Recommendations from movement participants
- Build a better front door. Create a single point of entry for information, support and resources from the Foundation.
- Use humans. Take a human-centered approach to communications -- as opposed to a tech-centric or channel-centric approach. Hire regional communications specialists that can localize, listen, represent, support and amplify. Clarify who talks to the movement.
- Speak human. Use language that is simple, relatable and translatable. Showcase the humans behind the communications. Resist the temptation to over-explain when issues are complex or to be vague rather than acknowledge when details are unknown.
- Balance “broadcast” with “on-demand.” Invest more in centralizing and storing movement information so that people can access what they need, when they need it.
- Coordinate, then communicate. Coordinate within the Foundation first, and then communicate with the larger movement. Avoid causing confusion by failing to align internally first.
- Clarify, connect and reflect. Use the Foundation’s platforms to tell the movement’s story centered on these three communications goals.
How will this report be used?
This report is a synthesis of the top recurring insights from a series of focus groups and online discussions on the topic of movement communications. It presents problems identified by the movement and solutions proposed by the movement. These insights will be used to plan a long-term movement communications strategy for the Wikimedia Foundation. The strategy will be agile -- it will continue to evolve and adapt -- with improvements implemented as they are ready.
Who we spoke with
10 focus groups with 113 participants. The research team held ten focus groups, with a total of 83 community participants and 30 Wikimedia Foundation staff. We heard from movement members working in different regions, languages, and capacities that reflect the diversity of the Wikimedia movement.
Of community participants: 69% were from emerging regions, 63% identified as men, compared to an estimated 87% of Wikimedia contributors; 35% stated their primary project was a project other than Wikipedia; 17% were relative newcomers, having been involved with Wikimedia for 3 years or fewer; 27% were long-time Wikimedians, having been involved with Wikimedia for 10+ years; 16% were non-English speakers (simultaneous interpretation was provided in Arabic, French, Spanish and Russian); 35% were members of affiliates; 23% held on-wiki administrative roles; 7% identified as technical contributors. We also offered optional stipends to participants to enable participation from those who may not have otherwise been able to take part.
Supporting Movement Strategy
Participants’ recommendations tie directly to the core goals of the Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy. In particular, they build on the Movement Strategy recommendations to:
- Increase the sustainability of our movement. Through better community support, volunteer recognition, and investment in emerging communities. (See: Build a better front door; Use humans; Clarify, connect and reflect.)
- Coordinate across stakeholders. Strengthen communication and collaboration. Clarify roles and responsibilities. (See: Speak human; Coordinate, then collaborate; Clarify, connect and reflect.)
- Manage internal knowledge. Build a knowledge base with better documentation. (See: Build a better front door; Balance “broadcast” with “on-demand.”)
Insights from participants give more detail for how the Foundation can structure its communications to better support these priorities. They outline issues and potential solutions for the Foundation to consider as we move collectively toward 2030.