SAN DIEGO — Sony Electronics has called for final pitches from five agencies vying to handle the company’s corporate communications and PR for its home entertainment and sound division in North America, the Holmes Report can reveal.

Cheryl K Goodman, Sony’s US and Canada head of corporate communications, said the company plans to hear pitches from the agencies, whittled down from an initial pool of a dozen-plus, in San Diego in late January.

Positioning Sony as a purveyor of premier products, and as an innovator on par with big-leaguers like Apple, Google and Microsoft, is part of the charge, according to sources familiar with the RFP Sony issued in late November.

Although the work is specific to North America, Sony is seeking an agency that can bring global experience to the job, given the company's worldwide reach. “We want more of our agencies to understand what that dynamic is,” she said.

She said Sony also is looking for an agency that can accurately measure the effectiveness of its PR efforts. "We are asking agencies to come up with a new way to share value," she said. "We know that impressions are a potential number … but we really have to look at how accurate these numbers are."

Burson-Marsteller currently handles the home entertainment and sound division of the job, but corporate communications represents a new agency assignment, added Goodman.

Goodman would not disclose Sony’s budget, although the overall budget is thought to be in the seven-figure range.

Sony Electronics’ initial move included contacting a range of agencies of different sizes to submit proposals, individuals familiar with the process said. The company’s recent choice of finalists is the latest step in a rapid-fire selection process, which included agency’s submitting their pitches roughly three weeks after being solicited to do so.