Compaq, the world’s largest personal computer maker, is hunting for
its first in-house head of communications in the UK and Ireland.
The company in the UK has traditionally adhered to Compaq’s worldwide
model of outsourcing all its PR work, with Firefly acting as its PR
agency in the UK. To date Compaq’s PR agencies have been co-ordinated
in-house by marketing director William Knocker but it is thought that
Knocker wants to appoint a specialist to handle agency relationships and
to work closely with the marketing team and agencies on communications
strategy. Knocker was not available for comment.
It is believed that Compaq is searching for experienced in-house or
consultancy operators with hi-tech knowledge.
Last year Compaq moved all its UK PR to Firefly which now handles
product and technical public relations together with consumer activity
(PR Week, 26 September 1997).
Recently Compaq announced significant developments in its UK
It has opened a new call-centre in Scotland for customers to leave
details for Compaq’s salesforce to follow-up. This has been viewed as a
first step toward the direct selling model adopted by rivals Dell
Computer and Gateway 2000.
However, this week Compaq’s US headquarters issued a profits warning
after it announced that first quarter sales were expected to be down 34
per cent on the last quarter of 1997 from pounds 3.8 billion to pounds