AUSTIN, TX: Dell Computer has issued an RFP that would consolidate
PR work - currently farmed out to several agencies - into one massive
account spanning North and South America. The work is said to be worth
between $2 million and $3 million per year.
At the moment, Fleishman-Hillard serves as Dell's agency of record,
mainly handling business-specific assignments. Shepardson, Stern &
Kaminsky handles some small corporate communications jobs. The work of
these agencies is not thought to be affected much by the RFP, as it
reportedly excludes corporate communications as well as IR, which are
largely handled in-house. Both agencies got the RFP, while GCI Group and
PR21 confirmed receiving it as well.
A reorganization of Dell's business units spurred the RFP, said Dwayne
Cox, who with Barry French directs the Americas communications
The company previously had been divided into customer groups serving
mid-size corporations, small- to medium-size businesses, and the public
The new structure maintains such segmentation, but under a larger
geographic umbrella, Cox explained. "What we are trying to do is
consolidate, if possible, with one provider for all our agency needs,"
"We are doing everything we can to be cost-effective on PR," summarized
Elizabeth Allen, Dell's VP of corporate communications. Dell's
communication staff underwent reductions in February and May.
A final selection will be made in early September.
At the same time, Dell in Europe is seeking one lead agency to augment
the work of its existing network of 17 firms across the region.
"I have developed a kind of RFP for a handful of agencies that I am
interested in talking to for the lead agency role," said Jerele Neeld,
director of corporate communications for Dell Europe, Middle East, and
Africa. Budget details were not disclosed.
- See The Global Dilemma, p. 17.