New Readers/Next steps/Raising awareness
As a result, we are eager to explore:
- Better ways of explaining Wikipedia, including clear use cases
- Media formats that help us promote Wikipedia (including possible video, radio, and social media messaging)
- Partnerships that help us expand the visibility and trust of Wikipedia
- Coordinated press, social posts, product, and partnership efforts [which I will call a "campaign"] to increase Wikipedia awareness
Through July of 2017, the Communications team intends to coordinate two awareness campaigns. These will be synchronized efforts in press, product, and partnership messaging that endeavor to introduce and promote Wikipedia to unfamiliar audiences.
They will also be efforts founded, guided, and in concert with our communities in India and Nigeria. What does that mean? It means relying on our community's expertise and launching campaigns with them. The Communications team intends to make these new efforts into something that all communities can reproduce on their own by openly sharing our templates, processes, and learnings.
Specifically, the awareness efforts will follow this progression:
- Consultation: How do you explain Wikipedia? What is Wikipedia useful for? What media formats would you recommend we produce?
- Planning: Align on message: "Wikipedia is ______. Use it for ______." Align on timing. Align on distribution channels, partners, and responsibilities.
- Production: Make the media elements (e.g. video, posters, toolkits).
- Action: Publish media. Coordinate press. Launch partnerships. Introduce new product tools. And more...
- Measurement & reporting: How we did. How we can do better. How we can continue (with community, with partners) to raise awareness in the region.
To produce relevant promotional materials, the Communications team is working closely with the Global Reach and Community Engagement teams along with Wikimedians in Nigeria and India to develop regional outreach strategies. The projects will be coordinated by User:ZMcCune (WMF).
In addition to Wikimedia Foundation staff and community volunteers, Awareness projects will integrate professional marketing/filmmaking vendors. These agencies will lead media strategies and production for the regional campaigns, offering local marketing expertise. Vendors will be selected according to a clear criteria, and contracted on a project-by-project basis.
Stages of work
In brief, regional awareness-raising work, will follow a 7-step process:
- Define problem - Select clear challenge with measurable data point(s) to work on
- Collect community messaging context & direction - Survey community for priority messaging, suggested marketing approaches, etc.
- Develop project brief - Craft 1-2 page summary of project that can be shared to vendors, Foundation staff, and Wikimedia Community as grounding document
- Select regional marketing partners - Find, evaluate, and select professional media resources within target region
- Collaborate on promotional materials - Develop materials and efforts to explain Wikipedia in collaboration with professional vendor, community, and Foundation staff
- Launch promotional materials - Deploy promotional materials with targeted distribution to key audiences. Collaborate with partners (e.g. Policy allies, related non-profits, Telecos, Social Media networks) to expand reach of materials.
- Evaluate, Optimize, and Share Findings - Review promotional impact, consider changes to increase value and scale of impact, share insights and best practices to Meta-Wiki and Wikimedia Communities
For each regional effort, the Communications team (coordinated by project lead Zack McCune) will seek professional media partners to guide and produce culturally-specific creative work. This search will be collaborative, allowing community volunteers and Foundation staff alike to suggest potential agency partners. Vendors will be evaluated and selected by the New Readers team, representing cross-functional expertise across Community Engagement, Product (Reading), Design Research, Legal (Public Policy), and Partnerships (Global Reach).
- Research & networking - Communications team will establish a "long list" of potential vendors based on staff/community/professional recommendations and in-region press and awards. Vendors will be contacted about the project and asked to provide summary of their capabilities.
- Sharing the brief - Communications team will share 1-page project brief to relevant vendors who expressed interest in working with Wikimedia.
- Evaluating proposals - Communications team will review proposed vendor costs, approaches, and organizational details to create "short list" of vendors.
- Selecting partners - New Readers team will review vendors based on capabilities and proposals to select a vendor. Selection will be assed along the below criteria:
- Understands and appreciates Wikimedia culture
- Demonstrates engaging, high-quality creative work (both original concepts and professional production)
- Ideal: Has worked with non-profit/charity initiatives
- Open to highly collaborative process between international stakeholders and community voices
- Deeply knowledgeable about regional culture and social contexts, and is prepared to produce original content suited to these insights
- Shares commitment to free knowledge, learning, and open culture
- Ready to deliver on budget and within timeframe
- Prepared to grow and educate Wikimedia capacities about promotional and marketing work
Please visit these project pages to follow and participate in active New Readers awareness work:
Please join us on the Talk pages of the specific projects (listed above) you wish to participate in. You can also reach out directly to Zack McCune by emailing zmccune [at] wikimedia [dot] org.