I would dearly love the eye of a professional marketing person, someone who
cares about customers, to give a good look at the whole of our product
range. The problem is that many see the community as one entity, and its
members as the objective for the Wikimedia Foundation. The reality is that
our customers are the people who consume what we do; our readers.

For our own consumption it is wonderful to see that we have a tiny error
rate. This is defined as the percentage of errors in our existing content.
However as a market our top product covers only some 30% of who we target
and what it offers is biased in that it does not provide the information
needed in our emerging markets [1]. At a WMF strategy meeting the notion
that the information that we do not cover is an error in itself was not
accepted; this idea was too awful, an idea not to entertain.

A case in point; today in a Dutch newspaper a Syrian refugee laments the
lack of available information about Syria [2].

When a whopping 50% of potential information is lacking, you could say "but
that is not what our readers are looking for". You could but we do not know
what people are looking for and not finding and this invalidates the
argument. Even so, we have over 280 Wikipedias and the answer to this
question will be different on every one of these projects. There has been
great research on suggesting what people could write about. This is
effective. Many people will be motivated when they are told "This is the
most asked not found subject.. Could you please?" and "You started this
month an article on ***. So many people read it so far! :) ". You may say
this takes research ... YES PLEASE!

When we want to bootstrap small Wikipedias, the first thing we need is
content. There are many strategies and this [3] is one. We first need
content that is linked and an emerging community of writers and do
remember,  we did not require sources in the beginning, that came later.

We do not consider our other projects like Wikisource; it is only
functional for editors not for readers. We need to market these projects as

When you have read all this so far (thank you) you will wonder what this
has to do with a communication officer; the message this person has to
convey is not about "us" but about what we do, where there are
opportunities and how we serve our market. So imho we need more business
marketing than political marketing because as a business we are exposed;
when we do not cover our subjects, we can easily be replaced.



On 28 May 2017 at 05:53, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Joady,
> Thank you for publishing this. Overall I like this draft. I would like to
> offer two comments.
> 1. My impression is that WMF Communications is largely used to support
> fundraising, readership, and sometimes legal or advocacy topics. The
> department seems to be externally focused. I would like to see work by WMF
> Communications and/or WMF Community Engagement on developing a systematic
> "internal" communications system among content contributors and WMF
> departments. There are currently many internal communications flows, and
> while I think that there have been some noticeable improvements over the
> past few years (I particularly want to acknowledge the WMF Community
> Liaisons), there is a long way to go in systematizing and optimizing these
> communications flows. So instead of looking for a chief communications
> officer whose main strength is in marketing, sales, PR, or other forms of
> external communication, I would encourage WMF to seek a chief
> communications officer who has a track record of facilitating long-term
> improvement of internal communications in complex and diverse environments.
> 2. For the line in the JD draft which currently reads "A clear, effective
> communications style, including experience guiding messaging for major
> organizations, political candidates, or movements", I would encourage
> considerable caution about hiring someone into this role who has had a
> background in political campaigns. I would prefer that the individual have
> no affiliation with any political party. I can think of some organizations
> which are not aligned with a specific political party and which support
> civil rights issues which are likely to be largely compatible with WMF's
> mission, but I would still be very cautious about hiring someone who has
> any background in politics. Keeping in mind WMF's recent and controversial
> annual report, I think it is particularly important to hire a chief
> communications officer who can guide communications and the WMF
> organization away from involvement in political matters to the maximum
> extent possible while still supporting freedom of expression in the limited
> circumstances in which constraints on freedom of expression would impede
> Wikimedians' ability to communicate freely about matters of important
> public interest.
> Thank you,
> Pine
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