Wikimedia communications package

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Press Release: Template[edit]

Headline: [Insert headline here]
Secondary Headline (optional)

First Paragraph:
[Location - City, State]—[date press release published]—[1-2 sentence summary of the story; try to include information on Who (Wikimedia Foundation), What, Where (if applicable), When, Why, How. The Why and How may be reserved for the second paragraph if more appropriate]

Second Paragraph:
1-3 sentences to expand on first paragraph and provide background information. Explain significance/impact, statistics are optional.

Third Paragraph:
Quote from representative for the Wikimedia Foundation.

Fourth Paragraph:
1-3 sentences with any additional details not mentioned in previous paragraphs.

Fifth Paragraph:
Optional additional quote from either the Wikimedia Foundation or another organization relevant to the story

OR

Additional details

Last Paragraph:
Optional closing statement

Boilerplate: [About the Wikimedia Foundation]
[Include appropriate websites, links, and press contact]

Press Release: Explanation[edit]

Headline: Press release/[Insert headline here]
Secondary Headline (optional)

  • Most traditional press releases and news stories provide a short, broad and attention-grabbing headline (see here for an example) followed by a more specific and explanatory secondary headline (see here for an example). We chose to adopt this format for its usability; it would provide journalists with a ready-made headline and Foundation would retain control of how it is portrayed by the media by issuing its own headlines.


First Paragraph:
San Francisco, CA—[date press release published]—[1-2 sentence summary of the story; try to include information on Who (Wikimedia Foundation), What, Where (if applicable), When, Why, How--the Why and How may be reserved for the second paragraph if more appropriate]

  • The first sentence of the first paragraph should contain the 5 W's and 1 H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How, see here for more information). Utilizing the principle of the 5 W's and 1 H will allow the reader to efficiently grasp the general idea of the article in one concise sentence (see here for examples).
  • The press release should follow the structure of the inverted pyramid as closely as possible, presenting the information in descending order of importance. This is the structure traditionally used by journalists, because it allows readers to quickly pick up the key points of an article without having to read the whole thing. It is important to keep this structure in mind for the informational paragraphs of the press release. See here for a useful checklist.


Second Paragraph:
1-3 sentences to expand on first paragraph and provide background information. Explain significance/impact, statistics are optional.

  • An informational paragraph expanding on the general details provided in the first paragraph should directly follow the first paragraph. If any of the 5 W's and 1 H were not explained in the first paragraph, the second paragraph should contain that information. In addition, it should effectively provide the general background of the event in question and act as the foundation for the rest of the article (see here and here for examples.


Third Paragraph:
Quote from representative for the Wikimedia Foundation.

  • It is standard for press releases to have the first quote in either the second or the third paragraph. In most of Wikimedia's past press releases (see here and here for examples), the first quote appears in the third paragraph, so this will be established as the convention for future press releases regarding the Foundation's activities. This allows room in the first two paragraphs to sufficiently develop the central details of the story before adding the Foundation's commentary. The quote is typically from a prominent representative of the Foundation such as Jimmy Walsh, Sue Gardner, or Jay Walsh, but other representatives may be acceptable or even preferable, depending on what contributes the most to the story.


Fourth Paragraph:
1-3 sentences with any additional details not mentioned in previous paragraphs.

  • Ideally, the 5 W's and H should have been covered in the first two paragraphs of the press release. If not, provide the remaining details here. Otherwise, the fourth paragraph can be used to clarify, to include any additional details which may be less central to the overall story, or to give background information.


Fifth Paragraph:
Optional additional quote from either the Wikimedia Foundation or another organization relevant to the story
OR
Additional details

  • The inclusion of a fifth paragraph is optional. The Wikimedia Foundation's press releases generally have 5-7 paragraphs (see here, here, and here for examples). These paragraphs typically provide additional details, but if there is another relevant quote, that can go here as well.


Last Paragraph:
Optional closing statement

Boilerplate [About the Wikimedia Foundation]
http://wikimediafoundation.org
http://blog.wikimedia.org
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 457 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, December 2011). Available in 282 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 20 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
Media Contact:

Wikimedia Foundation
Jay Walsh
Head of Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
+1 415-839-6885, ext 6609
jwalshwikimedia.org

Press Release: Sample[edit]

Press release/Wikipedia blackout supports free and open internet
Wikipedia blackout affirms overwhelming support for free and open Internet
Millions “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge” and act to oppose SOPA/PIPA

San Francisco, CA - January 19, 2012 -- Over the course of 24 hours on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 162 million people experienced the Wikipedia blackout landing page -- an unprecedented, historic shuttering of the largest repository of free knowledge in the world. More than 8 million U.S. readers looked up their Congressional representatives through Wikipedia to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) -- proposed U.S. legislation that, if passed, will harm the free and open Internet.

