AUSTIN, TX: With another major RFP on the market, Dell Computer is
in line to hire a PR firm for corporate communications work by the end
A corporate communications RFP had been rumored since shortly after Dell
awarded GCI Group its $2 million-plus Americas PR account in
Through that contract, GCI supports manufacturing and sales for various
product and customer groups in the US, Canada, and Latin America. It is
thought that Weber Shandwick Worldwide was GCI's closest competitor for
that business. It is not known if either agency is lining up for this
At about the same time, Dell awarded a contract to Ogilvy PR Worldwide
to coordinate efforts of more than 20 agencies in Europe, the Middle
East, and Asia.
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 Barry French, Americas communications director.
Dell sent the RFP to a select few firms in December. French wouldn't say
which firms were contacted, but noted that "a Texas office was not a
requirement." Although French said Dell's PR spending varies, he doesn't
expect the corporate communications business to be quite as lucrative as
GCI's current contract.
The shakeup in Dell's external PR relationships followed last year's
reorganization of the company's business units.
Fleishman-Hillard had served as Dell's agency of record for almost a
decade before last summer's agency review. California's Walt & Company
Communications continues to provide PR council to Dell's enterprise
group, which makes computer servers and storage devices.
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.
Many analysts are expecting to see more consolidation in the PC sector,
possibly led by the potential merger of HP and Compaq, the WSJ
In November, Dell reported a net income of $426 million, with
$7.2 billion in revenues, for the third quarter of 2001.