Marketing director Greg Suthern was set to kick off preliminary discussions with PR agencies this week and plans to shortlist agencies in December. A formal pitch process and appointment are likely in January.
Dreams this year met its double target of achieving 100 stores and a turnover of £100m – 2005 will bring the opening of 30 further stores.
Suthern said Dreams had ‘put PR on the back-burner’ last year and acknowledged that senior staff had found insufficient time to ‘devote to PR to get the benefit out of it’; this will change, he said.
There is no incumbent on the account; the last PR agency Dreams used was Nelson Bostock Communications, which was brought in on a project basis 18 months ago (PRWeek, 15 May 2003).
Suthern will oversee the pitch process alongside marketing controller Andrew Bennett and Samantha Rees, who was recently appointed to the newly created role of media manager.
Rees joined from Carlton TV, where she held a media sales job. She will liaise with the PR agency on a day-to-day basis.
‘Our PR agency must have proven expertise in the retail market while understanding the business needs of a growing company,’ said Suthern.
Fees for the remit are to be decided, but Suthern said: ‘If our gut feel is that [the campaign] will generate returns, we’ll do it… there is no limit on the fees or budget.’
Suthern added: ‘The agency must be small enough to care [about properly servicing the Dreams account] but big enough to get results.’