arlington, Va. -- was another achievement for The Reeves Agency. The agency, which has $32 million in annual revenue, will do advertising, marketing and public relations for the chain's national franchisees.
Restaurant officials said they chose The Reeves Agency because of the firm's "extensive experience in developing strong franchisee networks and relations, and their proven track record for effectively launching national brand building campaigns."
"They had the right amount of irreverence," President Robert Friedman said yesterday. "We wanted someone who would come up with something a little edgy. We thought they could do that for us."
Red, Hot & Blue is one of the nation's largest barbecue chains, with 32 restaurants nationwide. Their Memphis-style pit
barbecue entails slow-cooking methods. The chain, whose logo features two pigs wearing sunglasses and playing guitars, plans to open 50 new locations over the next two years. Locally, it has restaurants in Laurel and Annapolis.
The chain's kudos include being listed among the "50 Most Distinguished Restaurants in America" by Conde Nast Traveler.
The Reeves Agency also has offices in New York and Virginia.
Pub Date: 4/25/98