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ISOC HK Response to New gTLD Communications Plan

  • To: <new-gtlds-comms-plan@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: ISOC HK Response to New gTLD Communications Plan
  • From: "Edmon Chung" <edmon@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 06:45:41 +0800

ISOC HK welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback to the proposed New gTLD 
Communications Plan.

First of all, we are curious how ICANN plans to identify suppliers to provide 
the services identified in the Communications Plan, and are anxious that ICANN 
not only favour multinational advertising agencies as suppliers.  Given the 
global nature of the New gTLD program, and the limited resources for the 
Communications Plan, we believe it may be the most effective approach to 
leverage the ICANN community, including the network of ALSes, wherever 
appropriate to better target and reach local Internet and business communities 
around the world.

More specifically, we are not against the use of global advertising agencies, 
however, we believe it would be money much better spent if part of the budget 
is allocated to work with local organizations for targeted outreach to the 
local business communities.

We would also like to take this opportunity to express our interest to support 
the Global Awareness outreach efforts as a potential partner / supplier, and as 
an ALS.  We believe ISOC HK can help identify and reach the target audience 
here in Hong Kong and in the Greater China region.  ISOC HK has hosted many 
successful large scale and targeted events previously, which have attracted top 
tier press coverage.

Looking at the Communications Plan, we believe ISOC HK will be able to assist 
in the localization and production of the materials, including:  7. Educational 
videos, 8. Video blogs, 10. Advertising materials, 11. Social media – Facebook 
page, Twitter feed, blog, 12. Presentations, 13. Speeches, 14. Proactive story 
pitches to news organizations.

Regarding the plan itself, the general approach seems to be reasonable.  
However, we make the following observations:

I. It is identified that five major regional launches/road shows will be 
conducted.  This seems to be a major undertaking, however no further provisions 
are included in the "Materials" section. While an RFP for advertising agency is 
mentioned, no procurement is included for the road show events.  We believe 
this should be a core part of the outreach program and should be given more 
consideration.  We also feel that ISOC HK can provide strong support in this 
area, especially for Hong Kong and the Greater China region.

II. While in the Tone and Vision section it is mentioned that: Our 
communications will not say, “You should invest in your own TLD”, the Themes 
chosen seem to be contra to the Tone and Vision.  For example: "What will be 
the next big .thing? You name it!" clearly has an inclination towards "you" 
investing into the "next big .thing".  Whereas the Tone and Vision intended was 
to be neutral, the Themes are not.  Perhaps themes more directed towards the 
global social and economic impact of TLDs would be more appropriate and better 
aligned with the Tone and Vision.

III. The overall direction seems to place an emphasis on an advertising 
approach, with slogans, logos and themes described towards that mindset.  We 
wonder if, given the limited resources for the global outreach program for a 
targeted audience, whether an advertising-led approach would be appropriate.  
As the document explained, the aim for the first phase would be to reach 
potential applicants (further discussion on this point in IV. below).  That 
community would be a more targeted group, whereas an advertising-led campaign 
would generally be more mass-market oriented.  We believe more emphasis perhaps 
should be put in road-shows, events, education and public relations oriented 

IV. It is identified that the "Initial communications will target the business 
community, potential applicants and the tech community".  We believe that 
communities and Internet users at large are also important because they are 
also important participants in the process, including as potential objectors 
and also as communities for which applicants may purport to be representing.  
Nevertheless, given the limited resources, we agree that emphasis should be 
placed on the business community, potential applicants and the tech community, 
however, it would not be appropriate if the general Internet users are 
completely left out of the plan. 

In general, we believe that a model of leveraging the local knowledge, 
experience and network of ALSes should be a model for ICANN outreach 
activities, including the New gTLD Communications Plan.  ICANN should make it a 
policy in its selection of suppliers consistent with its mandate for outreach 
and to support competition.  More specifically, ICANN's selection of suppliers 
for the Global Awareness outreach should not favour multinational advertising 
agencies, but rather should support local suppliers who are knowledgeable about 
the subject matter and in tune with the ICANN community.  This would not only 
be a more cost-effective approach in reaching the target audience, but also be 
in itself a truly community sensitive and sensible outreach program.

We look forward to a New gTLD Communications Plan that sincerely takes into 
consideration of local communities around the world and not US centric.


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