March - Month of Internet is an extensive campaign whose main aim is to encourage increased use of the Internet as a tool for education, business and entertainment among individuals, organizations and local governments in the Czech Republic. More then 100 events are going all over the country., as the campaign is organized as a long-term campaign made up of several projects
The campaign is open to all subjects - local municipalities, professional organizations, schools, small businesses, corporations, financial institutions and, of course, individuals.
ECITY, association of Expandia Bank, SPT Telecom and Radiomobil.
Czech Television, Czech Radio, the Czech Press Office (ČTK), daily Mladá fronta Dnes and IDG Czechoslovakia.
The public relations firm AMI Communication has been entrusted with campaign realization.
Evaluation of the 1st annual March - Month of Internet Campaign (1998)
One of the aims of the project, whose main partners included AutoCont, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and PVT, was to enable the widest public to acquaint with Internet as well as to try it out. A number of open-door days in more than 30 cities provided this opportunity. Some of these events were held as one-time events, while other sites "opened their doors" once or twice a week for the whole month of March.
The first annual campaign also featured several professional seminars and conferences. More than 600 participants from all over the Republic took part in the Internet in state and local government administration in Prague. Representatives of state administration, experts from IT companies and several initiatives for Internet and IT support participated a Round table " Czech Republic on the Road to Information Society."
Nearly one hundred entrepreneurs and managers gathered for the Internet and Business LIVE conference in Brno on March 26. The conference was highlighted by examples of Internet use in business, marketing and education in the Czech Republic. For experts there was a seminar entitled "Strategy and tools for company-wide application in the Internet Age" which took place in Prague on March 26 and featured keynote speaker Dennis Moore, Vice president of the American company Progress Software.
The Schola Nova exhibition in Prague included a seminar on Internet uses in schools.
More than one hundred private companies supported March - Month of Internet through special offers on Internet products or services or other on-line commerce promotions. In many of these cases, however, it is difficult to judge how much interest was generated directly by the March - Month of the Internet campaign as opposed to other company marketing activities.
The campaign initiated or speeded the birth of several Internet projects. For example, the Internet trade fair Reality.CZ (March 2-27), organized by the creators of www.reality.cz, provided virtual trade fair stands for 61 exhibitors as well as a virtual catalog of more than 1500 property listings including everything from recreational cottages to large commercial projects. The trade fair was visited by more than 2745 guests, 300 of whom took advantage of an on-line property request feature, the contents of which were automatically forwarded by e-mail to all exhibitors.
Despite any difficulties the first annual campaign may have met with, feedback from many sides confirmed that the fundamental goals of the March - Month of Internet campaign were fulfilled: the campaign increased overall awareness of this communication medium. According to the research agency DEMA, one out of every seven Czech citizens was informed of the campaign even before its launching while every fifth person expressed interest in the Internet. The campaign also contributed to increased numbers of those with at least a basic understanding of the possibilities offered by this communication medium.
Finally, a greater number of companies began to consider the Internet as an effective communication and marketing tool which can be used towards gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Goals of the 2nd annual Campaign (1999)
The goal of the 2nd annual campaign is to pick up where the first left off in its promotion of the Internet and, in particular, to spread awareness among those who currently show no interest in computer technology -- to introduce them to the many possibilities which this medium can provide them. The campaign has again taken on a wide range of themes, with particular emphasis on Internet potential in the spheres of school and state management.
The campaign has established the following general goals:
§ to attract new users to the Internet in all its roles: business, employees, families, hobbyists, etc.
§ to demonstrate the Internet in action
§ to promote programs for increased Internet access in schools
§ to inform the public of the content and uses of the domestic and international Internet
§ to provide first-time users with technical support - how to connect and other first steps
§ to provide consumers with special discounts on related products and services
The March - Month of Internet campaign further aims to increase an awareness among government executives, members of Parliament and other governmental workers of the necessity to support the development of the Internet for the future of the Czech economy and society.
A final yet equally important campaign goal is to debunk unfounded myths or legends connected with the Internet.
