Neale-May & Partners client McAfee.com, a leading Web-delivered security service provider based in Sunnyvale, California, delivers software-as-a-service from its Internet site. McAfee.com protects personal computers from viruses and hackers/intruders. The company serves more than 1.2 million subscribers located in homes and small- to medium-sized businesses worldwide.
Description of Program
McAfee.com turned to Neale-May & Partners to launch a new product, the Internet Privacy Service in March this year. Primarily targeted toward parents and teachers of middle school children, the service provides Web site blocking and content filtering that enables parents and teachers in computer classroom situations, to protect kids from undesirable content and unwanted personal encounters on the Internet.
Neale-May conceived and launched the Kids.McAfee.com Guard Your Net! Internet Safety & Privacy program and cause awareness public relations outreach to help both parents and educators effectively teach children how to safely navigate their way around the Internet.
Challenge & Opportunity
The benefits of the Internet as an educational, social, business and political tool are enormous. But so too are the ever-present dangers as increasing numbers of children log on—dangers like inappropriate Web sites and predators who prey on the innocence of children. Neale-May & Partners’ mandate was to educate and motivate without resorting to fear mongering.
Analysis indicated middle school children were at the greatest risk, not just because they are most active on computers both in and outside the home, but also due to their unique stage of psychological and physiological development. They are enormously curious, yet unable to detect threats. Therefore the target audiences were determined to be middle school children, their parents and their teachers.
In addition to audience analysis, Neale-May researched organizations and professionals likely to be most successful and credible in reaching teachers and through them, parents. The agency also explored methodologies of reaching the greatest mass of our target groups.
To support the messages and build content, Neale-May commissioned a survey among middle-school teachers. The survey determined opinions about Internet safety, security and privacy issues. It also highlighted the fact that there was a lack of availability of instructional material on these topics.
It was determined that an alliance with the National Middle School Association would provide a credible ‘point’ organization as well as access to teachers through its established channels. Further, to convincingly deliver McAfee.com’s message to the press, Neale-May retained and message-trained Dr. Lawrence Kutner, a nationally known clinical psychologist with Emmy Award-winning broadcast experience.
Launch McAfee.com’s new Internet Privacy Service
Educate children’s caregivers/decision makers about the need to ensure young people are protected from negative content and unwanted Internet interaction and communication.
Ensure the target group understands and buys into the importance of the safeguards provided by McAfee.com’s new Internet Privacy Service.
NMP created a package of materials that was distributed to more than 3,000 middle schools nationwide. The packet included Parent, Teacher and Student lesson plans, an Internet Safety poster and CyberSavvy CD-ROM. The survey findings and classroom materials were also used on a special Web site, kids.mcafee.com, established to support the new product.
Neale-May scripted a Video News Release that drove home the importance of protecting the impressionable target group from unwanted communication and undesirable content on the Internet.
Viewers were directed to the Web site for further information, which included the new product as a solution and how to subscribe to it. Viewers were told about the classroom kits and encouraged to visit the site for their own copies.
McAfee.com CEO Srivats Sampath joined Dr. Kutner for a satellite media tour arranged by Neale-May, which ran in conjunction with the VNR and attracted top-tier media in markets of strategic importance to the company. The survey findings supplied excellent news hooks. B-roll from the VNR shoot supported the tour with in-school settings and proof-point commentary from teachers.
Summary of Results
The Guard Your Net! program, launched in the last week of Q1 2001, garnered unprecedented results. The program was a contributor to McAfee.com’s milestones this year:
Increased subscribers, up 140 percent to 1.2 million in 2001
VNR ran on 38 stations, 66 times, reaching 3.1 million people
SMT was seen by 3.7 million people on 45 stations, 57 times nationally
Top-tier placements included: CNBC Power Lunch, CNNfn New Economy Watch, CBS Radio Network and ABC Radio Network
Top-tier placements included: Associated Press, Dow Jones News Service, Wall Street Journal, Bridge News Service, Fortune.com, Child magazine and others
The Internet Privacy Service is now well understood, in demand and is bundled with McAfee.com’s most popular product, VirusScan Online. The Web site received extremely high traffic, resulting in numerous conversions to subscriptions.