MILPITAS, CA--SanDisk is reviewing its global communications strategy, in an attempt to build broader awareness of a company that is the world’s largest provider of flash memory products.
The rethink includes a review of its worldwide PR agency arragements, which are currently handled in large part by Text 100 and Hill + Knowlton Strategies. SanDisk has invited a number of firms to respond to an RFP that covers North America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, as the $5.7bn company seeks to develop a more robust public relations presence.
SanDisk’s products have become increasingly important amid the boom in mobile technology, used in handsets, tablet computers, MP3 player, digital cameras and USB drives. Communications director Tom Beerman told the Holmes Report that, while the company is “well-known and respected, there is a great deal of opportunity to tell the Sandisk story to a broader audience, both in terms of technology and products.”
The review follows the arrival of former Intel-executive Beerman and senior director of communications Lee Flanagin at SanDisk last year. Since then, said Beerman, the company has restructured its communications operation, in order to develop a PR presence that is “commensurate with the level of influence and revenues we’re generating.”
Both Text 100 and H+K are expected to take part in the review. Beerman said that a single-agency solution was “unlikely”, given the broad scope of expertise required. SanDisk operates two distinct business units: the retail division focuses on consumers and drives brand positioning, while the OEM business targets manufacturers and accounts for two-thirds of revenues.
“We are looking to make sure we are getting the best return-on-investment possible, and that our agencies are working with us as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said Beerman. “On the retail side, we are seeking additional creativity and new ideas. For OEM, we are looking to boost our presence and awareness among manufacturers.”
The agency review is expected to complete by the end of March. Beerman added that a range of capabilities are required to effectively service SanDisk’s PR needs.
“Any agency that would be seeking the business of a company like Sandisk would have very strong capabilities in the whole range of communications functions from media relations to social media to CSR to crisis and executive communications,” he said. “And, in particular, some strength in consumer media relations and consumer outreach.”