AUSTIN, TX: Computers giant Dell is to hire a firm for US corporate
communications by the end of next month.
A corporate communications RFP had been rumoured after Dell awarded GCI
Group its £1.4m-plus Americas PR account in September (PRWeek, 14
Through that contract, GCI supports manufacturing and sales for various
product and customer groups in the US, Canada, and Latin America.
Industry speculation suggests Weber Shandwick Worldwide was GCI's
closest competitor for that business. It is not known if either agency
is in the running for this next review.
Shortly before GCI's appointment, Dell awarded a contract to Ogilvy PR
Worldwide to co-ordinate efforts of more than 20 agencies in Europe, the
Middle East and Asia (PRWeek, 10 August 2001).
The new RFP seeks a firm to help with corporate PR strategy and
reputation management, as well as financial media relations primarily in
North America, said Dell Americas comms director Barry French.
Dell sent the RFP to a select few firms in December. French declined to
comment on which firms were contacted, but noted that 'a Texas office
was not a requirement'.
Although French said Dell's PR spending varies, he does not expect the
corporate communications business to be quite as lucrative as GCI's
The shake-up in Dell's external PR relationships followed last year's
re-organisation of the company's various business units.
Fleishman-Hillard had served as Dell's agency of record for almost a
decade before last summer's agency review.
California-based Walt & Company Communications continues to provide PR
council to Dell's enterprise group, which makes computer servers and
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Dell's 'aggressive
pricing' has helped it increase market share and maintain its leadership
status as a PC vendor.