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Nobuo Sakata, Trustee

Three years and half have already passed since I became a JPNIC Trustee. The management structure of JPNIC changed this year. New working groups were introduced; a Trustee was assigned to be in charge of each. I was asked to be in charge of the Public Relations and Education Working Group. Although neither public relations nor education have been my responsibilities at my company and I do not have special knowledge or experience in these fields, I accepted the position because I thought I might be able to contribute from the view of someone who works in the private sector. I would like to talk about my experiences of the past six months.

For JPNIC, this was one of the most eventful years to date. Many decisions and policies were made and will be executed, which will affect Internet users greatly. Examples include the introduction of the JP Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (DRP) and the general-use JP domain name. In addition, several important international conferences related to the Internet were held this summer in Japan, including INET2000 and ICANN.

In the past, JPNIC was well known by ISPs and other Internet experts, but was not by general users of the Internet, who are ISP customers. Therefore, JPNIC public relations activities had focused on JPNIC members and corporate network operation managers. However, the above-mentioned DRP and general-use JP domain name will greatly affect end users, such as businesses and individual users. This makes it more important than ever to extent the reach of our PR activities. In this respect, it can be said that JPNIC's PR activities are at an important turning point.

Recently, we invited the manager of the PR section of a certain company for a study session with Secretariat staff. At the session, we discussed the differences between "public relations" and "advertising." I thought that I knew the difference between them, after many years working for a company, but I realized that I did not. It was enlightening to learn the essential distinction between the two for the first time.

"Public relations" entails sending information to the mass media, who are then responsible for the information that is sent out to the public. "Advertising," on the other hand, refers to sending information directly to the public, via the mass media. This makes the information source, i.e. the company/organization responsible for its released information.

With this in mind, JPNIC's PR activities should include the PR and advertising elements described above. It is also necessary to devise strategies to conduct these activities effectively. However, JPNIC is not equipped with an exclusive department for Public Relations or advertising so far, even less an abundant budget. A shortage of expertised staff in these fields is also an issue.

Currently, Secretariat staff members who have other responsibilities, and volunteer-based members of the PR and Education Working Group, are the main force. They work to improve information provision on the Web pages, discuss effective distribution methods of JPNIC newsletters, and develop PR policies. However, considering future JPNIC activities, it is mandatory to urgently establish a system for PR and advertising.

Another responsibility of the PR and Education Working Group is education. We aim to host unique seminars, different from those offered on a commercial basis.

In the second consecutive Summer Forum held in August of this year, "risk management" was chosen as the topic. Lectures were given by invited experts, and participants took part in discussions. The number of participants was not especially large, but the participants were highly conscious of the theme. The event was fruitful. Last, but not least, I would like to mention an annual event called Internet Week.

Internet Week 2000 will be held for four days at the Osaka International Conference Center, from December 18 through 21. JPNIC will again be the host of this event, and preparations are being made that will ensure a smooth operation.

JPNIC has been participating in this event as a part of their educational activities, and plans to host seminars and to assign lecturers for tutorials.

  • Tutorials by JPNIC Employees.
    • Introduction to IPv6
    • A 3-hour crash course on Domain Names and IP addresses
    • Internet Basics
  • JPNIC Seminars
    • Overview of the New JP Domain Name
    • DNS Meeting: The general-use JP domain name and DNS
    • DOMAIN-TALK Off-Line Meeting
    • IP-USERS Off-Line Meeting

Internet Week is a non-profit event for engineers and is very distinct from commercially based events. JPNIC intends to channel its efforts toward further development and improvement of the contents. In addition to these seminars, we will do our best to make it an interesting event, one in which more people will participate. I would like to ask for your understanding and continuing support of this event.

* For more detailed information on Internet Week 2000, please refer to 5-4, "Announcement Regarding Internet Week 2000," in Chapter 5 "Topics."

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