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Real Candidates Have Real Names

To demonstrate the benefits of Internet Keywords to a mass audience, RealNames leveraged the 2000 political election by launching a public service initiative to create 1000 Internet Keywords -- one for every presidential, senatorial, congressional and gub

Paul Holmes

 

RealNames and its communication partners took a highly strategic approach in raising awareness for its navigation service through Internet Keywords.  Campaign 2000,  which was designed to capitalize on the buzz around the election year, fulfilled the company’s communication and business objectives by gaining visibility in top tier media and exceeding penetration goals.  As a SABRE Award recipient, RealNames will exemplify the foresight, intelligence and ingenuity it takes to launch a successful Internet product.

To demonstrate the benefits of Internet Keywords to a mass audience, RealNames and its communication partners leveraged the 2000 political election by launching a public service initiative to create 1000 Internet Keywords -- one for every presidential, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial candidate with a Web site.  RealNames Internet Keywords are a better kind of Web address making it easier and more intuitive to go exactly where you want on the Web.  The Web navigation technology allows users to type in the name of a company, product or brand and go directly to the official Web site.  Through Campaign 2000, Internet Keywords, in the form of the candidates’ name (e.g. “Al Gore”), gave voters direct access to the candidate’s official Web site. Alexander Ogilvy Public Relations and Plessor Associates collaborated in promoting Campaign 2000 to influential associations as well as print, online and broadcast media to educate end-users and customers.  This successful marketing team identified a promotional opportunity and capitalized on it to fulfill the company’s communication and business goals.  

OPPORTUNITY

Cyber-squatting and typo-squatting became a serious online problem around the political election.  Individuals and organizations established gratuitous Web sites in hopes of capitalizing on end users seeking political information.  End users, in turn, were directed to unofficial Web sites that either contained lewd or incorrect content.  For example, www.whitehouse.com, is a pornography website and www.whitehouse.net is a parody website.  The official White House web site is www.whitehouse.gov, which is not an intuitive domain name for many end users.  RealNames identified this issue and saw it as an opportunity to implement its Internet Keyword technology as a solution to the problem.  The creation of Internet Keywords enabled voters to bypass non-intuitive URLs, cyber-squatters and confusing suffixes (.com, .net, .gov), and easily stay politically informed.  Candidates were able to successfully reach the Internet audience without fear of defamation, misinformation or losing loyalty. 

OBJECTIVES

  • To educate voters via political/consumer media about the role Keywords play in increasing access  of information for voters who may not be web savvy. 
  • To assist in RealNames’ efforts in educating key candidates about the value of Internet Keywords in their campaigns.
  • To inform media who have reported on cybersquatting or parody websites (or other “unofficial” political websites) that a solution exists for voters looking to get official information. 
  • To educate and pitch campaign-oriented media about the benefits to candidates of Internet Keywords, which ensure that prospective supporters aren’t inadvertently seeing negative or even inflammatory information on the candidate.  
  • To assist in RealNames’ efforts in educating key candidates about the value of Internet Keywords in their campaigns.
  • To educate political/consumer and other reporters who use web addresses in their stories to consider adding Internet Keywords.

TACTICS

Evaluated the Internet’s participation in the coming election and identified an opportunity to promote Keywords as the solution to accurately stay politically informed online. 

Conducted thorough research of media outlets and reporters covering the convergence of Internet technology and political campaigning. 

Organized a national and regional satellite media tour and day of top-tier press briefings with RealNames’ Campaign 2000 advocate and political advisor James Carville.

Through press releases, media alerts and direct media outreach, promoted RealNames Campaign 2000 with state capitol press and national news service bureaus in local areas to increase breadth of impressions.

Sponsored the Congressional Black Caucus event at the Democratic convention to reach political influencers and media.

Developed an information reference card for disseminating Internet Keyword Campaign 2000 information to press during events.  The credit card sized collateral was a resource that press and voters could use when conducting candidate research.  

Created and filed a mate bylined story with NAPS addressing the benefits Keywords offer voters and candidates.  

MEASURE OF SUCCESS

Educated voters and candidates of Keyword benefits through targeted media outreach at the local and national level.  RealNames garnered coverage with CNET Radio, CNN, Roll Call, New York Times, Tech Web, national daily papers and fifteen broadcast airings including:  Atlanta CBS affiliate WGCL; Austin Fox affiliate KTBC; Chicago Fox affiliate WFLD; Phoenix WB affiliate KTVK; Fox News Edge and ABC Newsone. 

Gained media endorsements and advocates which in turn generated more than 5,000,000 media impressions.

Roll Call, Amy Keller, 9/21/00, Shop TalkDotCom

“RealNames Corp is offering its services for free to campaigns that want to make sure their supporters don’t get off at the wrong exit on the information superhighway.”

CNN Morning News, 8/10/00, Domestic Internet Offers Real and Parody Sites for Politics. “…people who are serious political junkies might want to find out how and where they can find the official sites and not get all these parody sites.  RealNames.com, this is a site that I have up right now.”

Fulfilled corporate growth goals by experiencing a 23% spike in resolutions, or usage of Internet Keywords, in October and November 2000. 

Gained strategic political endorsements from candidates who valued the benefits of Internet Keywords to easily disseminate information and promote their platform.    
Candidates utilizing this technology included Rick Lazio and Brian Bilbray.

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