The protest drew worldwide attention to SOPA and PIPA, legislation that had previously been cast as a battle between powerful corporate interests. Before the blackout, the bills were poised to sail through Congress with bi-partisan support. But after the public joined the debate on Wednesday, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle declared their opposition and made passage of the current bills much less likely.

“The Wikipedia blackout is over and the public has spoken,” said Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director. “162 million of you saw our blackout page asking if you could imagine a world without free knowledge. You said no. You shut down the Congressional switchboards, and you melted their servers. Your voice was loud and strong.”

Immediately after the blackout started, #factswithoutwikipedia, #sopastrike, and “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge” trended worldwide on Twitter. In the first hour of the blackout, #wikipediablackout constituted 1% of all tweets. More than 12,000 people posted comments of support on the Wikimedia Foundation’s blog post announcing the blackout.

For Wikipedia, this fight has never been about money, but about knowledge. As a community of authors, editors, photographers, and programmers, Wikipedians invite everyone to share and build upon the work already begun.

In a little over a decade, Wikipedians have built the largest encyclopedia in human history. Wikipedia’s mission is to empower and engage people to document the sum of all human knowledge, and to make it available to all humanity, in perpetuity.

The Internet has enabled creativity, knowledge, and innovation to shine. As Wikipedia and other websites went dark, readers directed their energy to protecting the free and open Internet.

We thank our readers for their support.

About the Wikimedia Foundation
http://wikimediafoundation.org
http://blog.wikimedia.org

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 474 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, November 2011). Available in 282 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 20 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

Media Contact:
Jay Walsh
Head of Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
Tel. +1 415 839 6885 x 6609
jwalsh@wikimedia.org


Links to best practice materials[edit]

Wikimedia:
Press releases/Wikipedia blackout supports free and open internet
Press releases/English Wikipedia to go dark
Press releases/Wikimedia Foundation Rings In New Year With Record-breaking Fundraiser

UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley, AT&T collaborate to enhance campus network and Wi-Fi experience
UNICEF: UNICEF appeals for $1.28 billion for its humanitarian operations to assist children in 2012
Google: Google appoints Diane B. Greene to its Board of Directors
Washington Post (article not press release): Recommendation to censor bird flu research driven by fears of terrorism

Media Advisory: Template[edit]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY: [concise, informative title, written in the style of a news headline]

SAN FRANCISCO, [date of release]-[2-3 sentence summary of the WHO, WHEN and WHAT of the event, with slight elaboration on the WHAT--make sure to contextualize the event with background information, and make it clear why the event is significant and newsworthy, but do not provide so much information that it becomes unnecessary to attend the event itself; on a similar note, do not include quotes]


WHAT: Short one-phrase description of the event (i.e. "Wikimedia Foundation press conference on [topic]")

WHEN: Date and time of the event, in the following format: Day of the Week, Month, Day, Time (specify time zone, most likely PST)

WHERE: Venue of the event

WHO: Names and titles of key WMF representatives who will be attending the event (i.e. "Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation")

ABOUT WIKIMEDIA: The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property.

###

Media Advisory: Explanation[edit]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY: [concise, informative title, written in the style of a news headline]

  • Media advisories are designed to attract the media to cover a certain event in hopes that the event gets featured in a story through some sort of news outlet. Keep in mind the media correspondent you are inviting is in search of a story within your planned event, keep the advisory brief and let the correspondent develop his own story.


SAN FRANCISCO, [date of release]-[2-3 sentence summary of the WHO, WHEN and WHAT of the event, with slight elaboration on the WHAT--make sure to contextualize the event with background information, and make it clear why the event is significant and newsworthy, but do not provide so much information that it becomes unnecessary to attend the event itself; on a similar note, do not include quotes]


WHAT: Short one-phrase description of the event (i.e. "Wikimedia Foundation press conference on [topic]")

WHEN: Date and time of the event, in the following format: Day of the Week, Month, Day, Time (specify time zone, most likely PST)

WHERE: Venue of the event

WHO: Names and titles of key WMF representatives who will be attending the event (i.e. "Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation")

ABOUT WIKIMEDIA: The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property.

  • By providing a brief overview of the company reporters, photographers and other correspondents will be able to better prepare themselves for the event and effectively attend the event with Wikimedia's objective in mind.

