INTERNATIONAL: Compaq reviews global public relations needs

HOUSTON: Compaq, the computer giant, is evaluating its worldwide public relations arrangements as an extension of a US review instigated last year from its Houston headquarters.

HOUSTON: Compaq, the computer giant, is evaluating its worldwide

public relations arrangements as an extension of a US review instigated

last year from its Houston headquarters.



The evaluation is likely to impact on two of Shandwick’s largest

accounts: Miller Shandwick Technologies’ account for Compaq’s US

communications, and Shandwick’s global account with Digital Equipment

Corporation, which Compaq announced it was to take over earlier this

year.



Compaq hired management consultancy Pile and Company last year to review

its US communications needs, but the review was put on hold while the

company negotiated its takeover of Digital - which supplies networked

systems, components, software and services and whose sales for 1996

reached pounds 9 billion.



Craig Kaminer, managing director of Miller Shandwick, said: ’A number of

months ago Compaq sent out proposals to other agencies but that review

has been put on hold and hasn’t been renewed.’



Now Compaq is believed to have asked Pile to broaden its focus and

reassess its worldwide public relations requirements.



This is in light of information technology companies such as IBM and

Oracle globalising their public relations accounts into single

networks.



Earlier this year Oracle appointed Avalanche - an international network

formed by Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Hill and Knowlton and Cunningham

Communications - to handle its worldwide public relations.



Pile will have to take Compaq’s merger with Digital Equipment

Corporation into account when evaluating its worldwide PR needs.



’Outside the US, Compaq is evaluating its overall public relations

requirements but is not yet reviewing agencies,’ a source close to

Compaq stressed.



Rick Hooker, a Pile consultant who is working closely with Compaq, was

unavailable for comment.



A Compaq spokeswoman refused to confirm or deny if Miller Shandwick’s

account is under review.



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