Community Relations Specialists
Community Relations Specialists (formerly called Community Liaisons, currently sometimes shortened as CommRelS or CRS) serve the Wikimedia Foundation, contributors and readers mostly by supporting teams that belong to the Product & Tech department. We focus on collaboration and communication about product development, user-facing product changes and roll-outs. In some circumstances, we assist on other priority projects with special needs for collaboration with Wikimedia volunteers. As of May, 2023, we are part of the Communications/Movement Communications team.
Who we are
Below we present our assignments. Some of them are presented with the respective Medium-term Plan priorities.
- Erica Litrenta – Senior Community Relations Specialists Manager
- Johan Jönsson – Product Ambassadors Manager; Tech News
- Benoît Evellin – Growth team features (Thriving Movement), Server switch & Read-only, Tech News
- Szymon Grabarczuk – Desktop Improvements (Brand Awareness), IP Masking (support)
- Luca Martinelli – Structured Data Across Wikimedia, Abstract Wikipedia
- Uzoma Ozurumba – Language and Inuka teams
- Amal Ramadan – Android and iOS app teams (Thriving Movement)
- Sherry Snyder – IP Masking/Anti-Harassment Tools, Editing & Talk pages (Thriving Movement)
- Sandister Tei – Trust & Safety tools, Community Tech
- Benedict Udeh – Wikidata and Commons Team
- Nick Wilson – Abstract Wikipedia (Worldwide Readership), Tech News
- Rosa Zamora – Program Manager
We support organization priorities, sometimes sharing the following duties with other staff as appropriate and agreed:
- Participating in the planning process providing community perspectives and risk assessments.
- Designing communication plans for activities targeting Wikimedia communities.
- Drafting and posting information (from announcements to bulletins) and/or reviewing messages authored by others.
- Watching project-specific channels in time-sensitive project phases.
- Organizing calls for community feedback.
- Turning user feedback into bug reports or actionable tasks in major project phases.
- Facilitating conversations and meetings with the communities.
- You can leave a message for the team at Talk:Community Relations Specialists, or by email at commrel-supportwikimedia.org
- Wikimedia Foundation staff, please see the dedicated workflow on Office wiki to request our support.
- Our main workboard on Phabricator
- Metrics (results from our satisfaction surveys)
The Wikimedia Foundation hired its first community liaison in May 2011 (Maggie Dennis), in the since-dissolved Community Department. The initial role of the community liaison was to be a point of contact between Wikimedia community members and the Wikimedia Foundation and to answer general questions about the Foundation and internal processes. Over the course of the following year this job description transitioned away from liaison to Community Advocacy (which subsequently evolved into the Trust & Safety team).
In October 2011, Product hired its first community liaison with a focus on communications between product managers and developers (Os Keyes). An additional four community liaisons were brought aboard within the Product Department in June 2013 in order to communicate changes to community stakeholders during the roll-out of VisualEditor (Patrick Earley, Erica Litrenta, Keegan Peterzell, Sherry Snyder), and another was added in August 2013 to facilitate communication on Echo and Flow (Nick Wilson). The "Community Engagement (Product)" team was formally launched in June 2014, after its first director (Rachel DiCerbo) was hired. Two more people joined in 2015 (Benoît Evellin, Johan Jönsson) and 2016 (Chris Koerner) The team was renamed Community Liaisons in early 2016. The team was then merged with Developer Relations to become the Technical Collaboration team, with a new manager (Quim Gil).
In 2018, in response to the newly defined movement strategy, most of Developer Relations transferred to the newly created Developer Advocacy team in the Technology department. The Community Liaisons became Community Relations Specialists and formed a sub-team in the newly created Community Relations team, with an expanded mission. With the late 2019 dissolution of the Community Engagement department, the Specialists sub-team were split off to join the Product department, and their former ComRel colleagues joined the Communications department. In early 2020 a new part-time teammate was hired to work on the Desktop Improvements project (Szymon Grabarczuk). In the beginning of 2021, three more CRS (Sandister Tei, Uzoma Ozurumba, and Luca Martinelli) joined. During 2021, what had started as part-time contractors for one team was built out into a subteam for department-wide support, and in 2022 Johan Jönsson was formally made team manager for the Product Ambassadors. In 2022, another two CRS joined the team (Amal Ramadan and Benedict Udeh), as well as program manager Rosa Zamora. In May, 2023 the CRS joined the Communications department.