BMW expands relationship with North Strategic

The agency becomes the automaker's PR AOR, extending its mandate beyond social and influencer relations.

BMW Canada has named North Strategic as its new public relations AOR, nearly two years after having awarded the firm a social media mandate.

As part of the expanded partnership, North will lead product, event and brand strategies across BMW and its suite of sub-brands in Canada, including the Mini, Mini John Cooper Works, Motorrad and BMW M brands. For the BMW i series of electric vehicles, it will help position the company as a leader in electrification and innovation, says Marc Belcourt, BMW Canada’s director of corporate communications.

“Given that the North team was already so well integrated into our business and had shared expertise across social, content and PR, it made sense to approach them directly to discuss the opportunity to support our PR team as well,” says Belcourt.

Working with BMW’s social team since late 2016, North supported the BMW i series in a pilot program that “reimagined” the role of BMW’s Genius product experts, says Belcourt.

For the launch of the BMW 5 series in 2017, it led a social campaign featuring John Chayka, general manager of the Arizona Coyotes hockey team, building it into a branded editorial feature in partnership with the business lifestyle publication Bay Street Bull. That same year, it also worked with content creators and influencers on a national all-wheel-drive focused campaign around the launch of the BMW X3.

The automotive company believes expanding the shop’s mandate to include PR, social and influencer relations will result in a new of “synergies and efficiencies,” the agency said in a press release. Belcourt agrees, saying the company has already started seeing the benefits of integrating North Strategic across both disciplines.

“Whether that’s tapping into existing relationships with our marketing division and agency partners, bringing PR to the table across other campaigns and initiatives, or identifying influencers who could capture content for use across both PR and social,” he says, “the efficiencies are easy to recognize.”

In July last year, BMW announced it had selected FCB Canada as its new creative AOR, ending a 22-year relationship with Cundari.