LONDON--Al Jazeera is once again on the hunt for a UK PR firm as it makes a renewed bid for relevance in the country's crowded media market.
The Holmes Report understands that Al Jazeera English wants to improve awareness of its global news coverage by boosting engagement with UK media and viewers. The agency search comes as Al Jazeera plans to launch dedicated UK-focused programming.
The Qatari company has invited a number of agencies to respond to the RFP, which comes less than two years after it hired Burson-Marsteller UK for a similar brief.
In particular, the channel is aiming to continue combating myths that have seen it labelled a "terror mouthpiece" by right-wing media outlets. Instead Al Jazeera English wants to promote its news coverage, which has won numerous awards and generated plenty of critical praise, across TV, online and mobile.
A Burson-Marsteller spokesperson confirmed that the firm had received the RFP but declined to provide further comment. It is understood that the agency is continuing to service the business while the review takes place.
Despite launching in the UK seven years ago, Al Jazeera has struggled to crack the UK market. One source familiar with the company said that it had been distracted by its recent US launch, following the acquisition of Current TV.
In addition to its distribution on Sky and Virgin, Al Jazeera has a 24-hour channel on Freeview. Al Jazeera English currently broadcasts to over 260m households across 130 countries.