MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Handspring is making a run for the border. With the announcement last week that Telcel - Mexico's largest telecommunications firm - switched its network to the global system for mobile (GSM) communications used in Europe, Asia, and the United States, Handspring quickly signed up The Jeffrey Group to promote the company's Treo communicator, a combined mobile phone, organizer, and wireless internet device.
"This opens the door for a lot of mobile-device companies," said Julia Staska, Handspring's corporate communications manager. "Nokia only makes GSM phones. The Palm operating system has a very loyal base in Mexico and Latin America. So we'll be reaching out to the business and hi-tech reporters based in Mexico."
Handspring selected The Jeffrey Group because of the Miami Beach, FL-based firm's work introducing other hi-tech brands to Latin America, including Nokia and Palm.
Still, said Jeff Sharlach, CEO of The Jeffrey Group, "This is a big education effort for us. Mexico is a huge market of 100 million people. The key is to get in there with a comprehensive effort."
The first wave of outreach will be to daily newspaper reporters, said Sharlach. Since Mexico does not have the breadth and depth of hi-tech trade publications that readers find in the United States, the overwhelming majority of hi-tech coverage falls to the newspapers.
The Jeffrey Group is targeting numerous audiences, including business professionals, early adopters and "young people," said Sharlach.