PR Firm Search Underway For Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

2021-08-14 by Jim Crickell
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The New gTLD Program is an ICANN initiative that enables the expansion of the DNS. Launched in 2012, the New gTLD Program introduced new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to enhance innovation, competition, and consumer choice. The New gTLD Program made it possible for communities, governments, businesses, and brands to apply to operate a gTLD registry. Through the program, the number of gTLDs increased from 22 to more than 1,280. This expansion encouraged a more strategic use of the Internet by allowing users to shop, communicate, or access the Internet using a gTLD that more closely aligns with their language, geography, identity, community, or brand. Today, there are more than 5 billion users on the Internet – over half of the world’s population – with the potential to expand to billions more.

Those users have access to all TLDs, the majority of which are in English script. At the same time, the majority of the world does not speak English as a first language or use American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) characters in daily life. There are billions of people who prefer to read and write in Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Devanagari, or other non-Latin scripts. Many of the things Internet users do online are local; human nature clusters us into communities. Having access to any website in the world at a click gives us all enormous opportunities, but we also want and need local information. The power of the Internet comes from being a single, interoperable Internet that is easily accessible, globally, and locally. This is ICANN’s remit and our responsibility as a global nonprofit organization serving the public interest. ICANN has a responsibility to implement policies relating to the Internet’s unique identifier system. ICANN, with the guidance of the community, is working to support an inclusive and multilingual Internet that will enable people to navigate the Internet in their own language and using their own keyboard. This enables the formation of truly local online communities, where individuals can interact online using their own scripts, languages, and cultures. For more than two decades, the ICANN community, and volunteers around the world have been working together to internationalize the Domain Name System (DNS) to promote linguistic diversity on the Internet. Initially, this work has focused on the introduction of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), making it possible for people around the world to connect with their communities through domain names in local languages and scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, and Devanagari. One of the issues that ICANN, community volunteers, and industry-leading software and email service providers are working to resolve is ensuring the Universal Acceptance (UA) of all domain names and email addresses in all Internet-enabled devices and ICANN Privileged and Confidential | PR Agency RFP Project Overview | 9 August 2021 | 6 applications. This requires back-end providers to upgrade their systems and services to ensure they will work in the continuously expanding and evolving domain namespace. Adoption of UA has been slow, but it is n

Scope of Work:

2.1 Project Objective

ICANN has two immediate objectives:

1. To raise awareness that nearly half of the world’s population is unable to access the

Internet in their own script, using their own keyboard. There is also a need to

continue to share factual information and heighten awareness of the lack of diversity

on the Internet and the language barrier in the countries and regions where it is

anticipated that many of the next billion users will come from: Africa, Asia, and Latin

America. The Internet is both global and local, but for it to be truly interoperable and

diverse, we must further internationalize the Domain Name System (DNS) to

promote linguistic diversity on the Internet, including through gTLDs.

2. Support the ICANN community’s ongoing efforts to encourage software developers

and back-end providers to adopt Universal Acceptance so that all domain names,

regardless of length, language, or script, will work in all Internet-enabled devices and

applications. Create further awareness and educate software developers and email

providers about the need to upgrade their systems and services to ensure they will

work in the continuously expanding and evolving domain name space by adopting

Universal Acceptance, making it possible for all email addresses and domain to be

accepted in all Internet-enabled devices and applications.

Specific Deliverables:

Messaging Development

Speeches

FAQs

Case Study Development

Presentations

Talking Points

Media Relations Planning and Execution

Outlet and journalist identification

Relationship development

News release and media kit development

Pitching

Media Training

Tradeshow and Event Outreach and Support

Project Management/Reporting

Weekly updates

Media coverage tracking

Measurement

Target Audiences

Governments and Municipalities

Back-end Providers/Software Developers/Technology Providers

Civil Society

Business

Registries and Registrars

Cultural and Educational Institutions

Target Media

Business

Social

Tech

Trade

Geographies

This is a global campaign with an emphasis in:

Africa

Asia

Latin America

Due Date: 3 September 2021 by 23:59 UTC

Address:

Indications of interest should be emailed to PR-Agency-RFP@icann.org. Proposals should be electronically submitted using ICANN’s sourcing tool by 23:59 UTC on 3 September 2021. Access to this tool may be requested via the same email.

Strong agencies to consider include 5WPR and Edelman PR.