HP launches campaign to redefine the firm’s image

PALO ALTO, CA: Hewlett-Packard last week launched the biggest PR drive in its history in a bid to redefine the company’s image from a PC and printer specialist into a broader digital tech-nology firm.

The company unveiled 158 new consumer products last week, in a manner that was aimed at changing the way HP is perceived. It was designed to lift the company’s image over that of rivals in the minds of consumers, business leaders and investors.

According to sources close to the campaign, the PR and messaging was two-fold, focusing on corporate positioning for the business media and on the products themselves for the consumers.

Porter Novelli orchestrated the launch event in New York and subsequent consumer media coverage. Hill & Knowlton helped co-ordinate corporate and business coverage.

‘PR is playing an enormous role in educating the public about HP’s presence in the consumer market,’ said the firm’s director of strategic media operations Mike Moeller. ‘Not a lot of people knew we’re the largest digital-technology provider. Our job as PR guys is to drive awareness around that.’

The company is using a message based on ‘simplicity’, which extends to both how easy it is to use the company’s products, which include digital cameras, notebook computers and printers, as well as how simple it is for users to improve their lives with these devices.

‘Consistently, we have heard from consumers that people are tired of complexity, tired of things not working right,’ said HP consumer PR manager Cherie Britt.

‘Technology is meant to help people enjoy more out of life, and that is not often the case,’ she added.

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