The Cycle

PRWeek Awards - PR Innovation of the Year

Text 100 Public Relations: Get a Second Life! Opening the PR Industry to Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds like Second Life are taking the traditional community building to another level, since they connect people in a three-dimensional framework. Yet they haven’t received the same mainstream attention as other social media phenomena like blogs.

Text 100 recognized that it needed to learn more about this emerging new public forum. The firm decided that the best way for it to counsel clients on communities like Second Life was to get firsthand experience. In the process, it knew it would not only benefit its clients, but also be recognized as an innovator in the space.

Before choosing Second Life as its virtual world destination, Text 100 researched its user growth, social demographic, and economy, and found that it offered the best business pportunity; at the time the community boasted some 900,000 members, who contributed to an economy totaling the equivalent of $10 million a month.

Text 100’s first step was to build a virtual office in Second Life. With the help of the Electric Sheep Company, a virtual world development firm, the agency created an open and transparent design that was meant to reflect its core values. It also created a three-minute video illustrating the PR potential of virtual worlds, which it placed on its agency blog and on YouTube. The video has been viewed more than 3,500 times on that site.

To publicize the launch of its virtual office in Second Life, Text 100 secured an exclusive story with PRWeek, and followed up with communications, business, and technology press around the world.

In order to introduce the agency’s participation in Second Life to employees in its 30 global offices, the agency held a worldwide meeting in the virtual community to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Hundreds of employees participated and were treated to a presentation by CEO Aedhmar Hynes and a Q&A.

In a time when the PR industry is struggling with all of the new ways to reach audiences, many firms will boast of their experience with new and social media. By being the first PR agency to open a virtual office in Second Life, Text 100 successfully positioned itself as an innovator.

Judges were impressed by the fact that Text 100 not only “talked the talk, but also walked the walk.”

Honorable Mention

Carmichael Lynch Spong and The Clorox Company: Taking “Anywhere” Everywhere

In January 2006, The Clorox Company launched Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface daily sanitizing spray, a product that reportedly kills 99.9% of bacteria while still being gentle enough to use around children, food, and pets. Knowing that consumer packaged goods sector is flooded with product introductions, Clorox and Carmichael Lynch Spong created an influencer campaign to reach moms and introduce them to the product. Part of that campaign involved the creation of a children’s book titled “Here, There and Everywhere with Adventurous Andrew.” The book featured subtle product references and gained the attention of 3,000 influencer moms. More than 50% of recipients referred a friend, extending the kit’s total reach. Additionally, within one month of mailing, more than 160 moms had signed up to be Clorox At-Home advisors, nearly doubling the client’s initial goals for recruiting women to provide consumer insight.

Finalists 2007

  • Carmichael Lynch Spong and The Clorox Company: Taking “Anywhere” Everywhere
  • Connors Communications: HitTail
  • Text 100 Public Relations: Get a Second Life! Opening the PR Industry to Virtual Worlds

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