Establishing a Web Presence to Produce a Multi-Million Dollar Sale
We were retained by renowned Harvard scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to reposition his fledging black educational website Africana.com, which was languishing with weak traffic and no visibility. Our mandate was to target and secure coverage in general consumer media outlets as well as vertical media in the internet, business and industry trades.
We implemented a three-pronged multi-media strategy designed to highlight the website’s authoritative content and its distinguished founders. In addition, we collaborated with Africana.com’s marketing department to develop an ongoing outreach to urban organizations, national conferences and HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and secured speaking opportunities at major Internet Trade Shows and Educational Seminars.
We negotiated a Wall Street Journal front-page feature, which immediately propelled the site into the national limelight and dramatically increased internet traffic. The story was instrumental in legitimizing and establishing Africana.com as a leading educational portal and entertainment resource for the history and evolution of African-Americans. During the first year, we continued to position and brand the site with key placements including the Associated Press, CNN, The Today Show, The New York Times, Newsweek, Jet, Ebony, regional and internet media. For phase three, we developed and executed campaigns to support new content initiatives launched by the site, which garnered a broad range of national and regional media coverage.
Africana.com became the most influential black portal worldwide and we dramatically increased brand awareness as well as visitor traffic. Within a few years the company behind the site was able to sell Africana.com to AOL Time Warner for undisclosed millions.