Rural Telecom Co-op Web Job To Kershner

The Nation-al Rural Telecommunications Coop-erative has selected Kershner & Co., Alexandria, Va., as agency of record for the launch of its Internet project.
Billings are estimated at $1 million, although NRTC communications manager Beth Murphy said that a budget has not been set.
Kershner competed against three undisclosed agencies. “We were impressed by Kershner’s experience dealing with goals and strategies they have fulfilled with clients like ours,” said Murphy.
“We have had a lot of experience creating a consistent national campaign that is dependent on local affiliates–the Special Olympics being one example,” said Karen Robbins, president of Kershner. The aim of the NRTC Internet service is to provide rural residents with the same Internet access as urban customers–a goal that so far has been out of reach–by marketing the service through rural electric co-ops.
Kershner’s first step, according to Robbins, will be to design and develop a strategic “launch kit,” like a dealer kit, for the co-ops. The campaign, which will probably break in early November, will also incorporate print, outdoor, collateral and radio. “The campaign will involve some Web site design,” Robbins said, “and we will be looking for lots of links from other Web sites.”
The NRTC has 800 rural utilities and affiliated organizations as members, serving 48 states. One of its primary goals is to ensure that rural Americans have affordable, ready access to the latest advances in technology, Murphy said.