Communications committee

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Communications Committee Meetup at Wikimania 2012

The Communications committee (ComCom) is a Wikimedia Foundation staff-facilitated committee of community volunteers engaged in communications efforts either with Wikimedia projects or movement affiliates.

The aim of the committee is to support and collaborate on global communications efforts across the Wikimedia movement. This includes communication with the general public, the media, and the Wikimedia movement. It functions as a general discussion space for supporting, developing, and sharing information about communications efforts throughout the Wikimedia movement. The committee's primary method of communication is its private mailing list: wmfcc-l@lists.wikimedia.org

The committee is one of several committees within the Wikimedia Foundation, and is designated as a staff committee working with the Chief Communications Officer for the Wikimedia Foundation and the Communications Department. The primary contact for the committee within the department is Gregory Varnum (gvarnum@wikimedia.org).

Membership[edit]

Participants in Wikimedia movement affiliates and Wikimedia activities who are interested in engaging in or supporting movement communications efforts are encouraged to be part of the committee, and can request to be added to the mailing list.

Function[edit]

As a staff committee, the Communications committee primarily collaborates with members of that department on efforts related to Wikimedia movement communications. That engagement includes:

  • Working together on inquires from the media related to movement communications.
  • Discussing potential communications - such as press releases - from movement entities - such as affiliates and the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Collaboration on movement-wide messaging and communications.
  • Planning and discussion related to major movement events and activities - such as project birthdays, regional conferences, Wikimania, and Wikimedia Hackthon.
  • Coordinating on local distribution of press releases.
  • Requesting and coordinating responses to articles or other coverage by the press.
  • Support of project and affiliate communications capacities - such as sharing ideas related to local communications activities, sharing best practices on use of social media, and seeking input on a new communications program.
  • Advising the Wikimedia Foundation Communications Department on it's work, specifically related to:
    • Development of capacity building resources, including the Communications Resource Center
    • Outreach efforts to developing communities and new readers
    • Efforts around social media and the Wikimedia Blog
    • Messaging for the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia projects, and Wikimedia movement
    • Development of the Wikimedia brands

Methods of communicating[edit]

Mailing list[edit]

More information: mail:wmfcc-l

Currently, the committee primarily communicates via a private mailing list.

The Wikimedia Communications Committee list is for press matters and strategy around media queries, including embargoed press releases. Subscriptions are limited to Wikimedia Foundation staff, Wikimedia volunteers and chapter members who are currently working as media liaisons and advisors on issues related to communicating with the press and the general public about Wikimedia projects.

You can request to join by subscribing on the mailing list's main page.

Social media Facebook Group[edit]

Join: Wikimedia Foundation social media hub on Facebook

The Wikimedia Foundation social media hub on Facebook is an online discussion group where members can discuss how the Wikimedia Foundation social media can best support the movement. All community members interested in social media and the movement are welcome. Please keep in mind the spirit of our friendly space guidelines, group members' privacy, and the ability for members to experiment and try out ideas without criticism.

Contacting the committee[edit]

Anyone may contact the committee with inquiries related to Wikimedia movement communications.

When to contact the committee[edit]

Specifically, people are encouraged to contact the committee with:

  • Information on actions that may get attention from the press
  • Notification of notable or problematic press coverage related to the Wikimedia movement or its projects
  • Requests for assistance with communications efforts related to the Wikimedia movement or its projects

How to contact the committee[edit]

The best way to reach the committee is by sending an email to its private mailing list: wmfcc-l@lists.wikimedia.org (note that to deal with spam, posts by non-members to the list are moderated). Messages may also be left for the committee on the this page's talk page or the "Notifications" subpage. However, please note that these pages are not as actively monitored by committee members as the mailing list.

Press liaisons[edit]

Anyone with a press inquiry or needing assistance with press outreach may contact the members of the Communications Department working with the press at: press@wikimedia.org

Whenever possible, the Communications Department works with local volunteers, movement affiliates, and the Communications Committee to connect the press with local people working on the Wikimedia projects.

A list of current local press contact information can be found on the Wikimedia Foundation press room page.

Resources[edit]

The committee has a private mailing list where media coverage and responses are discussed. Other resources available to the committee include:

  • General communications resources at the Communications Resource Center
  • The press & translation queues in OTRS
  • The press release distribution and archive software on wikimedia.de

Press Clippings[edit]

The Communications Department collates press coverage of Wikimedia Foundation activities at the press clippings page.

History[edit]

Historically, the committee was authorized by a resolution of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees in January 2006, and its initial members were confirmed in February of that year. Much of the Wikimedia Foundation's communications work was partially, or completely, conducted by the committee. At its inception, the committee held IRC meetings; agendas are archived.

In January 2009, the committee became a staff committee, with much of the committee's work being delegated to the Wikimedia Foundation's Communications Department.

As of 2016, the committee advises the Communications Department and coordinates on communications efforts in the movement, including within the Wikimedia Foundation. The committee communicates primarily through the "ComCom" mailing list.

Original statement of scope[edit]

The original statement of scope and areas of responsibility was approved by the Board of Trustees in a May 2006 resolution.

  • Coordinating communications with the press, including press releases, interviews, and inquiries.
  • Supporting communication between the Wikimedia Foundation and project communities, particularly spokespersons within the Wikimedia Chapters.
  • Organizing and coordinating publicity and outreach.
  • Supporting and overseeing communication with the general public.
  • Maintaining a Wikimedia style guide.
  • Reporting on core Wikimedia statistics.

Subcommittees[edit]

Main page: Communications committee/Subcommittees

Previously, Communications subcommittees were formed around tasks and needs. This practice ended in 2009 as the role of the committee shifted from a working committee to a staff committee, with much of the work of the committee being delegated to the Communications Department.

See also[edit]