Reports 17Nov12/Communications

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Report title
Communications update
Stevie Benton, Comms Organiser
For 17 November 2012 Board meeting
For decision and information
Report description
A brief summary of comms activity over the last quarter and plans for the next quarter

Decisions and actions required, risks identified:

Risk: The period of the global fundraiser is about to begin. While we aren't actively participating in the fundraiser this year, banners will still be visible in the UK. At this time we should consider ourselves vulnerable to increased scrutiny and attention. I have created some key messages on the office wiki here. This is a list of potential questions we may be asked and suggestions on how we should respond. The list is able to grow as required. We should also consider it likely that the Wikipedia (and chapter) criticism movement will be more vocal and active during this time.

Caveat: For the last two weeks of September and the beginning October I was on annual leave.

Projects from the last two months

  • EduWiki was a big success and gained a very favourable response on social media. There have been good follow-up discussions and the #eduwiki hashtag was frequently used. There was also some decent media pick up.
  • Ada Lovelace Day achieved some fantastic media coverage and was extremely well received. Daria did a wonderful job with the event and one of the team involved from the Royal Society spoke to a journalist about it, leading to international media coverage.
  • Work progressed well on the digital literacy project with Digital Disruption and Demos. A workshop held in October, at which Martin Poulter and myself spoke, has generated lots of efforts to develop work to improve digital literacy and wiki literacy. A more detailed report will be coming soon.
  • All of this good work is somewhat overshadowed in terms of communications because, much like the previous reporting period, WMUK has received unfavourable coverage related to governance and trustee activity. Although much of the coverage was ill-informed (at best), this is still quite damaging. There is much to be done to focus on our positive achievements. I've created a place on the office wiki (to soon be made public) for ideas about how we can more effectively tell people about our excellent activities. It's still in development, please get involved.
  • Independent review – our messaging around this has been fairly good and very much focused on its positive outcomes. However, achieving a consensus on the message (us, WMF, lawyers, Compass...) took a great amount of time.

Key things coming up

  • Work on a positive campaign is in development. We really need to reset the WMUK default narrative.
  • Media training – response to this has been fair and dates will be decided on shortly
  • Supporting the 2014 Wikimania bid development
  • Fundraising period – likely to be much more media and comms interest

The key focus in terms of communications over the coming month is to be more effective in supporting our many excellent projects and telling the public about them. There will be a priority given to sharing the stories of these projects in any way that we can, while using them to encourage further volunteer engagement with Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia projects.

As ever, I welcome community input to my work and encourage any requests for support for your projects and any feedback on our communications.