###

Media Advisory: Samples[edit]

Environmental Defence and WWF: Environmental Defence and WWF Media Advisory/Interview Opportunity
American Red Cross: Media Advisory: American Red Cross Holds 6-Month Press Briefing On Haiti
Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon's Mechanical Engineering Students Create Product Designs To Assist Elderly
Microsoft and Sun Microsystems: Media Advisory: Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems, Inc. Press Conference
Motorola: Media Advisory: Motorola to Launch 'Extreme Convergence' at CTIA Press Conference
BMO Bank of Montreal: MEDIA ADVISORY/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY-BMO to Host Panels to Discuss Social Media for Small Business

Blog Post: Template[edit]

Note: Blogs have various formats, depending on the story. While a news story format may be desirable in some cases, it is not always the favored option. We offer the following examples to be considered in your work.

These are the blog guidelines for the Wikimedia Foundation blog.

Headline:

  • Similar to a news story, the headline of a blogpost informs the reader of the general idea of the blogpost.


First Paragraph

  • Introduce the subject of your blog post and provide some background information


Mixed Media Placement #1

  • If applicable feel free to include any pictures or videos that may further enhance the message you are trying to convey through this blog post
  • The usage of good writing coupled with a video clip or an image will speak volumes more than just words alone


Second Paragraph

  • If you choose to include mixed media in your blog post an analysis would be prudent after the mixed media.
  • If you choose not to include mixed media then use this paragraph to detail the facets in-depth of your subject


Third Paragraph

  • Use this paragraph to detail additional points in support of your argument/point of view/ issue.


Mixed Media Placement #2

  • You might choose to place an additional item of Mixed Media here if the length of your blog post allows it.


Fourth and Fifth Paragraph (Optional)

  • Use this paragraph to detail additional points in support of your argument/point of view/ issue.


Personal Statement

  • As blogs are more personal forms of communication than news articles and reports, you can choose to leave some parting words for your reader.


Signature

  • Your username/ real name (up to the blogger's discretion)


Blog Post: Samples[edit]

Wikimedia

Free Mobile for Wikipedia Starts With Orange - January 24, 2012

Digital media professor gives students real-world experiences through Wikipedia assignment - January 4, 2012

Wikimedia Board, staff, and volunteers attend the first San Francisco meetup of 2012- February 7, 2012

Other

Google Blog: Introducing Chrome for Android

Wall Street Journal Blog: The Most Generous Rich People You've Never Heard Of

The Story's Story: Anything You Want- Derek Sivers

The Berkeley Blog: Ranking the presidents on the environment

Field Notes Unicef: Responding to emergencies loud and silent

U.S. Agency Projects Widening Gap Between U.S. Carbon Emissions from Fossil Fuels and Reduction Commitments

Blog Post: Explanation[edit]


Headline:

  • Similar to a news story, the headline of a blogpost informs the reader of the general idea of the blogpost.


First Paragraph

  • Introduce the subject of your blog post and provide some background information


Mixed Media Placement #1

  • If applicable feel free to include any pictures or videos that may further enhance the message you are trying to convey through this blog post
  • The usage of good writing coupled with a video clip or an image will speak volumes more than just words alone


Second Paragraph

  • If you choose to include mixed media in your blogpost an analysis would be prudent after the mixed media.
  • If you choose not to include mixed media then use this paragraph to detail the facets in-depth of your subject


Third Paragraph

  • Use this paragraph to detail additional points in support of your argument/point of view/ issue.


Mixed Media Placement #2

  • You might choose to place an additional item of Mixed Media here if the length of your blog post allows it.


Fourth and Fifth Paragraph (Optional)

  • Use this paragraph to detail additional points in support of your argument/point of view/ issue.


Personal Statement

  • As blogs are more personal forms of communication than news articles and reports, you can choose to leave some parting words for your reader.


Signature

  • Your username/ real name (up to the blogger's discretion)


Q and A: Samples[edit]

The point is to ask the toughest questions first and answer them. It is an exercise in thoughtfulness for the audience. Don't waste the space to ask a bunch of questions no one will care about. Use the space to ask tough questions, the questions we know people are curious about. The is an opportunity to respond to the most important questions a report or your community will have about the story. Presume people are smart and presume that they will want thoughtful and careful consideration of the nuances of the story.

Wikimedia

Mobile Projects/ Partnerships Q&A

Fundraising and Funds Dissemination/Recommendations Q&A

Board of Trustees/Restructure Announcement Q&A

Other

Q&A: Why is Syria violence worsening now?

Chicago Style Q&A

Apple and the Environment Q&A


Localized examples and expertise[edit]