The March - Month of Internet campaign will bring the following benefits:
§ educational, work and entertainment opportunities to new Internet users
§ increased sales to hardware and software suppliers and dealers
§ increased visitation and higher advertising potential to participating web sites
§ increased readership and subscriptions among participating magazines
§ increased interest in web versions of participating media and, as confirmed by the latest research, increased interest and distribution of "paper" versions
§ an effective communication tool and medium for advertising and public relations for all business subjects using the Internet as an information distribution channel
§ other immeasurable benefits to the Czech Republic in the sense that the development of the Internet is a necessary condition for economic development, competitive advantage and closer connections with the Euro-Atlantic business structure
Major projects of the 2 nd March - Month of Internet
Participation at the INVEX Computer ´98 trade fair in Brno
Results from the first annual campaign were gathered together along with a preview of 1999 projects in the form of a press conference.
2nd annual conference of the Internet in state and local government administration (ISSS ´99)
This two-day nationwide conference is organized in cooperation with the Triada agency, the Association of Cities and Towns, and the monthly Obec a finance (Town and Finance) in Hradec Králové, 15. 3. - 16. 3. 1999 under the patronage of the Council of Europe. Tradicional Round table " Czech Republic on the road to an information society" is to assume one-year experiences of different iniciatives for Information Society.
CD-ROM "The Best of the Czech Internet"
This project is for those who do not yet have access to the Internet to sample the Internet. In addition to a browser along with select Internet sites, the CD-ROM would also contain a tutorial program to help Internet newcomers get started. Above 20.000 of subscribers of PROFIT this CD-ROM is for readers of PC World magazine and for all aktive participants of the campaign.
Open-door days at schools
A nationwide project to make the Internet available to the public at large. About 17 select basic and secondary schools with Internet access will open their doors to the general public for all to experience working with the Internet.
Contest for the creation of the best web site designed for children
In an effort to reduce fears, particularly among parents, of the possible negative influence of the Internet on children, campaign organizers will sponsor a contest for the creation of the best web site designed for children. The winner, to be decided by a special panel, will be awarded project funding in the form of a grant, getting on the April 1 on Prague Internet World.
Prague Internet World
International conference and exhibition, hold in Prague 30. 3. - 1. 4. 1999 is not only about Internet business. The event is the part of worldwide Internet World conferences.
Seminar on Internet using in schools , Schola Nova
Special seminar for teachers and school inspectors, helding on the exhibition Schola Nova in Prague on 23. - 25. 3. 1999.
Virtual exhibition of IT, provided by the agency Modré stránky (Blue Pages) on 15. 3. - 16. 3. 1999.
Presentation of the possibilities of the Internet to members of Parliament and the Senate of the Czech Republic
An introduction to the possibilities and the current status of the Internet to Parliamentary and Senatorial members of the Czech Parliament. The resulting analysis made during campaign can serve as an information source for state organs and organisations and other subjects to be used in future disision-making related to the development of the Czech internet. This idea is supported by the Parliamentary Initiative for the Internet.
National Internet Awareness Contest
This print contest in the form of an Internet awareness test will be distributed in nationwide and regional media. Participants can receive a number of attractive prizes. Contest results will be announced during final-day celebrations of the campaign on March 31. Received forms will be used for statistical evaluation.
Internet-theme articles in hobby and professional magazines
An assortment of non-traditional media have been targeted as a medium for reaching a wide range of reader groups. A large number of Internet-related articles will be created in cooperation with magazine staff writers to be published throughout the month of March.
Several entertainment events with the Internet
Different events provided in some towns by regional media and companies for the widest public.
Evening celebration to announce campaign results
The final event of the campaign on March 31 together with Media internet Agency, which organises annual conference and exhibition Prague Internet World. Partners and participants will be invited as well as professionals and the media. Campaign results will be announced during the party with the winners of national Internet Awareness Contest.
Apart from the above-mentioned masthead projects, campaign is supported by more than 100 of companies and organisations all over the country.
The Internet will continue to influence the ways of business, education, entertainment and other activities whether we like it or not. It is decidedly better to be ready for the Internet onslaught, to discover its possibilities and to learn how to use it before the competition does. This applies equally to individuals, companies as well as whole countries.
Campaign March - Month of the Internet aims to inform the widest public possible of the Internet's existence, its possibilities and advantages. The project will further provide concrete examples of the Internet in action on the domestic scene, demonstrating that the Internet can bring immediate economic benefits to a wide range of people and businesses. The campaign will not only prove the statement that there is nothing to fear of the Internet, but that it is desirable and in one's own self-interest to explore it, learn it and connect to it.