Wikimedia Conference 2012/Documentation/Day 2/development-press

Introductions and points that the attendees want advice on edit

  • board member from philippines was asked on his opinion on sopa/pipa
  • organizational advice
  • how to promote wikipedia in asia?
  • WMUK had big SOPA call volume because USA went to bed after switching off en.WP
  • Job of their staffer is to get volunteers to talk to the press
  • How to deal with global issues in the future (e.g. SOPA/PIPA/ACTA) - what's the WMF position on ACTA? Many people would be interested in WM Macedonia and movement.
  • how to avoid situations we don't have answers for yet?
  • Note: Catrin can't speak for WMF - can talk about improving cooperation with WMF - talking about rules of language - how long before will we know and be able to prepare? Would like input from Tilman etc.
  • gather ideas about improving/sharing communication between foundation and chapters
  • Secretary of Serbia used to be spokesperson, but now they have a team, including some journalism students (volunteers).
  • WMFR - lots of press contact in the last two years, e.g. from Versailles wikimedian-in-residence. Lots of the press used to be bashing WP, but now much more positive. Don't have dedicated press-relations people.
  • Volunteer PR officer from India with volunteer team of 8 focussing on communications, PR, and media relations.
  • Venezuela has a spokesperson. High politicization in Venezuela media, which is divided: so have to be careful which media to contact and which not.
  • Argentina: Executive Director is in charge of press relations.
  • Portugal: press relations divided among volunteer team.
  • Kenya: Had interviews, but don't have a team dedicated to press relations.
  • Hungary: don't have press experience on board. Have trouble getting noticed by media. Have intern, but don't even know what kind of jobs to give him! Want to learn about "one day in your life". Also want to know how to deal with quick news requests - HU press often just translates from English press. Would like to know how to encourage press to come to the local chapter.
  • Mexico: spokesman has good press experience. In 1 year, get near 60 mentions in national media - in SOPA and PIPA, had about 5 TV appearances. Want to share ideas, including social media ideas. Chapters are disordered in their management of social media accounts.
  • South Africa: person in the chapter team who's experienced with NGOs, one has good press contacts. how to make a good press release?

Main discussion edit

Contact person: implies that you wait for contact! When you start to build a relationship with the press; say you want to get to know them. Just call up the press, tell them which topics you're working on, discuss informally, learn to know the people. Experience is that when you say you work for Wikipedia, you get interest.

Day in my life? Contacting press, not waiting.

WMUK: PR organisations talk to WP for advice, because they're telling lies on social media for money. Ask Wikipedia how to do ethical PR! Teams of Wikipedians are working with PR agencies. Two years ago, spoke to them. They then used WP presentation as part of their training course! This is a good way to get in with the PR firms - they don't understand the tech as well as us. When WP gives a town attention, Google™ ratings go up, not by fiddling it, but by doing honest PR.

WMHK: Same thing: shopping malls want to know how to upload images to meta.

Catrin: The better your relationship with the press, the better your work will go. You will still get misunderstandings, e.g. incorrect numbers, not understanding how Wikipedians improve articles. Had meetings where journalists and WIkipedians were learning about each other. For example, a meeting with the chief of one of the biggest news orgs in Germany - the journalists were not asking the press contact questions, but the wikipedians. This led to excellent articles, featuring the Wikipedians themselves. Wikipedians now recommend an article, explain why they like it - this has become a series in the newspapers. This is an example of how to facilitate transfer of information from wikipedians to journalists.

Journalists and WIkipedians are alike - we do similar things. As a journalist, ask what kind of things you'd like to receive. WP has NPOV, which journalists also want. If you gets a call from Coca Cola asking you to write an article about them, you'd say no, so don't be like that.

Catrin: Not trying to sell wikipedia, rather feeding good stories to the journalists. Want to share knowledge about how it's done, e.g. based on volunteers and donors - so giving good info to journalists.

Itzik: Secret of PR is not to be just a contact or PR person who sends press releases, but to become the journalist's friend. After sending the press release, there's a whole process: call the reporters to see if they got the info, need more info. Don't just send it to them and wait for contacts to come in. Also share stuff that isn't related to Wikipedia for their info. If you give them stories, that builds a connection with the reporters. Daily work of press contact is different depending on circumstances. PR is not just working with the press, but also with volunteers, etc. ask if they need brochures, merchandise etc.

Always check with chapter project manager to be aligned to the plan, and to spread out the PR work throughout the year.

Ukraine: Does a press officer need to check each press release with the board?

Itzik: It's an issue of trust. They trust him, so they don't need to see it all.

Catrin: Other entities consider us as media, because "wikiMEDIA". That makes it easy to attend events. Wikipedians should use this, e.g. going to press releases as "freeelance journalists".

Ukraine even gets invited to theater events!

Germany got offered to go to the youth games, Swedish (royal?) marriage.

Itzik: Company wants to do workshop for women editors, explain about makeup etc, but this was clearly to get good "press" in WP, so denied the request. Companies have intention to improve their articles on WP.

Photographers: Sweden - festivals or concerts free access, but organisers don't want "cc-by-sa" pictures to compete with pro photographers.

