Wikimedia Conference/Program and Engagement Coordination/Wikimania 2017 report/Communications Committee

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Communications Committee Update  [edit]

Facilitator: Greg Varnum, WMF. Participants: Jan Apel (WMDE), Denis Schröder (WMDE), Vojtěch Dostál (Chzeck Rep), Tamás Mészöly (Hungary), Heather Walls (WMF), Sam Patton (WMF), John Lubbock (WMUK)

Changes to the Communications Committee:[edit]

The ComCom that used to be a staff committee, established when the WMF was, took care of basic communication function. As the number of affiliates started to grow the ComCom changed to include affiliate members and turned into a group of 150 members, mainly communication on a mailing list.

This has turned out to be too big a group to function properly: people do not know each other and the structure does not facilitate community engagement.

Based on surveys a new ComCom structure has been decided upon, splitting the larger group into 4 smaller:

  1. Traditional media group (Meta-wiki format, ComCom can work with the traditional media group to adjust to local situations and not forget single countries in midst of Wikimedia chaos. E.g. Turkey block)
  2. Digital media group
  3. Marketing group (3-4 members - e.g. focus on ad campaigns / local marketing groups, but has not been defined yet)
  4. a new, smaller ComCom group:
    1. 10 members, call will be published by end August on current ComCom list and other channels
    2. 2 year commitment, monthly meetings
    3. geographically diverse group
    4. skill-building opportunity for new members
What would you like to see this group be?[edit]
  • Wikimedia/pedia is a big player in many countries, but not communication-wise, because of lack of “one voice” - this new comcom might help
  • It is a complex structure - a lot of committees (Greg: better with 4 that works, than 1 large that does not)
  • table/format for FAQ would be helpful
  • Comcom should offer guidelines and advice, not dictates. Important to include local perspective on local media
  • Regarding guidelines and style guides: these are difficult to maintain → comcom might help find people to update these materials locally or regionally, taking cultural and geographical knowledge into account
  • tool boxes might still be useful, in order to get Comcom’s input on translation and interpretation to ensure that the “core message” stays the same  
  • and the other way around, with documents like the Annual Report, that comcom can help target it for other contexts as well, there has to be an element of door reporting, but there may also be other audiences in other countries.
  • Most affiliations do not have a communications group, how can the material available from the WMF/WMDE already be more targeted for local audiences, e.g. if there is a press release, the ComCom can help put it into context for the local affiliates and provide contexts for who to ask, in case of further questions.
  • WMF knows by experience that query is put out, the answer will be different depending on who is asking (Community or staff) - ComCom can help in getting the real Community response.
  • Could there be a in internal repository for video sharing? E.g. good campaign videos could be upload them without text. (Commons is not good for that)