Sega PR drops down a gear

SAN FRANCISCO: Among the 60 US Sega employees laid off last week was an undisclosed number of the company's internal PR staff.

SAN FRANCISCO: Among the 60 US Sega employees laid off last week was an undisclosed number of the company's internal PR staff.

SAN FRANCISCO: Among the 60 US Sega employees laid off last week was an undisclosed number of the company's internal PR staff.

'We just let a small number of the gaming PR team go,' Charles Bellfield, VP of marketing and communications for Sega of America, told PRWeek. He declined to say how many of his five staff members received pink slips.

Bellfield said the company's PR budget, currently at dollars 5 million, will shrink in the next fiscal year. However, he added that the company has no immediate plans to cut its consumer team, which will merge with the remainder of the gaming team. And although Sega's output will be drastically cut back until it is offering only software, he insisted that its relationship with Access Communications, its agency of record, would be unaltered.

Access has 22 employees on the multi-million dollar account, one of the agency's largest.

Sega has stood by Access in the past. In 1997, when Sega stripped its internal PR operations down to a skeleton staff, it relied on Access while slowly building its own team back. But with company-wide restructuring taking place while Sega shifts from video game console manufacturer to third-party software developer, change seems inevitable.

'There will be a few small changes in terms of the number of people we have focused on the products we'll be selling in the next 12 months,' said Bellfield.

While Sega has sworn ongoing support of its discontinued Dreamcast console, Bellfield said the company plans to shift its focus entirely to software by the end of March.

Bellfield said Sega will continue to invest heavily in PR to promote its products. With more software offerings available for more platforms, he said, the workload for Sega PR will actually increase.

In the meantime, Sega has fences to mend among former rivals and new clients Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Employees throughout the three companies will receive Sonic the Hedgehog Valentine's Day cards emblazoned with the words, 'Happy Valentine's Day! Maybe your systems don't suck after all.'



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.