Sears hires Dome to introduce store's HDTV offering

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL: Sears Roebuck, on an agency hiring binge this year, has taken on Dome Communications to handle PR for its introduction of plasma-screen high-definition TVs this fall.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL: Sears Roebuck, on an agency hiring binge this year, has taken on Dome Communications to handle PR for its introduction of plasma-screen high-definition TVs this fall.

Sears will be the first to sell plasma TVs from manufacturers Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sony, and Samsung. Dome will handle PR and media relations, said Ron Culp, SVP of public relations and government affairs. Culp considered Dome and another agency he had worked with before for the assignment. He wanted an agency that was familiar with Sears. The search took about a month. Final budgets haven't been set, but fees will be in the six-figure range. Sears has been hiring a series of midsize and smaller agencies this year for new assignments. While Culp wouldn't rule out working with larger agencies, he said of his recent hires, "I do like to make sure that we get the principal involved; their involvement is very important." In April, Sears hired New York-based LaForce & Stevens to handle PR for its new Covington clothing line. In June, it hired Hunter Public Relations to handle community relations and PR for its department stores. More recently, Sears hired Flowers Communications in Chicago to handle diversity PR, focusing on the African-American community, and RLPR in Los Angeles for the Hispanic market. Culp doesn't expect to hire any more agency help this year. Sears has spent the past two years reorganizing its stores and its PR operations. It's planning a major PR push this fall to tout its new store format, the introduction of the Covington line, and the inclusion of Lands' End products in its lineup. Sears acquired Lands' End in June.

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