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How Do We Raise Global Awareness of New gTLDs?

24 June 2011

Comment Period Deadlines (*) Important Information Links
Public Comment Box
Open Date: 24 June 2011 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Close Date: 15 July 2011 Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

A message from ICANN's Communications Department:

We seek the public's suggestions on communication strategies and any other constructive input that will help us leverage our limited budget and the strengths of ICANN's volunteer community in raising global awareness of the new gTLD program.

This document [PDF, 486 KB] is a working draft of the plan that the ICANN Communications Department intends to follow in seeking to raise global awareness of new gTLDs during the rest of 2011. Of critical importance, the plan does not seek to promote new gTLDs, but seeks to promote awareness of new gTLDs. This important distinction means that ICANN is not telling the world that every organization needs its own a gTLD. As steward of the process, ICANN intends to tell the world that all organizations should consider and pay attention to new gTLDs. Even organizations who do not want a gTLD would be wise to watch as the activities of others might affect them. The plan includes key messages about new gTLDs, the tone and vision of communications, and which audiences we will target. It also lists core components of the plan and describes phases, timing, and evaluation metrics for determining whether the plan was successful or not.

Section II: Background

On 20 June 2011 ICANN's Board of Directors approved a plan to dramatically increase the number of generic top-level domains (new gTLDs). The Board had previously specified that if the plan were approved, there must be a "minimum of four months" spent in raising global awareness of the new opportunity, before applications for new gTLDs could be accepted. Aware that some global communities are difficult to reach in August (for example, many Europeans vacation then, and Ramadan also occurs then), when the Board approved the New gTLD plan on 20 June, the Board also extended the communications period to roughly six months.

The ideal is that when applications are accepted (a period which runs from 12 January to 12 April 2012), no organization comes forward and says "We would have liked to apply for a new gTLD, but we didn't know we could." However, budget limitations make achieving the ideal quite challenging.

Section III: Document and Resource Links
Working Draft of the ICANN Communications Department Plan [PDF, 486 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information
Staff Contact: Michele Jourdan Email: michele.jourdan@icann.org

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.