ESPOO--Nokia is understood to be in the early stages of a global review of its PR agency relationships.

The exercise is being driven by the handset giant’s procurement department and covers multiple markets, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The move comes just 18 months after Nokia selected Next 15 to oversee public relations in North America and the UK, and support the company’s global HQ communications in Finland.

Since then, Next 15 agencies Bite Communications and Text 100 have helped Nokia’s efforts to rebuild a reputation that was once synonymous with innovation. The company’s smartphone partnership with Microsoft is beginning to bear fruit, with strong sales of its Lumia range in the fourth quarter of 2012.

It is understood that Next 15 has been informed of the process.

The 2011 review, which lasted six months, was overseen by then-CMO Jerri Devard and interim comms head Carol Soriano. Devard left the company last year, while Soriano has moved to a consumer planning role at Nokia’s San Francisco office. 

The company’s communications is now led by Susan Sheehan, a former Waggener Edstrom executive who joined Nokia in June last year. 

Nokia representatives in Finland did not respond to request for comment.

Nokia follows other handset brands - Blackberry, Samsung and Motorola - in rethinking global PR duties in recent weeks.