Albuquerque PR firm Agenda has burst into the realm of federal contracts as one of only five companies nationally selected to bid on about $100 million in work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The five-year award allows Agenda to compete for about $20 million in contracts per year, said founding partner and CEO Doug Turner.
“We’re now part of a select group of companies that have been pre-vetted and pre-approved to compete for various contracts from the USDA and its many agencies,” Turner said. “It’s a huge win for us that will support our growth over the next few years, and it could boost our performance portfolio as we bid on more federal business.”
Agenda will have many bidding opportunities, given the wide range of agencies connected to the USDA, Turner said. That includes everything from the USDA’s agricultural marketing and research services to the Forest Service and Food Safety and Inspection Service.
It also has some advantages over the other four companies it will compete against. Most of them are either strictly focused on advertising, or alternatively on public relations, but as an integrated communications company, Agenda does both of those things and lobbying as well.
In addition, it’s the only one operating directly in southwestern markets where many USDA agencies manage large programs, such as the Forest Service. The other companies are generally located in the East and Mid-West.
“The Forest Service has a big, national contracting operation based in New Mexico,” Turner said.
Agenda began aggressively pursuing federal contracts about two years ago, beefing up its Washington, D.C. office to pursue government work. But this is its first major success in the U.S.
It did win a big contract in Europe in 2015 to help develop the North American Treaty Alliance’s “We Are NATO” branding campaign, which focuses on the benefits of solidarity between NATO allies and the role the Alliance plays in maintaining Euro-Atlantic security. It developed that branding strategy in partnership with London-based MHP Communications.
“The NATO experience offers us some recognizable experience and performance now as we go to bid on federal contracts in the U.S.,” Turner said.
Agenda originally launched in 1998 as DW Turner, but rebranded in 2012 after merging with a couple of firms in other states. It’s since managed significant public and private contracts nationally and internationally, such as Work with DuPont, AT&T and entities like the King of Jordan and the prime minister of Japan.
It employs nearly 30 people, 18 of them in New Mexico. It reported $5.5 million in revenue in 2019.