Novell makes firm switch from Cunningham to PNCG

SAN JOSE: Networking software giant Novell has ended its five-year relationship with Cunningham Communications and handed its sizable corporate and product PR account - reportedly worth between dollars 1 and dollars 2 million - to the Porter Novelli Convergence Group.

SAN JOSE: Networking software giant Novell has ended its five-year relationship with Cunningham Communications and handed its sizable corporate and product PR account - reportedly worth between dollars 1 and dollars 2 million - to the Porter Novelli Convergence Group.

SAN JOSE: Networking software giant Novell has ended its five-year

relationship with Cunningham Communications and handed its sizable

corporate and product PR account - reportedly worth between dollars 1

and dollars 2 million - to the Porter Novelli Convergence Group.



According to Susan Fallon, Novell’s director of worldwide PR, the

account was put up for review at the end of December and the parting was

amicable.



’Cunningham is a great agency that’s contributed greatly to our

turnaround,’ she said. ’But after five years, it was time to make a

change and get some fresh creative.’



A source familiar with both companies, however, said there was more to

the story.



’Evidently, Novell was a pretty difficult account to work on and

Cunningham had lots of turnaround on that team,’ the source said.

Frustrated by the volatility, Novell put the account up for review.

’Cunningham was invited to pitch but declined,’ the source added.



PNCG won out over a handful of firms that were invited to pitch for the

Novell business, but neither Fallon nor the agency would disclose who

else competed in the review. She did imply that PNCG was the clear

winner from the get-go.



’The PN Convergence Group has a proven track record in hi-tech, a

commitment to results and a strong focus on Internet and e-business

companies,’ Fallon said. She also cited contacts at top-tier tech trades

and a strong service support team as factors in PNCG’s favor.



Novell’s account budget was not disclosed, though Fallon did confirm

that it exceeded dollars 1 million.



The initial PR focus will be on the US trade media, with special

attention paid to Silicon Valley and Mexico. In addition, Novell will be

taking advantage of the PNCG Labs, which are staffed by IT specialists

and former tech trade editors.



The account will be based out of the firm’s San Francisco office, with

support from outposts in Irvine, Menlo Park and Mexico City.



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