OMB hires marketing firm for e-gov projects

The Office of Management and Budget last week awarded a contract to Edelman Public Relations of New York to develop marketing plans for three e-government projects.

Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for IT and e-government, said by early September Edelman will create a strategy for E-Authentication, International Trade Process Streamlining and Recreation One-Stop to reach a mass audience.

'These are among the projects that are ready to graduate, so to speak,' Evans said. 'They are technically done and now their issues are just about utilization.'

The four-month contract is worth about $261,000. The General Services Administration, which acts as OMB's procurement arm, awarded the task order off a Blanket Purchase Agreement held by Edelman and Betah Associates Inc. of Bethesda, Md.

By Dec. 31, at least seven other Quicksilver initiatives, including Disaster Management, E-Rulemaking, GovBenefits, Grants.gov and Recruitment One-Stop, also will have marketing plans in place.

Evans said the resulting plans for the first three projects could be used as templates for the remaining initiatives. She said there are recurring themes in each project. This likely is the reason OMB chose these projects since they represent three of the four portfolios. Only a government-to-government project has not been selected for this first round of marketing.

'[OMB deputy director for management] Clay Johnson asked whether it makes sense for agencies to be marketing experts or hire someone do that,' she said. 'This is a bit different than how we traditionally put up services.'

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