EDS puts technology PR and lobbying to tender

Global technology firm EDS has overhauled its UK communications efforts, putting two separate PR accounts out to tender and making a raft of new appointments.

Global technology firm EDS has overhauled its UK communications efforts, putting two separate PR accounts out to tender and making a raft of new appointments.

The company, which made sales of more than pounds 12 billion last year, is reviewing its relationship with Citigate Technology and hopes to see pitches from several agencies early in the new year. Citigate's contract expires in February and is not expected to be renewed.

EDS is also set to hire its first public affairs consultancy for a monitoring, contact-building and strategic consultancy brief. No pitches have yet been heard, but that contract is also likely to start early in 2001.

This news comes on the back of personnel changes at EDS, which has poached BT's head of international PR Catherine Greenwood, to oversee the agency appointments. Greenwood started last week after more than two years at BT and four years at Cable and Wireless.

Marketing, communications and government affairs director Greenwood will report to EDS UK CEO Bill Thomas and vice-president, marketing, EMEA, Gordon Moultrie.

She has made two appointments aimed at boosting the company's public presence in the UK, its largest market outside the US. Charlotte Steele joins as PR manager, from telecoms operator WorldCom.

Greenwood has also recruited Matthew Trimming from the public affairs department of Sainsbury's. A former adviser to Lord Sainsbury, Trimming will launch the company's first dedicated public affairs function.

'We've always had links with the Government, but it was sales people selling systems to various departments. We now want to build relationships, which is something we haven't been very good at in the past,' Greenwood said.

As part of this drive to build relationships, Greenwood has moved EDS' marketing function from its UK headquarters at Stockley Park on the M4, to Mayfair in London.

Greenwood will also review the company's entire sponsorship operation.

It currently backs the London marathon, the Lowry arts centre in Manchester and Derby County football club. The Derby deal ends at the end of the current season in May. The company's links with the city of Derby are expected to be maintained, however, since EDS' largest UK customer is Rolls Royce, which is based in the city.



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