Da Vinci takes shape as it appoints global PR leader

SAN FRANCISCO: Dell has hired Kelly McGinnis, a former partner at Fleishman-Hillard, as the new global PR head of its Da Vinci project.

SAN FRANCISCO: Dell has hired Kelly McGinnis, a former partner at Fleishman-Hillard, as the new global PR head of its Da Vinci project.

Andy Lark, VP of communications for Dell, provided confirmation of the new hire. Last year, Dell selected WPP Group to create one agency, tentatively named Da Vinci, to handle the company's marketing communications.

Da Vinci's PR function will be based out of San Francisco and will employ between 70 and 100 people worldwide. So far, the agency has hired about half of its team, he added.
"But we don't have to rush," Lark noted. "A lot of our existing agency relationships are with WPP agencies, and that gives us an enormous amount of flexibility."

Despite some speculation that the new, controversial agency is lagging behind its goal to begin functioning by March 1, Lark said Da Vinci has hit its objectives so far for this year.

"We're on target with our goals - which was to get the first phase launched and up and running by March 1, and we've achieved that," Lark said. The firm is now moving into its second phase of building teams and adding additional resources.

The agency plans to base its PR team in the Bay Area so it can be close to the national and international technology media.

"We already have a really high profile in [Silicon] Valley," Lark explained. "So that's not an objective. It's more about being able to... easily engage in dialogue on a day-to-day basis with our key media and analysts."

Dell also plans to expand its in-house PR presence in the Bay Area over time, Lark added.

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