NEW YORK: Text 100 is set to launch a permanent presence in online social network Second Life by opening an office on its private island, the first global PR agency to officially do so.
In an exclusive preview given to PRWeek, CEO Aedhmar Hynes and EVP Georg Kolb discussed the impetus for the digital incursion, as well as what they plan for their virtual office. The virtual island is scheduled to open to the public sometime on or after August 21.
Second Life is a digital platform where individuals can create avatars - or digital personas - and pursue alternate lives, replete with revenues, accessories, and car and home purchases. Real-world companies, such as American Apparel, have begun setting up a presence in the virtual world.
Catherine Smith, marketing VP at Second Life creator Linden Labs, said via e-mail that Text 100 was the first global firm she knew of to set up shop.
The Text 100 office in Second Life includes three stories: a welcome center, an information center, and an amphitheater, where Text plans to hold various internal and external events. The office will feature an avatar of Hynes, which will give an overview of the agency.
The firm tapped popular Second Life development agency Electric Sheep Co. to build the office.
There will not be any sort of mandatory scheduling for Text 100 representatives to occupy the office, said Hynes, but she envisions the potential of having a global company meeting there, rather than dispensing information through a conference call or e-mail.
Hynes added that the firm's inroads in Second Life would better enable clients to take advantage of opportunities there and, potentially, lead to new revenue streams for the firm. It plans to launch a campaign with an undisclosed client soon.
Hynes declined to discuss the agency's Second Life budget, but said that the expense will be treated as an "innovation and research" cost, rather than under the category of a new office, which comes with correlative revenue expectations.