AUSTIN, TEXAS: Dell Computers is staging a US pitch that would
consolidate PR work - currently farmed out to several agencies - into
one account spanning North and South America.
The work is said to be worth between £1.4m and £2.1m per
Coinciding with the US pitch, Dell has appointed Ogilvy PR Worldwide to
act as lead agency in Europe, with a brief to oversee and co-ordinate a
network of 22 firms across 81 countries - excluding the UK, which
continues to be handled by Fleishman-Hillard.
Dell EMEA director of communications Jerele Neeld saw nine agencies for
the account - led by tech practice head Simon Quarendon and global
corporate MD Rob Shimmin. Fees run into seven figures.
Neeld said: 'We are not consolidating down to one agency in Europe. We
have an established network, which is going to stay the same. We looked
for a lead agency which can help us with strategic counsel and
In the States, Fleishman-Hillard currently serves as Dell's agency of
record, mainly handling business-specific assignments.
Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky also handles various small corporate
It is not expected that either of these agencies will be affected by the
US request for proposals (RFP), as it reportedly excludes corporate
comms and IR, which are largely handled in-house. Both agencies received
the RFP, alongside GCI Group and PR21.
A reorganisation of Dell's business units spurred the external
communications overhaul, said Dwayne Cox, who with Barry French directs
the Americas communications group.
Dell had previously been divided into customer groups serving mid-size
corporations, small- to medium-sized 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,' he said.
'We are doing everything we can to be cost-effective on PR,' added
Elizabeth Allen, Dell V-P of corporate communications.
Dell's communication staff underwent reductions in February and May.
A final selection for the US will be made in September.