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Czech Internet Campaign Held for Fourth Time

[Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC] Czech non-profit organization BMI launched for the fourth time its nationwide project "March - Month of the Internet" aimed to encourage usage of the Internet as a tool for business, government, education and entertainment.

"Internet is for everybody" is this year's slogan of the campaign.

BMI Association, which stands for "Brezen Mesic Internetu" ("March - Month of the Internet" in Czech), has been founded in 1998 by former journalists and PR specialists. The association plans, coordinates and manages all the activities under the umbrella of BMI and provides fundraising as well. Both Czech IT businesses and international companies support the project because its influence on public opinion is demonstrably strong: according to independent research, about 30 per cent of population is addressed by the campaign and recognize its message. The attitude of general public is leaning toward the Internet usage thanks to BMI project.

This year's campaign has been started at January 28 with so-called Internet New Year's Eve - party for V.I.P. and opinion makers widely covered by Czech press. Several Internet Days have been organized in various Czech cities in cooperation with local municipalities, public libraries, local IT businesses etc. In Prague, Junior Internet 2001 conference will take place at March 22, where school kids will present their own on-line projects and compete in several contests.

One of the most important events planned is the ISSS 2001 - 3rd international conference on Internet usage in local government, realized under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The goal of the conference is to exchange experience and ideas regarding usage of the Internet in the daily life of local communities, in the communication between local government or municipality and citizen. There is also popular contest for the best Web site of city or community in the Czech Republic.

"Mail your MP" is another successful and popular event within the framework of BMI project. The members of Czech Parliament are of course equipped with e-mail addresses but not all of them are used to use it regularly and answer questions and comments to the public.

During March, they have little chance to dodge this duty; media are covering how do they answer e-mail messages sent to them by special application tracking automatically how the mail is treated by the recipient.