PALO ALTO, CA: The new Hewlett-Packard expects to have existing PR agency relationships fitted to its new structure in the next 90 days, following the merger with Compaq. The company is not ruling out an RFP.
"We are evaluating all of the resources that we have at our disposal, and at some point we are going to make decisions about what agencies will continue to support various businesses, and what will not, said Arch Currid, director of executive media relations. "Beyond that, I can't characterize any formal process at this time."
Currid, who was previously with Compaq, said that an RFP "may or may not happen, depending on the results. He would not say whether existing agencies would be asked to re-pitch the business.
"It is fair to say that we will have a very clear understanding of who we'll move forward with in a 90-day time frame, he said.
Hill & Knowlton, previously retained by Compaq, is still working with the new company. HP also retains Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Golin/Harris, Applied Communications, The Hoffman Agency, and Porter Novelli.
When asked if any agencies have already been phased out, Currin answered, "None that we are prepared to talk about at this point. No new agencies have been brought into the mix, and the company is not retaining an external consultant to help with the audit.
Meanwhile, the in-house team is almost in place. Former Compaq exec Kay Hart is now HP's VP of corporate communications, while Allison Johnson is SVP of global brand and communications.
No final count of the in-house PR team is yet available, Currin said, because some individuals are still "evaluating their opportunities. But with 15,000 layoffs expected to take place over the next two years, the PR team is likely to be hit.