The 12-month contract amounts to nearly $2.5 million in combined compensation for the firms, the university said.
The firms are to provide communications with key university stakeholders as well as state and national media. They also will support Penn State throughout upcoming litigation, the university said.
"I have been privileged to work with the media here in Pennsylvania for more than a decade and I look forward to strengthening the University's outreach," David La Torre, principal of La Torre Communications, said in a news release.
La Torre, which has a full-time staff of two and another six part-time employees and consultants, will focus on the interactions with local and state media, he said.
The Harrisburg firm, which started in 2005, has worked with nonprofit organizations, associations and for-profit companies both big and small, according to the firm's website.
The firms will report to the administration and will work in concert with Penn State's Office of University Relations and public information officers, the university said.
According to reports, Penn State already has retained at least 12 other firms at a total cost of $7.6 million to provide communications and legal assistance in connection with the ongoing scandal.
Editor's note: This item was modified from its previous version to add further details.