PR domain name has dollars 3 million as target

Washington, DC: It looks like it’s going to be a merry Christmas for Beltway PR pro Ed Segal.

Washington, DC: It looks like it’s going to be a merry Christmas for Beltway PR pro Ed Segal.

Washington, DC: It looks like it’s going to be a merry Christmas

for Beltway PR pro Ed Segal.



Segal, who paid dollars 40 for the domain name publicrelations.com in

1995 (PRWeek, Nov. 22), has decided put the name up for auction on

December 21.



The 24-hour auction will be held online at domainrace.com, and will be

headed by Eric Wade - the savvy entrepreneur who sold wallstreet.com for

just over dollars 1 million in April.



Buoyed by the recent sales of wallstreet.com, autos.com (sold for a

reported dollars 3 million) and business.com (bought by Ecompanies for

dollars 7.5 million earlier this month), Wade and his partners have high

hopes for the auction. Other domain names will also be sold during the

24-hour period, including jeans.com and QueHora.com.



’We can easily hit eight figures for all of the site names, and (we’re

expecting) at least dollars 3 million for publicrelations.com,’ Wade

predicted.



’There’s been enough activity in the industry - we’re starting to talk

about real numbers.’



While there has been a land rush for domain names on the Internet, many

observers remain skeptical about the value of such a generic name. ’A

brand is defined by expectations,’ said Allen Adamson, managing director

of brand consultancy Landor Associates. ’With the term

publicrelations.com, you don’t know what the heck it means. The issue is

what you can build it into.’



Asked about the site’s million-dollar potential, Adamson replied

bluntly: ’They’re crazy. It will never happen. Whoever spends that much,

I have a bridge to sell them.’ He guessed that a major PR firm might buy

it, and promptly link it to its own site.



’Only an e-commerce site could justify spending that kind of money,’

said Steve Bryant, chief creative officer at Publicis Dialog. ’And I

don’t think there is a viable e-commerce model for delivering PR over

the Web.’



To drum up publicity for the auction, Wade has tapped Hirst Company, an

Albuquerque, NM-based PR agency. ’Any national or international firm

should at least take a look at it,’ said Hirst associate Mike

Hurley.



Added Wade, ’We expect an international feeding frenzy.’



Adamson, however, countered, ’There’s a feeding frenzy now, but with no

plans to unlock the value of the brand.’



Whatever the final price, Segal has made quite an investment: ’I feel

like I’ve come across the winning lottery ticket, but I don’t know what

the jackpot is.’





RECENT DOMAIN NAME SALES

Business.com                   dollars 7,500,000

AltaVista.com                  dollars 3,300,000

Wine.com                       dollars 3,000,000

Autos.com                      dollars 3,000,000*

Wallstreet.com                 dollars 1,030,000

Drugs.com                      dollars 823,000

*Not confirmed as of press time.



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