Communications committee/November 2016 survey

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In November 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation Communications department conducted a survey of members of the Communications Committee. The survey results will be utilized to help determine future activities, resources, and communications channels for the committee.

Process[edit]

The survey was developed and conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation Communications department with support from the Community Engagement and Legal departments. It was conducted in November 2016 using Google Forms.

Survey privacy statement[edit]

For information about data handling and retention, please see the survey privacy statement.

Results[edit]

Participation rate[edit]

The survey was completed by 32 members of the Communications Committee, representing a 17% participation rate.

Which Wikimedia movement affiliate type do you most identify with in relation to your membership on the Communications Committee?[edit]

Other
  • Movement partner

How do you currently use the Communications Committee mailing list?[edit]

a Communicate with other people working on communications in Wikimedia (12)
b Communicate with the Wikimedia Foundation Communications Department (6)
c Share news from my affiliate or programs (10)
d Find out about activities others in movement are undertaking (19)
e Follow press coverage of Wikimedia (18)
f Collect feedback on communications efforts (social media, press releases, etc.) (4)
g Do not actively use mailing list at this time (2)
h Other (4)
Other
  • In order to communicate with specific WMF staff I use personal emails, as with Affiliate contacts.
  • Raised awareness of topics coming up globally and may come to German press
  • poorly. Little advance sharing by WMF and chapters means that the use has reduced a lot.
  • Keep track of things I could be asked about.

How can the Communications Committee be more useful to you and your work?[edit]

  • I think it works fine, so no need to fix what ain't broken.
  • Hard to tell, because I find it difficult to define what the "Committee" is, in the first place. Typical characteristics I would look for in a committee would be e. g. shared (documented) goals, standard introduction to new members, regular group sessions, joint processes. My impression is that although ComCom may have started out with something like this in peoples' minds, it has evolved into a huge mailing list.
  • I very much like the resource center and I would love to have more information there. Also ComCom could be a good place to share good practices and coordinate our actions. I would like to see what has been tried in other affiliates or in the WMF and how it worked. Also guidance and advise would be a good thing to get.
  • I would like to develop closer working relations with them so I can more easily ask questions and find out what is going on - sometimes in my own country where events are organised with nobody telling us.
  • Share more in advance, and share responses as stories break. Especially as stories usually break a little later in other countries.
  • Formatting of the daily news update could be cleaner. It's often difficult to parse or not that organized by topic/priority/region.
  • Please share a list of members of ComCom – it's hard to connect if you don't know who's on the list.
  • Recommendations what should be shared
  • Informing about the official press releases
  • Be more active in encouraging individual community members to talk to the media
  • Back in 2010 when I joined Comm Comm, it was much more collaborative and we would discuss things. Now it seems like it's more one-way where WMF informs affiliates.
  • All of the above I guess

Would you be interested in expanding the Communications Committee channels beyond the mailing list?[edit]

Which other channels would you be interested in participating in as a part of your involvement in the Communications Committee?[edit]

a Facebook Group (16)
b Telegram (6)
c WhatsApp (6)
d Slack (8)
e I am not interested in participating in other channels for the Communications Committee (8)
f Other (2)
Other
  • Those are very distinct channels, in so far as they serve different purposes/are more/less suitable to achieving means to our ends. You can discuss in Facebook groups, even with quite a number of people. Not so in Telegram/Whatsapp, which is convenient for exchanging messages, but not lead discussions. Slack is working environment. So, I don't tick any boxes here, because that would change the question. Are we looking for a better working/drafting platform or means of collaborating? Are we looking for more informational updates? Building on what I wrote above, I'm more interested in defining a common understanding of what "committee work" (in closed groups) entails or doesn't entail.
  • I would like to have not a numerous channels on which information can drop more easily.

Have you been to the Communications Resource Center?[edit]

If you have been to the Communications Resource Center, was it helpful?[edit]

What would you most like to learn about?[edit]

a Design / branding (10)
b Marketing / promoting activities (11)
c Media relations / press coverage (17)
d Public speaking (11)
e Social media (16)
f Video production (9)
g Wikimedia community communications (16)
h Other (2)

What additional resources would you like to be made available on the Communications Resource Center?[edit]

