Dell goes to Devillard for Euro PR strategies

Dell Computer Corporation has ended its six-month search for a European public relations chief with the appointment of Annick Devillard.

Dell Computer Corporation has ended its six-month search for a

European public relations chief with the appointment of Annick

Devillard.



French-born Devillard joined the company last week in the role of

European corporate communications director. She was previously a

freelance consultant.



Devillard’s precise brief remains unclear, although she will have

general responsibility for raising the company’s profile, devising

communications strategies and promoting Dell’s product offering to

business managers and IT directors across Europe.



She will be based at Dell’s European headquarters in Bracknell,

Berkshire, and report to Martyn Ratcliffe, senior vice-president for

Europe, Middle East and Africa.



Devillard’s appointment is believed to be the first time Dell has

recruited a European public relations director, although the company

considered creating such a role three years ago (PR Week, 19 August

1994).



Based in Texas, Dell Computer manufactures its own line of desktop PCs,

notebook computers and servers but sells its products directly through

telephone and direct mail methods instead of retailers. Computers are

custom-built according to client specifications, rather than being

constructed to a standardised format.



Although the European market accounted for 30 per cent of its pounds 3.3

billion sales last year, Dell has struggled in some countries,

especially France and Germany, to convince potential buyers to buy

direct and make credit card purchases. The company is also seeking to

expand into smaller south European and Middle East countries.



Devillard, who is visiting the US, was unavailable for comment.



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