Molson selects Citizen Relations as its new PR agency

The agency replaces Harbinger and will lead media and influencer communications

Molson Coors has selected Citizen Relations as its new Canadian PR agency of record.

Announced Monday, the selection follows a “small, closed” RFP process late last year for the entire Molson Coors portfolio. As the company’s new PR agency, Citizen Relations will handle media and influencer relations across all of Molson’s brands including Molson Canadian, Coors Light and Heineken.

The agency replaces Harbinger, which held the account since 2011. Harbinger was invited to the review, but chose not to pitch, according to Greg Vallentin manager, public relations, Molson Coors Canada.

In a release, Molson Coors Canada’s vice-president of marketing Christine Jakovcic, said, “We were impressed with the team at Citizen Relations particularly for their strong strategic capability, coupled with insightful consumer analytics and understanding.”

Citizen Relations president Nick Cowling told Marketing the client on-boarding for Molson has been a “fast and furious” process.

Less than a week after it was awarded the account, Citizen Relations received its first brief. The agency was tasked with helping Molson plan its PR strategy for Molson Canadian’s #AnythingForHockey campaign, inviting influencers and press to skate on its rooftop rink. As Marketing noted, the stunt generated considerable buzz on social media and a wide variety of press, including coverage from CBC, Sportsnet and Breakfast Television.

“Anything For Hockey was a great program for us to kick off on,” Cowling said. “We’re excited to do this kind of groundbreaking work with all their brands. It’s going to be a terrific 2016.”

Cowling added that Citizen Relations made new hires in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver following the win and expects to bring on additional staffers in the coming weeks.

Citizen Relations joins a bench of agency partners that includes Rethink, Central Station and Sandbox on creative, MEC on media and Sklar Wilton on market research.

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