TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, August 14, 2009

IRS Uses Second Life in Recruitment

IRSL From Frank Stipe (Virtual Worlds & Social Networking Project Manager, IRS Centralized Recruitment Office), IRS Saves Millions by Using Second Life to Market Its Employment Opportunities:

In 2008, the IRS project team established a presence in the Second Life virtual world with the goal of exploring the potential use of this environment for recruitment and training purposes. The team has created the IRS Careers Island and constructed a sky platform with an IRS Careers Center and an IRS Education Center. A number of building design configurations have been tested. A number of education and entertainment features have also been built to attract residents to the simulation (sim). All basic construction has been completed and the sim has been opened to the general population in Second Life since February 2009.

Nearly identical to brand marketing in the physical world marketplace, brand marketing in the SL virtual world involves placing brand messaging in high traffic venues. Unlike the physical world, the IRS has actually built its own venue that provides excellent marketing opportunities.

In the physical world, we could spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on sponsoring a race car that displays our brand in a field of thirty or more other cars. In the SL virtual world, we have spent a fIRS Saves Millions by Using Second Life to Market Its Employment Opportunitiesew thousand dollars to build complete entertainment and communications venue that includes a race course. IRS branding throughout the venue not only displays our messaging, but it also instantly dispenses marketing collateral and links to our Careers web site.

We are now entering the relationship building phase where we are reaching out to universities that operate virtual campuses in Second Life to market directly to their students by sponsoring student projects in Second Life.

See also Kotaku, IRS: Second Life Saves Taxpayers Millions.  (Hat Tip: Sarah Lawsky.)

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