Department of the Navy
The U.S. Department of the Navy Headquarters is located in the Pentagon and the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Looking for public relations help
In July 2008, the U.S. Navy issued a solicitation for public relations help. "Navy leaders have placed increased demands on CHINFO," the Navy's Chief of Information, which have "long outstripped CHINFO's capacity to respond," admitted the request. The contract description listed "news media, television and movies, and social media such as web logs (blogs), internet video sites such as YouTube, and social interaction sites such as MySpace" as potential communication targets, along with various events. 
As a result, the Navy began seeking proposals from PR firms "to provide public affairs support on an as-needed basis for up to five years," reported O'Dwyer's PR Daily. The Navy contract will involve "environmental and reputation risk management," "measuring public opinion," "ethical public relations" and "U.S. military community relations / community outreach." Specific contract activities include "develop a web log (blog) and advise on blogging." Representatives from the Rendon Group, Burson-Marsteller, Lincoln Group, GolinHarris and Hill & Knowlton, among other firms, attended a Navy presentation on the contract in Philadelphia on July 17, 2008. The Navy hoped to offer the contract in September 2008. 
"Greater Internet outreach is one of the most crucial parts of the deal, [Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Jeff] Davis said. Beyond its current jobs, CHINFO is looking for help especially with reaching people on the Internet through blogs, video-sharing sites such as YouTube and social networking tools such as MySpace," reported Federal Times. But, "even with the extra help, Navy public affairs officers still will be the only people speaking to reporters. ... 'That's non-negotiable,' [Davis] said. 'This contract doesn't replace anybody, it just adds capacity.'" 
Get up the vote
The U.S. Navy spent over $1.6 million on PR work to influence a vote on whether part of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques would continue to serve as a bombing range, the Associated Press reports. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show The Rendon Group was contracted by the Navy in 2001 to "develop methods and tracking procedures to increase support among citizens in Vieques to support and vote in the 6 November 2001 referendum for the option of continued Navy training at Vieques."
Assistant for Administration
Office of the Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon Room 4D572
Washington, DC. 20350-1000
- Philip Ewing, "Navy plans to outsource some public relations tasks," Federal Times, August 15, 2008.
- Judicial Watch, "U.S. Navy Paid $1.69 Million to The Rendon Group: 2001 Navy Contract Details PR Consultant’s Role in Failed Attempt to Sway Outcome of Puerto Rican Referendum", Media Release, July 25, 2005.
- Department of the Navy, "Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract", July 19, 2001. (1.2MB Pdf file)
- John J. Lumpkin, "Documents show Navy hired firm to influence vote on Puerto Rican island used for bombing range", ContraCostaTimes.com, July 23, 2005. (Registration required).
- Andrew Gray, "UPDATE 2-US Navy ends Lockheed ship deal after cost overruns," Reuters, April 12, 2007.