INTERNATIONAL: Lucent Technologies stages corp PR pitch

HONG KONG: US technology giant Lucent Technologies is staging a

pitch for its corporate PR account that covers the whole of Asia, except

mainland China.

Although Lucent Technologies public affairs vice-president Donough Foley

said a range of agencies had been invited to the pitch, he did not name

the agencies involved.

Foley said the review of Weber Shandwick Worldwide's account with the

firm was intended to bring more focus to the work since the company and

its in-house PR capabilities had been downsized.

'While we have worked with some tremendous agencies in the past, we're

going to be doing things slightly differently next year,' said


Lucent's investor relations is handled in the US but the brief for the

new account covers industrial analyst relations and 'strategic and brand


There are six staff handling regional communications for Lucent in Hong

Kong, with regional media relations handled by Richard Wright.

Wright will continue to handle the media with the agency providing

strategic counsel.

Lucent made major lay-offs earlier in the year as the telecoms and

hi-tech sector experienced a major downturn.

Foley said: 'It's a good budget in PR terms, but I'm not going to hire a

major network.

'There will be separate projects in the markets beyond Hong Kong,' he


In September, Lucent confirmed it was to cut 20 per cent of its British

workforce in a bid to return the company to profitability.

The group announced plans to cut up to 20,000 staff worldwide in July as

part of a restructuring programme that would reduce operational expenses

by £1.4bn.

Lucent is reportedly taking a £6.2bn hit for restructuring costs

and hopes to reach profitability next year.

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