  • Lots of numbers - facts and figures and statistics
  • It has great information, and lots of it. Great job! As with the library of Learning patterns I find the quantity of information available to the movement impressive. I am not sure whether or not the quantity of resources is important to me. I'd like to shift attention to user behavior. Do we invest time to consult the already available information? There is no consensus on which information is the most important/relevant/adaptable, it seems to me that there is "side-by-side" growth of individual contributions. Now, maybe that's just who we are, very Wiki-like and very okay! Still, it doesn't make it easier for people to access and navigate information, and finally be motivated to check for advice before acting/doing. In short: I don't focus on additional resources, but on how to work with existing ones.
  • Some more case studies, maybe some ready graphic materials (like those for Wikipedia15)
  • The press kit (which is in development)
  • Data & statistics that we use to inform the press. Clear overviews and explanations. Photopool.
  • Doing well - don't overthink it.
  • The resources are all designed around the idea "I want to do social media" or "I want to blog" or "I want to talk to a journalist". What's missing is the "what is the right channel for my message? What is my strategy? How do I know when I should be pushing this to a journalist or instead sending it out over social media?" I think most of the affiliates (we're one of a couple exceptions) don't have trained communications staff; it's mostly volunteers doing the work. Staff presumably have some background in communication strategy, but volunteers don't, and so I think a lot of volunteer time gets wasted doing communications activities that aren't the right ones for the outcome they're trying to achieve.

Should the Communications Department continue to maintain on-wiki press clippings in addition to the email based list sent daily to the Communications Committee?[edit]

Other
  • I didn't know about it, but it is very helpful to find how things developed in the past! It could include official WMF responses though.
  • Support the Signpost's "In the News" section instead.
  • I had no idea it existed... looks interesting. So yes.

How can the Wikimedia Foundation Communications Department better support and coordinate with your communications activities?[edit]

  • You're very open, responsive and constructive. All one needs to do is talk to you. Keep it up!
  • Tell us if events are happening near us.
  • Announcing mayor changes/news in advance on ComCom to have a little time to prepare.
  • Be more proactive with sharing when something is coming up.
  • Ask us each month what we are doing that we may want promoted.
  • Be more consistent in what you do.
  • Does well enough.
  • You guys do a great job of sending U.S. reporters interested in higher education stuff our way, and we really appreciate that! So definitely keep doing that! :) A few things that would be super helpful:
    • Dedicate a small portion of your contract with Minassian (or whatever firm you're working with now) to pitch affiliate work each quarter. Ask affiliates if they have a story they would like your PR firm to pitch, then pick one from the options submitted and have a professional PR firm pitch it. These happy human interest stories help Wikipedia overall even if they never mention the Wikimedia Foundation.
    • Do community building among the communications people at various groups (whether they're volunteers or staff). Share angles you're pitching to national/international press (not just announcements like fundraiser is starting), so we can be ready to piggy-back on those for our press people, not scrambling to create something after a story you pushed comes out. Use CommComm (or other channels) as an opportunity to share what is good and what isn't good about various stories. Right now they're all just presented without comment, but what makes this one good or bad for what strategy you're trying to push, media-wise. I feel like we at Wiki Ed have narratives we're pushing (and a PR firm we're working with) but we do it in silos from you, and from the US chapters and user groups, even though we may be pitching to the same publications. I'd love to see WMF comms take a lead role in coordinating these efforts across groups.
    • Share more blog posts from affiliates on your social media handles, and not just things that get reprinted on your blog, but pointing people to interesting stuff on others' blogs.
    • Offer up targeted social media posts. For example, I'd love to do a Facebook post the first week in January from the @Wikipedia handle targeted for US/Canada with the interest "higher education" encouraging professors to teach with us. Or when (just an example) Wiki Loves Monuments starts, offer targeted posts to the countries participating with people who have the interest "photography". I think there's a lot you can do to help programs people with the Wikipedia targeting, but there's not (seemingly) an easy way to do this or guidelines around what you will and won't post.
  • Happy with their current role.

May we contact you with any follow-up questions or to further discuss your survey submission?[edit]

Findings and next steps[edit]

Based on the above information, and ongoing conversations with the Communications Committee, the Communications department would like to note these findings and plans on next steps.

  • Investigate increased sharing of:
    • Press announcements
    • General messaging and talking points
  • Increase awareness of collaborative social media content development efforts
  • Additional support for development of communications skill building
  • Particular interest in development of:
    • Press kit
    • Broad communications strategies
  • More internal communicating about large movement-wide events and activities
  • Investigate communications channels beyond mailing list
  • Investigate media mentions listing being resumed on-wiki in addition to current mailing list postings
  • Continue dialogue with movement affiliates on communications activities and future collaborations

In addition to beginning to take action on these findings, the Communications department will be engaging in conversations with targeted movement affiliates, and eventually an all-affiliate survey around communications, to further information gathering on this topic.