July 6, 2011ICANN is looking for an advertising agency to help it get the word out about the new generic top-level domains program, but it only has $750,000 to spend.
The organization published a request for proposals last night.
The budget is not much in the advertising world, especially considering that ICANN’s awareness program will have to be global and multilingual to be truly effective.
With such a limited budget, the RFP and accompanying FAQ acknowledges that it will need “creative solutions” from its ad agency.
This is likely to mean a big PR push for advertising equivalent editorial – lots and lots of news stories about new gTLDs.
To an extent, the word is already out by this measure. My standing Google News and Twitter searches for “ICANN” have been going crazy since the gTLD program was approved two weeks ago.
I think it’s fair to say that the vast majority deal of the coverage so far has been either neutral or negative, with much of the focus on potential legal, branding and security problems.
That’s pretty much par for the course in the domain name business, of course.
And ICANN does not necessarily need positive spin – it’s trying to raise awareness of the program’s existence, and negative coverage does that job just as well.
There is, as they say, no such thing as bad publicity.
ICANN’s job of promoting the program is already being done to a large extent by the registries, many of which were investing heavily in media outreach before new gTLDs were approved.