GCI Group scoops Dell Americas PR account

AUSTIN, TX: GCI Group has captured Dell Computer's hotly contested

Americas PR review.



The contract, worth more than $2 million annually, makes GCI

agency of record in the US, Canada, and Latin America. Weber Shandwick

Worldwide was believed to be GCI's closest competition.



"This is a very significant win for us," said GCI president and CEO Bob

Feldman. PR work for Dell will run the gamut from corporate positioning

and support to marketing strategy. Feldman added, "Dell dominates the

desktop with its PCs, and has built a remarkably successful business,

providing built-to-order, low-priced PCs. Now it wants to move further

up the food chain at the enterprise level."



The account puts another feather in the cap of GCI's new Austin

office.



The Dell team will be led by Jeff Hunt, who joined Read-Poland as CEO

several months before it was acquired in April by GCI. Working closely

with Hunt will be tech practice leader Diane Gleason in Boulder, CO, and

Don Bartholomew, SVP of GCI Read-Poland's tech practice in Dallas.



GCI will draw on resources from offices in Boulder, Dallas, San

Francisco, NYC, Chicago, and Toronto, but Hunt expects much of the work

to migrate to Austin, where Dell is based.



"Dell is all about efficiency, and we need to put in place a

communications approach that is equally efficient," Hunt said. PR work

for Dell will reflect the company's "made-to-order" business model, he

added.



Mexico City and Sao Paolo, Brazil, will serve as Latin America hubs.



GCI will use its own employees in the region and team up with affiliate

agencies including Gaspar & Associates in Brazil, which already does

some work for Dell.



The appointment was made by Barry French, communications director for

Dell's newly organized Americas business.



Also in the running were New York's Shepardson Stern & Kaminsky (SS&K)

and California-based Walt & Company Communications, both of which have

been doing project work for Dell. Waggener-Edstrom partnered with SS&K

on its pitch. Incumbent agency of record Fleishman-Hillard decided not

to pursue a new contract.



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