NEW YORK: Texas-based Dell Computers has added integrated marketing
shop Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky (SS&K) to its roster for both
corporate communications and PR work.
The company already uses Fleishman-Hillard for corporate work. No one at
Dell would comment on how the work would be split between the two
Though SS&K officially gained retainer status this month, it had done
project work for the computer company during the technology conference
Comdex last November.
Dell hit the headlines in February when it announced it was laying off
1,700 people. It was one of the first major US companies to make
recession-related staff cuts.
Chairman Michael Dell discussed his company's lay-offs with Time
magazine this month. In the story he admitted the company had hired too
The report included comments from former Dell employees who felt they
had been badly treated by the firm, though Dell admitted he 'screwed up'
by overhiring. Since the cuts announcement, Dell is beginning to hire
SS&K has also picked up two pieces of business from Microsoft. The first
is a project for new software Office XP aimed at replacing the pop-up
paper clip icon. The Internet-focused campaign involves an extensive
viral marketing initiative and the creation of an unemployed Clippy
paper clip character among other marketing devices. The New York Times
covered the push in April 11 partly because it is unusual for Microsoft
to indulge in self-deprecating humor.
The campaign was put together by SS&K and the partners involved in a new
alliance called the Digital Trust.
Greg Shaw, West Coast partner and former Microsoft employee said: 'The
Digital Trust is a set of alliances involving digital marketing agency
KPE, Public Strategies International, a viral marketing firm called
Memetic, polling group PSB Online and the Web site
SS&K is working on a second piece of Microsoft business: the company's
Entertainment Solutions Group software, which targets healthcare,
financial services, retail and b-to-b sectors.