Palm pulls its PR in-house

SAN MATEO, CA: Palm has pulled its PR function in-house, ending its 14-year AOR relationship with A&R Edelman.

SAN MATEO, CA: Palm has pulled its PR function in-house, ending its 14-year AOR relationship with A&R Edelman.

Lynn Fox, VP of corporate communications at Palm, confirmed to PRWeek that Palm began transitioning its PR in-house last year. It ended its AOR relationship with A&R Edelman in January, but continues to work with the agency on a project basis.

“The reason we pulled our PR in-house was to shift from outsourcing the majority of our PR to running all the programs from within the company,” Fox added by e-mail. “I believe that in the Internet era, this is the most strategic, effective, and cost-efficient way for us to have an impact.”

Additionally, Palm hired several A&R Edelman employees last fall. Fox said she hired “superstars.”

"They've been a fantastic addition to the team,” she said.

Todd Irwin, GM and EVP at A&R Edelman, said the agency has worked with Palm on every product launch from the debut of its Palm Pilot to last year's Pre.

“It's a longtime relationship,” Irwin said, noting it has spanned many changes within the company. “We feel good about the work we have done to build the brand.”

He added that Palm had already ceased to be an anchor client for A&R Edelman because of fee reductions the company made over the years, though it remained among its top five accounts.

“The good news is, we've replaced all that we've lost through new wins and existing clients increasing their budgets,” he said.

Last year, some retailers cut the price of the Pixi, the sister phone to the Pre, and offered the Pre at a discounted rate. Even so, according to a recent ComScore report, Palm's marketshare declined to 6.1% in the three months ending December 2009, from 8.3%, in the three months ending in September 2009.

“We don't let a periodical ComScore point dip scare us into thinking we need to do anything unusual,” Fox said about those figures. “That said, we never rest on our laurels. We have a small company with a challenger brand, so we're always out there working hard to get noticed.”

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