With a focus on travel, entertainment, health, finance, tech, and fashion, OutOnTheNet.com was created to serve as "a portal for the gay world" - an online community in which gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) consumers and their allies can find editorial content and advertising deals designed just for them.
The site aims to give back to the community, as well: With each visit, users earn points redeemable for GLBT-friendly products and services. And, said publisher Terrence Smalley, a percentage of OutOnTheNet.com's quarterly profits will be donated to the National AIDS Fund and breast cancer advocacy programs.
Idea: To ensure the site's clients truly have the best interests of the GLBT community in mind, all advertisers must be approved by the Human Rights Campaign index, said Cathy Renna, principal at Renna Communications. "It's a Better Business Bureau for the gay market," Smalley noted, adding that he uses it as a guideline to ensure businesses respect and treat GLBT consumers and staff fairly.
Tools: In addition to outreach aimed at GLBT media, OutOnTheNet.com was unveiled to potential clients November 18 at New York's Gay Life Expo, where 4,000 businesses targeting the GLBT community signed up to receive further information, and even more stopped by to network, Renna said. In the coming months, OutOnTheNet.com plans to host similar booths at GLBT trade shows around the country, Smalley noted, and will be a presenting sponsor at New York's Original GLBT Expo in March. The site also plans to host consumer-oriented branding events nationwide, from happy hours to bingo nights. "Reaching people directly is really the best way to get to them," Renna said.
Measurement: Success will be based on Web site usage, Smalley explained. That includes the quality and type of advertisers who sign up, and the number of consumers who sign on.
Campaign: Web site launch
PR team: Renna Communications
Other marketing: Direct mail and TV advertising
Launch: December 1, 2006