AOL's campaign to highlight free offerings

NEW YORK: AOL has launched an integrated marketing campaign to announce that its once subscriber-only portal is now free to the public.

NEW YORK: AOL has launched an integrated marketing campaign to announce that its once subscriber-only portal is now free to the public.

"The campaign is intended to reach people online and offline with the message that AOL is available to all," said Ruth Sarfaty, VP corporate communications. "Because [the environment] is confusing and some people don't know what a portal is, PR is important to explain what they can now get for free, what is still for fee, and how we compare to competitors."

Sarfaty said the company had been working with Good Morning America and its corporate partners CNN and Extra, on promotional opportunities.

"PR is an extremely important element of our overall marketing and communications efforts," said Kevin Conroy, EVPAOL Media Networks in a statement. "Our PR efforts will help to change consumer perception and redefine what AOL stands for in minds of today's high-speed web users by focusing their attention on the new AOL.com through every means possible."

The company is also highlighting specific features of AOL.com: its entertainment, news and information search, convenience, and communications services through online and offline ads and search engine optimization (SEO).

Sarfaty said the company has been in an aggressive, ongoing PR campaign since its sponsorship of the Live 8 show in July to highlight all new and improved features, like its music video section.

AOL also recently launched The Biz, an online reality show that features contestants vying for their own label at Warner Music Group. Sarfaty said that the show has attracted a spate of media interest.

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