How to move forward
Wikipedia is magical!
(Katherine Maher and Juliet Barabara presenting)
- What was this session about?
The session was about gaining a shared understanding of communication efforts in the movement and enhance broader collaboration among this.
- What are the next steps to be taken?
Publication of a general Communications site on Meta as a starting point for broader collaboration
- Who is the person to reach out to?
Katherine Maher (WMF), Juliet Barbara (WMF), Michael Jahn (WMDE)
see the Commons category
This session documentation was approved by the speakers.
- Original Description
- In this interactive session, we will participate in a discussion about sharing our Wikimedia story and purpose with a broader public audience, drawing on chapter, project, and WMF experiences. Possible topics to include: raising awareness, working with the press, pitching stories, building messages, drafting announcements, managing embargoed news, correcting inaccuracies, leveraging social media and blogs, and more. This session is an opportunity to explore how members of the global Wikimedia movement can learn from each other to amplify our voice. It is designed as a resource for any Wikimedian seeking to more effectively share stories about the movement with the world. The speakers will come with suggested topics for discussion, answer communications-related questions, and facilitate learning from other attendees.
- Desired Outcome
- Lessons shared on leveraging positive publicity around Wikimedia, e.g. the Erasmus Prize
- Those responsible for press/public relations in Wikimedia affiliates
- Session Format
- Presentation / Workshop; 60 min
- Katherine Maher (WMF), Juliet Barbara (WMF), Michael Jahn (WMDE)
- Summary of the session
The session was led by Katherine Maher, Juliet Barbara (both from the WMF Communications Team) and Michael Jahn (WMDE’s head of communication). The session’s agenda was about putting together the Movement’s (communication) challenges and start a discussion how to solve these challenges.
The session started with the three hosts presenting themselves and a short getting to know each other. 53 participants attended the session, half of them responsible for Communications. Almost everybody had talked to the press already, doing some social media or blog postings; all had seen some negative articles in the press about Wikipedia.
The next step was a round of questions among the participants gathering the biggest communication challenges. It showed that these challenges are the most different among the participants, as they fulfill different positions and tasks in their organisations. Some named challenges were, among others, e.g.: “How to use the press in positive ways?”, “How to get in contact with the key press contacts?” and “Proactive communication strategy in a consistent way being under resourced at the same time”.
After having collected challenges, the three presenters asked the participants what kind of skills they needed or for what they were looking for:
- Basic Communications Briefing
- Attracting the press to attract contributors
- Build awareness of our mission
- Mass messaging to large audience
- Proactive storytelling
- Brand story
- Pitching reporters
- When not to talk to the press
- Good answers to common questions
- Community interactions
- Volunteers speaking for Wikimedia
- Speaking to different audiences
- Multilingual messaging and resource challenges
- Messaging to partner organizations
- Staying "on message"
- Communicating abstract; Ideas - "Free Knowledge"???
- Breaking down fear... Technophobia!
- Giving other affiliate organisations awareness/context in media stories
- Explaining volunteerism in our context
As Katherine, Juliet and Michael expressed their intention to initiate a broader (and stronger) collaboration among affiliates in the communications area, they asked the participants what kind of tools/products/ways could be created to enhance and intensify such collaboration. Participants voiced that there was good potential on building on local stories of other chapters to learn and use them. Gathered points on how to work together were:
Participants of the session
- Shared resources
- Clear message/visibility
- Weekly/monthly talking points (e. g.: NSA lawsuit)
- More stories – local (capturing + visiting to show international complexity)
- Languages on blog
- Local media + global
- Link stories from one community to another (distribute + know who to speak to)
- Have basic info about themes (Healthcare etc.)
- Understanding what's important + effective
- lessons learned
- Social media best practices (Learning & Evaluation?)
- Office hour for comm best practices
- Standardized templates for press releases
At the end, the hosts and the audience discussed how to move forward beyond this conference. People agreed that a general communications site on Meta would be useful. Furthermore, it was agreed that the session documentation will be published and, as not all the communication people were at the conference, the hosts will make sure to reach out to all of them.