CAMPAIGNS: Dice begins to roll following brand's recent makeover

PR Team: Dice (New York) and FD Morgen-Walke (New York) Campaign: Dice rebranding Time Frame: Spring 2001-spring 2002 Budget: Over $100,000

PR Team: Dice (New York) and FD Morgen-Walke (New York) Campaign: Dice rebranding Time Frame: Spring 2001-spring 2002 Budget: Over $100,000

In the mid-'90s, IT portal Earthweb sought to beef up its content by acquiring Dice, an online job board for IT professionals. But after the dot-com implosion, the company wanted to get as far away from its web-related identity as it could. So in early 2001, it decided to not only divest the Earthweb business, but also its name. Not only was the company faced with rebranding itself as Dice, it also had to raise awareness of the job board, and introduce the company's new CEO Scot Melland. "They didn't have an identity," says Claudine Cornelis, a VP with FD Morgen-Walke (FDMW). "Dice had been around for 10 years. But we had a lot of work to do to make customers, analysts, and investors more aware of Dice's history, as well as the company's new brand under the Dice name." Strategy FDMW sat down with Dice to discuss the company's direction, and to develop clear messages about everything from who the company is and what it has to offer, to whom Dice is trying to reach. That meant explaining the value of a more than 10-year-old job board well known to IT people, but not known to many others. Whether explaining to investors the process of changing the company's stock symbol or the value of the job board to IT companies and analysts, FDMW had to get the Dice brand in front of everyone. The agency also faced having to present Dice as a new brand, even though the job board had been around for about a decade. "We were focused solely on the job-board service," says Tom Silver, Dice SVP of marketing and customer service. "The old Earthweb was a portal for IT content and advertising. When things began to change, we wanted to change the name to reflect what we had to offer. Dice would be the leading online recruiting place for tech talent. Our audience knew Dice was part of Earthweb. And while many of the dot-coms were running into problems, we wanted to make sure the companies we had relationships with knew we were still successful and in business for the long run." Tactics FDMW reached out to the business and trade press to introduce the new brand, the new CEO, and the job board's history. The agency presented Melland and other executives not just for journalists' edification, but also as sources for data and insight on future stories. To highlight the real-time data Dice could offer on the IT job market, FDMW crafted a salary survey of the IT industry. While Dice had developed a similar survey in early 2001, the media paid little attention then. This time, FDMW pushed the survey to major trade and business media outlets. It also created the Dice Report, a monthly snapshot of IT hiring trends. FDMW also arranged numerous meetings with analyst firms to present Dice executives as sources for their studies. Results The effort resulted in nearly 90 million media impressions, says Stephanie Sampiere, SAE at FDMW. Through media introductions, interviews with Melland, the salary survey, and the Dice Report, media outlets including The New York Times, Cnet, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fox News, and numerous other national and regional newspapers, trade, business and news magazines, and various websites wrote about IT job trends and Dice. And the number of job seekers has more than doubled on the site since the push began, says Silver. While he credits FDMW with much of that, he admits the economic downturn also deserves credit for the number of IT workers seeking jobs. Future Through the ongoing media outreach and the monthly Dice Report, FDMW continues to build media coverage of Dice and establish the company as an industry leader and a source for IT recruiting data and insight.

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