- Build a better front door. Create a single point of entry for information, support and resources from the Foundation.
- Use humans. Take a human-centered approach to communications -- as opposed to a tech-centric or channel-centric approach. Hire regional communications specialists that can localize, listen, represent, support and amplify. Clarify who talks to the movement.
- Speak human. Use language that is simple, relatable and translatable. Showcase the humans behind the communications. Resist the temptation to over-explain when issues are complex or to be vague rather than acknowledge when details are unknown.
- Balance “broadcast” with “on-demand.” Invest more in centralizing and storing movement information so that people can access what they need, when they need it.
- Coordinate, then communicate. Coordinate within the Foundation first, and then communicate with the larger movement. Avoid causing confusion by failing to align internally first.
- Clarify, connect and reflect. Use the Foundation’s platforms to tell the movement’s story centered on these three communications goals.
10 focus groups with 113 participants. The research team held ten focus groups, with a total of 83 community participants and 30 Wikimedia Foundation staff. Movement members participated working in different regions, languages, and capacities that reflect the diversity of the Wikimedia movement. Of community participants:
- 69% were from emerging regions
- 63% identified as men, compared to an estimated 87% of Wikimedia contributors
- 35% stated their primary project was a project other than Wikipedia
- 17% were relative newcomers, having been involved with Wikimedia for 3 years or fewer
- 27% were long-time Wikimedians, having been involved with Wikimedia for 10+ years
- 16% were non-English speakers (simultaneous interpretation was provided in Arabic, French, Spanish and Russian)
- 35% were members of affiliates
- 23% held on-wiki administrative roles
- 7% identified as technical contributors.
Stipends were offered to participants to enable participation from those who may not have otherwise been able to take part.
What happens next?
Insights from this report will be used to plan a long-term movement communications strategy for the Wikimedia Foundation. The strategy will be agile -- it will continue to evolve and adapt -- with improvements implemented as they are ready.