WM Aus: partnership with Aus paralympics committee - taking part in London Olympics, so WM Aus has grants to take a certain amount of pictures. Competition: the winners will go to the London olympics.

Question: Ethical guideline for Wikipedia PR, e.g. comms policy?

Answer: Catrin, not really.

Hong Kong: For example at meetings of internet/tech groups, send some people, but that means that there are not always the same people there, so no continuity. compromise between social responsiblity and media. Experience as PR of Port. blood institute, the text sent out always gets changed by the media. This can be problematic.

Catrin: If the statements have been given, you can ask for corrections.

Example Wikidata press release: one online press mixed up the budget numbers, and they immediately changed it. Similarly after an interview with Pavel R. Press wants to have good relationship with WM and rely on the stories we give them.

Unfortunately not the same in all countries! (e.g. Portugal)

Journalist response: The journalist also wants a good relationship with the sources, so you'll lose them if you don't quote accurately. Good journalists will call to double-check.

Journalist response: Various editing steps, e.g. goes to online people after first editing step, and they can make mistakes even if the journalist got it right. So give the journalist a call so that they can hear about it and get it fixed.

Hong Kong: If the journalist gets things wrong, there could be libel cases, so you're likely to get called back for corrections and clarifications. In Hong Kong, you can get corrections, Itzik: but it's actually quite rare.

Send fact sheet. If you are uncomfortable with telephone interview, ask to be contacted by mail. Don't think you have to be always available. Rather get your facts straight and call back, and also to relax and prepare yourself: get facts and quotes ready.

Itzik: But do call back soon, not the next day!! If you're not the right person, recommend an expert.

Mexico: Hard to obtain interesting facts for journalists. Many journalists ask for facts, for example "how many people use WP in Mexico", not just es.wikipedia

Itzik: You can get this info from WMF. Not all the info is available sometimes, though, so you can't always get the info that the journalists want.

Catrin: They love numbers, "top 10 lists" etc. A WMDE developer developed a tool for this on their toolserver, so maybe this could help?

India: Important not to share numbers you're not sure of, or vague numbers.

lazy journalists who just copy from English - Does WMDE have a way to keep this from happening?

Macedonia: Stats that we have are too general for journalists - can't give pageview nmber when journalist wants to know how often a page has been used. In Oct Macedonian WP had 50k articles, and PR around that made traffic triple. This is very useful data.

Problem: We don't share info well! e.g. statistics, solutions for specific cases, etc.

Commcom should be a place to share info, not just for copying information from press releases.

Note: CommComm is for all spokespeople! Contact Matthew (mroth at wikimedia dot org) to sign up (don't just sign up at ): get introduced.

Question: Journalists want to know how to reference WP articles - guidelines?

We need to give information on how to use pictures, but we are not lawyers!

Question: how can we share the information we have with the press?

create fact sheets for journalists on meta and send them to the press. all fact sheets should be translated versions of each other so that everybody is equally informed. include links, numbers etc. in the sheets.

india: have a press kit with basic information the more we prepare for the press, the better.

wiki loves monuments is coming up: 28 countries are participating. we should prepare a press release from as many chapters as possible. need to give information on how it works and how to use pictures.

Question: is anybody using wikinews to distribute press releaes?

Question: was preparatory info from WMF helpful in the SOPA case?

Important to each chapter to know how to press the red button to shut down wikipedia (?)

FAQ was helpful. Keep one prepared. Keep a list of the most critical questions by journalists (e.g. why is WMF doing this, or why is Jimmy doing that) Advice included: Don't ask for donations, don't mention politicians by name.

Had 5 days notice for SOPA: it was a community decision, not a WMF decision.

Spokespeople are sharing info on CommCom, but often a journalist just calls some editor because they know them directly. How to handle this? Chapter has to communicate it to their community, but it doesn't happen in realtime.

India: didn't take an official stand for legal reasons, so had to explain this to the wider community in India, so that they would route questions to chapter team.

WM Israel built trust with the editors of he.wikipedia: they're not censors, but asks them to update the chapter, better before interview, or even afterwards. Not to control them, but to be in the loop.

If Wikipedians speak for the chapter, it can put them in a difficult position, so have to make it clear that they're speaking for themselves.

Divided media - Wikimedia has to make it clear that their work on aboriginal languages etc doesn't mean that WM (Chile? Venez?) is not part of the government.

UK: Had to postpone (communication on?) Wikipedian in Residence event, because politicians were using it as a political tool (had donated money etc.)

No global video about our movement! How can we get a cool video about our movement made by Wikipedians. Examples: YouTube video where they had thousands of users doing "day in the life"; Google™ video around 2011 year in review. WMF's "storytellers' have done video interviews with many community members who expressed their passion for the projects.

global video: ask users to share their experience with wikipedia

Could use it in YouTube and social media to create press coverage. Idea came out of brief discussion between Itzik and Catrin.

UK: Maybe do it as a side issue of WLM?

WM Phillipines really loved the Swiss video!

Was hard to get videos and pictures of WM 10 celebrations. Still got a good video.